How might we turn select talented employees into agents of transformation?

Considering the competitive, complex and uncertain nature of the 21st century, Ideapreneurs was born out of a necessity to develop strategies, innovative products, services and business models based on organizational learning approaches and human-centered innovation methods. In regards to this need, an interdisciplinary and prototype-based learning journey was designed, with the aim to improve the leadership skills of participants from various departments within the company with different skill sets and experiences.

Project Team
Ayşesu Çelik, Kerem Alper, Mehmet Yalçın Aydın, Mert Çetinkaya

Project Lead
Mert Çetinkaya

Mina Yancı (Visual Design)


For Ideapreneurs, the top talents within the company were selected by assessment to embark on a 6-months long experiential learning journey, consisting of design thinking, lean business development, team entrepreneurship, and new generation leadership approaches. In this journey, participants developed new projects that address specific strategic and organizational challenges in groups and were mentored by senior managers of TEB on a one-on-one basis. After a 6-month process, the teams presented their projects to a jury made up senior management of TEB.

The 24 young and talented employees from a range of units and departments were selected by TEB and joined 8 Assitant General Managers for the first module of the process in a two-day workshop. In the first module, the project scopes and their respective teams were decided. During the workshops, participants developed their strategic perspectives regarding the project topics by discussing technological, social, and economic trends that affect banking and financial sectors on local and global levels.

As part of the first module, design-thinking methodologies were introduced to teams as they learned the tools for “discover” -the first step of the method- to deepen their knowledge on the topics. Aftewards, teams completed their field surveys as part of the “discover” stage by conducting field research in which they observed and interviewed the users and stakeholders.

In the workshop for the second module, teams synthesized their learnings from the field research to widen their project ideas with new solutions and based their ideas on user-centred insights. To test the ideas behind their proposed solutions, they developed their first prototypes and test plans.

For the fifth and sixth modules, teams worked on how to build the stories around their projects to ensure effective communication within their company. To present their projects effectively to the final jury, they took storytelling, and pitching lessons meanwhile ATÖLYE provided visual storytelling mentoring and design support to the teams. Another important step was to test their presentation skills. Before presenting in front of the jury, the teams rehearsed and received feedback from experts.

Through the end of the process, projects ranging from developing new products and service systems to new human resources models, marketing applications on different strategic and organisational topics were presented to the jury of TEB Senior Managers. Five projects among eight were selected to be initiated with the help of sufficient funding and human resources.

By aiming to spread the change and innovation culture through a bottom-up approach, the “Ideapreneurs” program developed an innovative model to increase the capacity of interdisciplinary and inter-generational learning and company-wide collaboration, which are essential qualities for companies to meet the demands of the 21st century.

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