We Conduct Research

We treat our work as a laboratory.

We aim to develop a practical system of thinking that answers such questions as

  • What does it take to build a great idea into a company?
  • What management systems work best to achieve different kinds of goals? What systems fit best at different stages in a company's evolution?
  • What frameworks for shaping strategy apply when we work to change whole systems, not a single institution?
  • How can the factors driving differences in performance at the level of individuals and groups best be understood?

Our day-to-day work as advisors and entrepreneurs feeds into our system of thinking, while also providing a practical context in which to test the value of our ideas.

At Incandescent, building useful, elegant, and teachable theory is an end in itself, not just a way to grow our business. We aim to be as much synthesizers as inventors, connecting the advances made by leading thinkers across a range of disciplines into a coherent, powerful whole.

White papers

Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment

In this white paper, co-authored with Abigail Carlton and John Irons of the Rockefeller Foundation and Guy Halfteck of Knack, we debunk six commonly held "myths" about opportunity youth using talent analytics data gathered on the ground with youth across the U.S.

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Impact Hiring: Framing Lessons Learned for First Jobs Compact Employers

For a December 2016 convening of the White House First Jobs Compact employers, we outlined the three big areas of impact employers should concentrate on when forming an impact hiring strategy. Impact hiring comes to life through a recruiting approach that builds a relevant brand and channel for youth, an evidence-based assessment approach, and shifting the retention curve through well-crafted support systems.

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Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation

In this white paper, based on our publication in People+Strategy on the same topic, we explore five balancing acts that teams pursuing entrepreneurial, innovative work need to master.

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