Innovation Strategy: How to find inspiration

Content powered by Stanford Online presented by Perry Klebahn and Jerermy Utley


Length: 4 weeks

Effort: 3 to 4 hours per week

Partner: Stanford Online

Program overview

Inspiration is a capability that is in short supply in the marketplace.

Have you ever wondered how great innovators connect the dots? Have you been looking for a process that lets your people become more imaginative with their ideas, creative thinking and approach to solving problems? Through cutting edge research, exciting activities and even the chance to go out into the field to abstract inspiration, “Innovation Strategy: How to Find Inspiration” provides tangible ways in which to think differently, abundantly and to apply that thinking to their work and needs.

From divergent thinking to analogous exploration, to embracing distraction, to finally commission a portfolio of experiments in this collaborative learning experience, your people will emerge with the skills and mindset to be exponentially more innovative than when they started.

Who is it for?

For people wishing to improve their ability to collaborate creatively and drive innovative results.

Program Curriculum

  • Combining different perspectives
  • Looking at problems through unique frames
  • Analogy
  • The Art of Abstraction
  • Mining ideas from analogy
  • Convergence/divergence
  • First, second and third mindset shift
  • Embrace distractions
  • Brainstorm the opposite
  • Productive distraction
  • Applying distinct selection criteria for decision making
  • Commissioning a portfolio of experiments

Meet the Coaches

Perry Klebahn

Cahoot thought leader Perry Klebahn Perry is an Adjunct Professor and Director of Executive Education at the When it comes to startups, corporations and executive leadership, Perry’s seen just about everything. He’s a seasoned entrepreneur, product designer, chief executive and co-founding member of the faculty with over 20 years of experience. He also loves math, motorcycles and making things. Perry brought two out of three of those interests to bear when he created a new category of sportswear by way of a high-performance shoe — a snowshoe — for his product design master’s thesis. He went on to found the Atlas Snowshoe Company, which remains the leader in snowshoe design and technology. Perry sold Atlas and became the head of Sales and Marketing for the clothing brand, Patagonia in 2000. He then went on to be named the CEO of the iconic bag company, Timbuk2 in 2007. Both opportunities gave him extensive experience in brand turn-around, design and innovation.

Despite his years running startups and corporations, Perry’s true calling is teaching. He leverages the breadth and depth of his experience as he pushes his students to bring rigor and precision to their fast-paced design work. In every class, Perry guides his students to look back in order to discover what to do next and works from the unshakeable belief that it’s always possible to see a problem differently.

He holds a B.A. in Physics from Wesleyan University (1988) and a Master’s degree in Product Design from Stanford University (1991).

Jeremy Utley

Cahoot thought leader Jeremy Utley Jeremy never expected to be a designer. On his 10th birthday, his father asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Jeremy replied,”I want to be one of the people who carry boxes with handles.” A little over a decade later, Jeremy became a briefcase-carrying management consultant focusing on economic development. Then, in 2008, derailed him completely. His time as a student and a fellow at the showed him that “how” he worked was more important than “what” he did.

Today, Jeremy is dedicated to helping others along the same path to becoming a designer. He helps people change their deeply-engrained behaviors and discover, as he did, that it is possible for them to make a difference. He does this through teaching as well as through growing alongside his students to become better in his own life and work every day. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin’s Red McComb’s School of Business (2005) and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (2009).

How is it done?

Active learning with cohorts

Learners will generate ideas, present and deliver together with their peers to help get different perspectives, internalise learnings and identify ways to apply them in the workforce.

Deep reflections

Learners will have the opportunity to reflect and analyse what they have learnt, how far they have come, and how they can apply these learnings in the workforce.

Real-time insights

Learners get real-time insights on how far they are performing vs their cohort that helps set their pace and enjoy a healthy dose of competition at the same time. 

Immersive experience

Learners get rich, snackable content that helps boost their retention. They are given tools that enable strong collaboration and deep conversations with their peers. 

Build a culture of innovation

Inspire your people with new ways to innovate and work.