Building a culture of innovation starts with our values and how we turn those values into action. Having strong mindsets, attitudes, and mental models is critical to foster innovation on your team and for yourself. Here are some of the key practices that shape Team Toolkit’s innovation approach and philosophy.
Failure is almost never the whole story nor the end of the story. Failure is just part of the learning process and we try to create space for people to process failures and learn from them, reframing failure experiences to fuel innovation. We aim to cultivate a learning environment and brave space to explore failure. We encourage teams to experiment and try new things and take small executable steps. Defining and exploring failure can also help imagine a future state of success. One of the main ways we do this is with Failure Cakes!
The Path To Perfection
The book was titled Perfect Vegetables, so imagine my surprise when I opened it to a random page and came across this line: “None of the methods proved satisfactory. The wrapped leeks were too tough and dry, while the naked ones were too tough to chew.” I was struck...
Power of Premortems
Frame and explore your problem by imagining a future scenario in which the proposed activity fails to achieve its objective, describing the failure, then identifying the causes of the failure. Give your team insight into priorities and success criteria, uncover hidden assumptions, and identify potential pitfalls.
Innovation Resiliency 2020
In March 2020 after SXSW was canceled due to the pandemic, we designed & ran a virtual conference for hundreds of distributed attendees. Jessica & Stephanie’s kicked things off with a session about reframing failure.
“Yes, And” is a constructive active listening practice that affirms (yes) then builds (and) on the ideas of others. This behavior creates a safe and trusting environment where ideas can flourish in a collaborative setting without risk of rejection or the pressure to share perfect ideas.
Check out the MITRE KDE Podcast on the power of “Yes, And”!
Innovation, much like improv, isn’t easy, but it can be a powerful way to bring people into a conversation they might typically avoid or feel excluded from. In MITRE KDE's latest podcast episode with the Innovation Toolkit Team, Jen and Josh walk listeners through the...
Want your engineering team to be more innovative? Try this proven improv technique!
Co-Authors: Awais Sheikh, Dan Ward, Niall White The pressure to be “innovative” is at an all-time high for projects, organizations, and companies across all industries. Unicorn companies (startups valued at $1+ Billion) are sought after wide and far, and leaders...
7 tips to practice ‘Yes, And…’ during everyday collaboration
Q: Team Toolkit, I love using ‘Yes, And…' during your ITK workshops! I want more collaboration like this outside of the workshop. How can I use 'Yes, And...' during my regular, everyday interactions with my team? A: Great question, anonymous audience member! Taking an...
What is ‘Yes, And…’ ?!
Q: Team Toolkit, every workshop you host begins with Collaboration Rules that the whole group agrees to for that workshop. I keep seeing the ‘Yes, And…’ rule. What exactly is it and why is it always included? A: ‘Yes, And…’ is definitely one of our favorite...
We aim to make equity a consideration in all our activities – leadership, facilitation, design, etc. We believe all of us should be working together to create a more equitable environment, and we try to make sure our tools, techniques, practices, and decisions reflect this important value.
Introducing the updated ITK PAINstorming!
As part of Team Toolkit’s collaboration with the MITRE Social Justice Platform, we are excited to announce the equity-lens update to ITK PAINstorming! ITK PAINstorming helps improve your team’s understanding of a user’s behaviors, pain points, assumptions, and needs....
Introducing the new ITK Stakeholder Power Categories tool!
ITK just launched a new tool – the Stakeholder Power Categories tool! We’re excited to introduce it in this week’s post!
Introducing the new ITK Quickstart Stakeholder Engagement Canvas!
ITK just launched a new tool – the Quickstart Stakeholder Engagement Canvas! We’re excited to introduce it in this week’s post!
Introducing the new ITK Stakeholder Identification Canvas!
Learn more about ITK’s newest tool and the equity lens embedded in it. - - - As part of Team Toolkit’s collaboration with the MITRE Social Justice Platform, we are excited to announce the addition of a new tool – the ITK Stakeholder Identification Canvas! The ITK...
Introducing the updated Problem Framing Canvas!
Learn more about the equity-driven updates to one of our most popular ITK tools. - - - As part of Team Toolkit’s collaboration with the MITRE Social Justice Platform, we embarked on taking a fresh look at our ITK tools with an equity lens. Equity-driven design...
Equity-Driven Design & Innovation
Co-Author: Tammy Freeman How might we ensure equity is inherent in the design process from Day 1? Read on to hear how Team Toolkit is partnering with the Good Trouble Lab as part of MITRE’s Social Justice & Social Innovation initiatives. - - - 2020 has been the...