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Innovation Services

Creative, customized solutions

to your challenges

If there’s a challenge you need to crack, let our team help yours! The Independence Blue Cross (Independence) Innovation team uses design thinking and creative problem-solving tools to develop sessions and workshops focused on shifting culture, building new ideas, solving problems, and developing strategies, products, or processes.

No matter how much time is available or how much of a deep dive is required for your challenge, we will design the best innovation experience for your organization. Take a closer look at the customized services we offer.

Design Session

Our innovation team will take you through a series of design thinking tools and exercises, so you walk away with solutions to a challenge your organization is grappling with. Use the momentum and expertise of cross-functional stakeholders to rapidly get to an answer and next steps.

  • Participants: 10 – 100 people
  • Time: 2 hours – 2 days

How it works:
Design sessions start with a specific goal (e.g. How might we redesign our nurse outreach program to increase member engagement?)

Design session case studies

Helping a nonprofit apply expertise in new business effort

A local nonprofit that provides healthy meals to nutritionally at-risk individuals reached out to us for help building out a new business idea. During a one-day session, we helped nearly 15 leaders from the organization think through their business plan using the Business Model Canvas, a structured way to outline a business model and understand how the business would create, deliver, and capture value.

As a large group, the session participants focused on identifying the customers they could serve, their value proposition, and how they would make money. Then, in smaller groups, based on customer niche, the participants identified key resources and partners, estimated costs, and finally, what next steps they need to take.

The group also spent time thinking about what other companies do and how their organization could build on or partner with existing companies doing similar work. The organization is now in conversation with their board to identify and complete key next steps.

Building out a nonprofit’s two-year roadmap

A local nonprofit that encourages students to study, explore, live, and work in the Philadelphia area has worked with us on a number of occasions. We first helped the organization when they wanted to better align their offerings with their mission. The executive director and her team attended a full-day session during which the team reaffirmed the organization’s vision and mission and then unpacked what’s happening now.

They examined every program offering to assess purpose of the program, individuals served, resources required, and alignment to the organization’s mission. After thorough evaluation around what is working and what is not working, they were able to identify gaps. The group then generated ideas to fill those gap areas.

After building out the details of those ideas, such as how the programs will work and what they will look like, the team plotted each new program along their two-year roadmap and identified goals at various points. The organization has been successful in implementing many new and effective programs increasing the number of individuals they are able to serve.

Innovation challenges

Bring multiple stakeholders together to follow the entire design process to get deep user insights and fully understand what’s needed before designing solutions to complex problems.

  • Participants: At least two teams of around 5 – 6 people each
  • Time: Typically run from 6 – 8 weeks

How it works:
Small teams of around 6 members work on different aspects of a particular challenge. For example: If the challenge is on student experience, one team might focus on new students, while another focuses on graduating students.

Teams identify a team lead responsible for getting them together; IBX innovation leads the teams through the process and teaches them the tools to use at each phase and follows up to help address issues or confusion throughout the process.

View our innovation challenge framework:

View PDF

Innovation challenge case study

An innovation challenge works by digging into challenging projects over the course of many weeks and putting the design process to work for us.

In one of our innovation challenges, we set out to understand how we could encourage a healthier lifestyle for our employees and remove barriers. Over the course of eight weeks, we used the full design process to understand the issues, create solutions, and test them with our employees.

The first two weeks focused on doing research – interviews with employees across the organization, at different levels and with different backgrounds and tenures, to understand how they define wellness, what they did regularly, and what got in the way. We also looked at best practices and how others have approached this topic. We talked with experts, like nutritionists and fitness coaches. We aimed to understand every aspect of wellness.

Once we had a wealth of insight, we looked across it all to identify some key themes. One key theme was that starting a wellness journey can be overwhelming and feel too hard. People didn’t know where to start and, because it felt daunting, often didn’t start at all. We found that was a key issue to solve.

Then we moved into ideation – how might we make it easier for people to take the first step, see success, and continue on their wellness journey? We developed an idea called Do One Thing, that encouraged small, simple habit building, such as taking the stairs or eating fruit each day.

Then we tested the idea with employees to get feedback. We made signs and gave employees easy ways to incorporate change in their day. After employees tried it for a set period, we asked for their input – how did it work? How did it feel? Did it help them create meaningful changes and feel successful?

Based on that feedback, we were able to develop interventions throughout the building to help create a culture of wellness.


In small self-made teams, rapidly ideate and iterate around problem statements — a cross between a design session and an innovation challenge — to come up with prototypes of solutions to a challenge.

  • Participants: At least 10 people. Usually participants work in teams of two or more people.
  • Time: Can run over 2 full days or over several weeks

How it works:
Presented with a problem to solve, individuals or teams work intensely to come up with solutions and build prototypes. We provide the framework and are available as a resource to guide groups as needed. At the end of the Hackathon, teams share one prototype which can then be massaged and presented.

Hackathon case study

Our Innovation team was looking for a platform to collect ideas from across our organization. Over six weeks, teams of employees from Business and Technology Services designed mock platforms that allowed the team to post the challenges they are working on and a place for employees to suggest solutions. Presented with several prototypes, a panel of judges selected the platform that met most of the target needs.


Our team members are experts in design thinking and the skills that support innovation. In workshops that typically run between one and three hours, we will help you dive into the topics below to foster your organization’s innovation culture and capability:

Design Thinking Overview

Design thinking is a creative approach to solving problems and can be applied to any issue that needs improvement. Apply it to a challenge you’re sorting through at work or in your personal life. In this session, we will review the design thinking process and practice simple and practical tools you can start using right away.

  • Participants: 10 – 50 people
  • Time: 2 hours

Creative Behaviors + Mindsets

Our behavior and mindset heavily influence how open we are to innovation and how readily we practice it. At this workshop, learn about growth vs. fixed mindset and how it plays out in the workplace, and practical ways to implement creative behaviors and work and at home.

  • Participants: 10 – 50 people
  • Time: 3 hours

We can also break this in to a 1.5 hour workshop on Creative Behaviors and 1.5 hour workshop on Mindsets.

Design Research

Whether pitching a project to your boss or innovating new products or services, we are all designing for somebody, but how well do you really know your end users? Become an ace in empathy and a design research pro in this workshop. Learn why understanding your end user is so important. Then put into practice tips and tricks for conducting design research in a professional setting.

  • Participants: 10 – 50 people
  • Time: 2.5 hours


All of the best things in life started out the same way…as an idea! Join us to study and practice the art of the idea. Whether you’re feeling stuck finding solutions or are simply looking to perfect your ideation game, our Idea Generation workshop will be a helping hand in your creative and planning processes.

You will learn and practice generating and designing creative and impactful solutions to accurately address problems…in other words, learn to come up with ideas that are so good, they just might work!

  • Participants: 10 – 50 people
  • Time: 2.5 hours