The work of Charter Partners Institute is based on a modern understanding of how creative entrepreneurs work their magic. This began with the intuitive understanding of our founder, Todd Welch, that the essence of entrepreneurship is about the hands-on development of creative solutions that change the world — rather than studying about small business or creating business plans. This understanding has been augmented by the experience of our Executive Director, Mark Lang, in particular what he learned by working over a period of about two decades with hundreds of entrepreneurs through the Ben Franklin Partnership. Mark discovered that the most successful entrepreneurs innovate through an intuitive process that is inherently non-linear, unpredictable, and iterative. Once understood, this entrepreneurial innovation process can be taught, or, perhaps more precisely, can be learned. This learning forms the essence of what it takes to be an effective leader in the 21st Century global creative economy. It also provides insight on how to most effectively assist budding entrepreneurs to start and grow successful businesses. Unfortunately, this message seems to be missing from the majority of both education and economic development today.
In this section of the website we will share aspects of what we have learned as a way of fostering more widespread application.
- The Overview section talks more about the innovation process and implications for teaching it.
- The Transformation section attempts to convey the transformation in thinking and action that occurs when people start to understand the innovation process.
- The What People Say section shares messages from people who have been through or assisted CPI programs that describe their perspective and experience.
Some additional resources can be found elsewhere in the Resources section of the website.
For context, we are pleased to note that others have begun to study and apply similar lessons about the entrepreneurial innovation process. The writings of Silicon Valley serial entrepreneurs turned educators Steve Blank and Randy Komisar come to mind. We also find elements completely consistent with CPI’s model in the work of a small group of academics who have formed the Society for Effectual Action. There are probably a few more we have missed. We hope that many more will join this new direction because we believe it is the key to transforming both education and competitiveness in our country.