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.



We are dedicated to helping you learn how to take more effective action when dealing with the unknown
…enabling you to make progress towards fulfilling your aspirations. We help individuals, teams and organizations apply the Just Start method to their situations using educational programs, coaching, and speaking.

Just Start in Organizations

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

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

Just Start For Internal Entrepreneurs

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.

Just Start For Teams

Much of the work of large corporations takes place in teams.  Business teams, functional leadership teams, and project teams are all faced with unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Traditional approaches to planning, based on a predictable operating environment, simply don’t work. Most teams, however, continue to use planning and management systems designed to operate in stable, predictive conditions. To create results when operating in unknown territory or under conditions of uncertainty, teams need to adapt different processes and practices. Just Start for Teams provides a structured, practical alternative to the way desired results are defined, goals are set, progress is measured and risk is managed. The result is higher energy, greater focus, accelerated learning and progress, and less wasted energy and resources. Contact us for more information.

Just Start Coaching for New Venture Entrepreneurs

Are you in the process of creating a new venture? Maybe you’ve been *thinking* about getting started and haven’t been making much progress. We want to help you use Just Start principles to significantly increase the quantity and quality of your actions and start getting results now!

Our team of experienced coaches and facilitators have decades of business and coaching experience. We have spent the last five years working with the Just Start authors to deliver group coaching programs to alumni of the Just Start courses held at Babson College. Now you can benefit from the same powerful coaching program to accelerate your entrepreneurial process. Contact us for more information.

Just Start for Kids and Schools

What kids need and deserve right now is a new way of experiencing learning, one that helps them break free from the “one-size-fits-all” factory structure and moves them forward with a set of skills to be successful in an unpredictable and rapidly-changing environment.

Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, or administrator, click here to see how the principles of Just Start can help you transform you school experience.


We are available to speak to your group or organization. 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.”