It’s a daunting question. But in today’s environment, where change is the only constant, it’s a question everyone must answer. This is true whether you are an innovator or an entrepreneur, a manager or a newly minted graduate.

The first step is this: “Just start.” In other words, take action now and learn as you go.

Written by a trio of seasoned business leaders, Just Start combines fascinating research with proven practices to deliver a reliable method for helping you advance toward your goals—despite the uncertainty that is all too common today. Babson College President Emeritus Leonard Schlesinger, organizational learning expert Charles Kiefer, and veteran journalist Paul B. Brown share their own deep and varied experiences and draw from a source where striving amid constant uncertainty actually works: the world of serial entrepreneurship. In this world, people don’t just think differently—they act differently, as well.

Using this novel approach, Just Start will help you:

  • Determine the best strategy and tactics when the future is uncertain
  • Minimize financial risk in every decision you make
  • Attract like-minded people to what you want to do (and learn why this is important)
  • Understand why “Act →Learn → Build (so you can) Act again” is the best course of action when facing the unknown

So throw out your forecasting tools and shrug off that nagging frustration that comes with constant uncertainty. Just Start distills for you the very essence of what makes people successful in today’s volatile environment. This book is your guide to achieving your goals—whether your project is professional or personal, or somewhere in between.


The Just Start approach has been developed and is being applied by Innovation Associates in organizations

For more than 35 years Innovation Associates has been helping leaders and organizations achieve extraordinary results. Having pioneered the field of organizational learning, Innovation Associates is now applying that expertise to help clients:

  • become more entrepreneurial and innovative
  • successfully navigate uncertainty
  • develop exemplary leaders for turbulent times
  • develop teams capable of achieving breakthrough results while deftly managing the larger systems of which they are a part

If you are in a large organization pursuing a new venture or simply trying to do something really innovative, the Just Start method of Act Learn Build might really help. And make your life easier and safer. Contact us for more information.


Wayne L. Delker

Senior Vice President – Chief Innovation Officer, Clorox
“This is a must-read to increase the level of innovation in your organization. You’ll leave this book being able to take immediate action to learn how to innovate in a way that is right for you.”

Bill Hybels

Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, and President of Board, Willow Creek Association
“This book is one huge step in the right direction for anyone compelled to forge a dynamic future in uncertain times.”

Steve Mariotti

Founder, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
“In Just Start, the authors take what the research tells us about those who have succeeded the most in volatile environments—serial entrepreneurs—and applies their lessons to the rest of us. They provide a practical, step-by-step method to navigate through complex and uncertain environments, bounce back from setbacks, and overcome obstacles. A must-read for anyone struggling with uncertainty.”

Tom Watson

Dean, Omnicom University, and Cofounder and Vice Chairman Emeritus, Omnicom Group Inc.
“Schlesinger, Kiefer, and Brown’s Just Start is a distilled, step-by-step, proven method for how to create something new in uncertain environments.”

Marina Kim

Executive Director, Ashoka U
“Just Start is a uniquely practical book that helps prepare the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and will equip them with the key frameworks for success.”