Our Culture

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 important practices that shape Team Toolkit’s innovation approach and philosophy.

Celebrating Failure

Failure isn’t the lack of success. Failure is the lack of success, yet. Failure is part of the learning process and we want teams to feel safe reframing failure to fuel their innovation. We aim to cultivate a learning environment and brave space to celebrate 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.

The Worst That Can Happen… Is Cake

The Worst That Can Happen… Is Cake

  No one likes to fail, but it happens to everyone at some point and it’s almost never fun. Dealing with failure is something that I have personally struggled with throughout my life. Early on, my parents instilled a drive to succeed in all of my academic...

Power of Premortems

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

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.

Shared Leadership

Instead of having a single leader, our team shares leadership responsibilities. This gives everyone on our team the authority to shape the direction of our work, play their strengths, as well as remove barriers that can slow work down.

Shared Leadership

Shared Leadership

  I often say the best thing Team Toolkit ever built was... the team itself.  Team Toolkit operates with a collaborative structure where each member has a lot of room to use their strengths, to support each other, and to have fun doing it. It's a very low-ego...

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Yes, And

“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”!

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...

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What is ‘Yes, And…’ ?!

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...

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Equity-Driven Design

We continually strive to improve our methods and tools to ensure that we can help teams design equitable futures while encouraging every voice to be equally heard and all inputs equally valued.

Introducing the new ITK Stakeholder Identification Canvas!

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...

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Introducing the updated Problem Framing Canvas!

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...

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Equity-Driven Design & Innovation

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...

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