The Lean Startup Changes Everthing

I’m excited to share the launch of the seventh whitepaper in the ongoing Spark whitepaper series, Innovate the Lean Way: Applying Lean Startup Methodology in the Association Environment.

The whitepaper addresses a simple (but not necessarily easy) concept. To quote my co-author, Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate, Director of Information Services for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards:

“There’s no bigger waste than investing resources working on the wrong thing.”

Given associations’ tight resources, that type of waste is the last thing we can afford. Lean startup methodology, which moves beyond lean six-sigma process innovation to address the challenge of innovation, has taken the business world by storm in the last several years, with businesses of all sizes and life stages using it to experience greater success. Our contention is that associations can benefit from applying this methodology as well.

Innovate the Lean Way shares the basics of lean startup principles:

  • Business model canvas
  • The build-measure-learn cycle
  • Minimum Viable Product
  • The pivot

And the stories of four associations that are using lean startup methodology effectively to improve their innovation efforts:

  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Pivoting from Lean Process Improvement to Lean Startup
  • IEEE: The Power of the Pilot
  • NAFSA – Association of International Educators: Combining Design Thinking and Lean Startup
  • NCARB (Guillermo’s organization): Learning with Lean

Our goal is to help association leaders understand the benefits of applying this technique in your own organizations to eliminate waste, validate your learning, and innovate faster and more successfully.

I’ll be blogging more about the whitepaper in the coming days, but in the meantime, pick up your free copy at, no divulging of information about yourself required.

Don’t forget to check out the other FREE Spark whitepapers, too: