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Dr. Tamara Carleton, CEO of ILB

Get your free copy of the Playbook for Strategic Foresight & Innovation

Composed of 200+ pages of cases, methods & tools, the Playbook enables your team to build an innovation mindset and skill set. The free Playbook is your hands-on guide to becoming a more innovative leader.

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A Proven Innovation Engine

Design Innovation began in the late 1940s. Across the U.S., companies saw a growing consumer market buying everything from cars to ready-made meals, diapers, and early televisions. Companies began searching for new models of innovation that moved beyond the top-down, optimization-focused models that had been developed earlier. A model that would help them "get three steps ahead" of their competitors and the growing interest of the emerging middle class.

These ideas deeply influenced John Arnold, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Professor Arnold took a multidisciplinary approach in his research and teaching. He had a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, plus practical work experience as a garage mechanic and research engineer. At MIT, Professor Arnold established a Creative Engineering Laboratory, and he was passionate about introducing more creativity into the industrial practice of engineering. By 1957, Stanford University coaxed Professor Arnold to California, with the promise of more opportunities to work with the emerging Silicon Valley...and sunnier weather. Professor Arnold went on to create the foundations of Design Innovation at Stanford University.

Today, this early work continues to make a global impact through the multitude of design firms, user-centric business models, and revolutionary startups that its spawned. From the early Design Innovation model laid down to Professor Arnold (see the Arcturus IV program of user-centric, prototype-led innovation), to the more modern "three circles" of Technology Feasibility, Business Viability, and User Desirability, Design Innovation continues to change how companies invent the future.

Delivering Continuous Innovation

Our Innovation Engine platform provides your teams with ongoing innovation support – from quick bursts to 12+ months – based on best practices to scale learning.

Proven Workflows

When teams need guidance or are stuck, our innovation guides provide workflows that offer the “proven path” on what to do next. These guides include quick video tutorials, step-by-step worksheets, and tool templates.

Innovation Tool set

Our proprietary tools and techniques are designed explicitly for team innovation. They were developed based on work at Stanford University and tested with hundreds of teams around the world over the last decade.

Hands-on Practice

Our platform integrates hand-on workshops to prepare, engage, and encourage teams to refine skills in co-creation and collaboration. We can lead workshops or work with your group to design effective innovation workshops.

Coaching on Demand

Do you have a coaching model? We maintain a global network of innovation coaches, who can accelerate your team collaboration, certify internal trainers and coaches, and deliver faster innovation results with higher quality.

Are you ready to increase your teams' innovation performance?

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Build your organization's Design Innovation skills online

Your team can further its innovation mindset, skill set and tool set for free at the Innovation Academy, or while earning professional development credit at Stanford University.

Stanford University courses

Join our course at Stanford University to advance your personal leadership skills while earning an official transcript & credit.
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Innovation Academy learning

Expand your team's innovation skills with our tailored, online coaching platform. Innovation Academy is currently in beta with select corporate clients including Airbus and Volvo.
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