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The UpStart Way


UpStart employs a number of proven theories and practices from the for-profit innovation sector to uniquely meet the needs of each of its clients. We often combine these techniques and their tools to individualize and maximize our services. UpStart believes that the Jewish tradition is in itself a case study in successful adaptation and change. After all, it is a set of practices, stories, and communal structures that has been maintained for thousands of years. UpStart taps the rich array of texts and theories from the Jewish tradition to contextualize, provide shared language for, and enrich conversations and practices in any change initiative we are facilitating.



Adaptive LeadershipThis methodology, developed by Ronald Heifetz of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, provides a framework for understanding systemic change. This methodology has been used globally to help transform businesses and organizations; UpStart uses it to provide deep context before embarking on any change or growth process.

Immunity to ChangeDeveloped by Lisa Lahey and Bob Kegan, this theory explores the psychological underpinnings of resistance to change, within individuals and within larger systems. Why do we talk about wanting to make certain changes, and yet perpetuate behaviors that prevent us from making those very changes? UpStart uses this theory and its tools to help individuals understand the roots in the systems in which they operate that are preventing, or making difficult, desired change.


Design Thinking: Currently used worldwide and growing rapidly, Design Thinking provides a concrete system of tools to ignite creativity, rapid results, and positive organizational culture. UpStart has adapted this system to train its clients to: genuinely identify the needs of their constituents; succinctly frame their desired impact; come up with a wide variety of ways to creatively meet their constituents’ needs; and rapidly test whether or not they are on the right track, with minimal waste of time and resources. This methodology also trains organizations to be more playful, positive, creative, and courageous.

Lean Start-Up: Developed by Eric Ries and currently common practice in the entrepreneurship sector, the Lean Start-Up methodology provides concrete methodology for devising and testing solutions to meet the needs of constituents in ways that minimize waste and maximize learning. UpStart incorporates Lean Startup tools into its teaching of Design Thinking, to provide clients with concrete ways of testing and learning from their hunches.

Business Model Canvas: Designed by Alexander Osterwalder, this visual template to document existing and desired new business needs has been adapted by UpStart to meet the strategic planning needs of clients. UpStart trains its clients to use this tool in conjunction with a process that includes Design Thinking and Lean Start-up methodologies.

Learn more about the consulting services we offer and see a list of our clients.