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The Innovation Toolkit offers a variety of talks for groups of all sizes. Contact us today to schedule your personal ITK training session on any of the topics below:

MITRE’s Innovation Toolkit Workshop

In this hands-on workshop, MITRE’s Innovation Toolkit team will introduce participants to a collection of practical, field-tested innovation methods. After a brief overview of the entire toolkit and the “double-diamond” method, participants will have the opportunity to apply a series of three tools to their current projects. Team Toolkit facilitators will guide participants through each tool, and will also share facilitation tips and provide train-the-trainer instructions, so that participants can select and apply tools on their own in the future.

Collaborative Consulting Session

Discuss your problem and figure out what tools might work to get started.

Innovate Now!

In this full-day course (also available as a 2-hour or 4-hour micro-class), participants will explore principles and practices of rapid innovation through a series of stories, facilitated discussions, and hands-on activities. Participants will gain first-hand experience with field tested innovation methods designed to overcome common barriers to innovation. These methods include problem framing, ideation, and reductive-thinking techniques. The objective is to expand your ability to quickly field novel solutions to difficult problems. These methods can be applied in a wide range of contexts, ranging from technology to process to organization and communications. We will recreate a cutting-edge aircraft experiment from 1871 using everyday household objects. We will also talk about how to talk about innovation, and will examine the professional perils of being an innovator.

What Could Go Wrong?

Define a future failure and inversely build consensus around what success looks like. This session will focus only on the Premortem tool.

Understand Your User

Get inside the head of a user with this session that will cover tools like Persona, Journey Maps, and PAINstorming.


Dan Ward will provide an in-depth view of Trimming, based on his book.

"I Need an Idea"

Similar to sessions we’ve done to help develop MITRE’s research program, this session will walk participants through a tool chain in order to come up with an idea. The tool chain will use system map, lotus blossom, and storm draining.

Houston, We Have a Problem

This session is meant for the team that’s not sure what problem they’re trying to solve using tools like problem framing, system may, and value proposition canvas.

Culture Change

This is for the organization that needs help with their culture. We’ll dive into the culture change tool to define actionable steps to changing an organization’s culture.

Opportunity Capture

This session envisions what an ideal future system or solution might look like and help identify opportunities to make it reality.

Travolta, Technology, and Talent

The Gartner Hype Cycle is a branded visual model that represents the way technologies are perceived by the marketplace as they mature. In this lecture, Dan Ward will introduce and explain the model and explore its applications and implications for innovators. Specifically, we’ll examine how a cycle of hype and disillusionment can distort the perception of a program or product’s actual value… and we’ll talk about what we can do about it. We’ll look at a few examples and discuss how to navigate this common pattern of perception. This presentation expands on Dan’s article in DefenseOne titled Kessel Run Is the John Travolta of Defense Acquisitions.

The Simplicity Cycle

Dan Ward will lead an interactive discussion about simplicity and complexity, based on his second book, The Simplicity Cycle.  This fast-paced, story-filled presentation shines a light on how to make good decisions about simplicity and complexity in the things we make, design, and use. We’ll look at how complexity can help or hinder a design, and will learn an easy-to-use visual vocabulary for talking about simplicity with stakeholders, colleagues, and partners.

Acquisition Successes & Failures

This interactive discussion presents a collection of acquisition & technology development programs from the DoD and NASA, highlighting both successes and failures. These stories illustrate many of the principles and practices of rapid innovation in Dan’s first book, F.I.R.E. It concludes with a detailed discussion about risk – types of risk, how to assess it, mitigate it, and effectively communicate your risk status.

Robots On Mars

This interactive presentation explores two different approaches to exploring Mars. We’ll look at the Viking missions from the 1970’s, which relied on a single, expensive, highly-redundant solution, and the iterative series of low-cost robotic rovers NASA launched from the 1990’s through today. These stories illustrate many of the principles of rapid innovation and portfolio management in Dan’s first book, F.I.R.E.