Scaling School

Scaling School

Several years ago, I decided to give sailing a try. I started by going on a few local trips with some folks who owned a small boat and then, gradually, decided to improve my skills and confidence. Eventually, I completed “ground school” and then took several trips that required more and more skills, like navigation, man overboard drills, dealing with weather and un-grounding your boat.

We need to do the same thing with startups. Many have questioned the success rates of accelerators, innovation centers and innovation buildings as a way to make scaleable companies. Instead we need scalerators and scaling schools to get founders and their teams from point A to point B.

Here’s what should be included in the school catalogue:

  1. Scaling schools, like any school, should have clearly defined learning objectives based on market derived competencies, and a process that delivers the curriculum cheaply and fast.
  2. They should emphasize experiential learning
  3. They should provide students with not just the education, but the money, mentors. leadership teams and connections to open innovation networks
  4. The process should be lean
  5. The idea is to not just improve existing products and processes, but to create things that create substantial multiples of user defined value. Typically, that means at least 10x more value than what you are offering customers now. Here’s what you will learn about innovation and value and how ideas are inventions, improvement or innovations.
  6.  They should be laboratories to create minimally viable pilots
  7. They should have clearly defined innovation outcomes and impact metrics
  8. They should have a dedicated leadership team that is held accountable for results
  9. The school should be closed if they are not producing high performance students
  10. The sponsoring organization should have clearly defined and aligned innovation objectives and strategic priorities.

Scaling schools should be designed to get you from the classroom to navigating choppy channels in the shortest time. Sooner than later, you will be in treacherous waters with considerable headwinds so you had better be prepared to know what to do when you lose your mast.

Get lifetime access to all 50+ tools in the Change Planning Toolkit

Wait! Before you go…

Choose how you want the latest innovation content delivered to you:

Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at

Arlen Meyers

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine ,teaches bioentrepreneurship and is Chief Medical Officer for Bridge Health and Cliexa. He is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at and author of the Life Science Innovation Roadmap.




Our Annual Trends Report: Boosting the Possibilities for 2021

By Shawn Nason | February 25, 2021

  I still remember the day we got the email telling us that the in-person version of the 2021 Consumer…

Read More

Controlling the controllables

By Janet Sernack | February 22, 2021

A recent article by McKinsey and Co “COVID-19: Implications for business”  describes a paradoxical dilemma for managers: the need to process both the…

Read More

Leave a Comment