Co-authors Douglas Ferguson & Karen Holst have spent the last 20 years in the trenches bringing new ideas forward within organizations. They have learned what it takes to launch innovation within a company and has covered the gamut of organizational types from state government agencies and military armed forces to startups and large public corporations.
Reflecting upon these experiences, they noticed that while no one company or organization is like the other, there are common patterns that were almost universal.
Assembled from these observations and insights about innovation and bringing new ideas to life, the Start Within framework was created to provide a way to assess your situation, how it relates to the unique nature of your company, and what tools and actions are appropriate for you to move forward.
In the book, Karen and Douglas argue that most of us already have everything we need to enjoy a fulfilling career in our current companies, if only we can push for the big innovative changes we care about. This type of intrapreneurship can be challenging, which is why the book outlines a process ranging from accessing organizational preparedness to prototyping, and how to turn a “no” into a “yes.”
Douglas Ferguson is an entrepreneur and human-centered technologist with over 20 years of experience. He is Founder and President of Voltage Control, an Austin-based facilitation agency that specializes in helping teams work better together through participatory decision making and design inspired facilitation techniques. He has helped transform teams from U.S. SOCOM, the Air Force, Adobe, Dropbox, Fidelity, Vrbo, Liberty Mutual, Humana, and SAIC.
Douglas is a thought leader and master facilitator of Design Sprints, Innovation Workshops, Team Alignment Workshops, Transformations, Meeting Systems, and Culture Workshops. He is also the author of three books: Beyond the Prototype, How to Remix Anything (co-authored), and Start Within (co-authored).
Karen Holst is a product leader with deep expertise in human-centered design strategies, creative problem-solving, and product innovation. Boiling down her 20 years of experience into disciplines, her work has covered the gamut from business strategy and entrepreneurship to strategic partnerships and marketing communications. Karen loves to create technology with a broader impact. Karen’s work proves she thrives in the unknown. From co-founding a startup to launching new technology within a government agency, her secret sauce is the ability to take complex information, fragmented across disciplines, and make sense of it all.
In the projects and roles she has taken on, the playbook was undefined, but the mission was clear. Karen rolls up her sleeves to get work done “in the weeds” and rises above it to bring teams along, seeing the “big picture.” She is a natural observer and dot-connector, bringing together intersectional ideas to make an impact.
I learn more about the story behind Start Within and their mission to help anyone who wants to innovate within their company, take ownership of their work, and design the career of their dreams.
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