How can we empower the emerging talents of an organization to become change makers via a 9-month learning journey?

TEB Fikirbazlar is an applied learning journey that aimed to develop strategies, innovative products, services and business models for 21st century.  Coalescing young talents across the organization and matching them with appropriate senior leaders, the project enabled both sustainable capacity building as well as new product development. Via an interdisciplinary, prototyping-based learning journey, we were able to improve the participants’ leadership abilities while helping them deliver 9 different prototypes, 5 of which were selected for next phase funding and further iterations.

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

Project Lead
Mert Çetinkaya

Mina Yancı (Visual Design)


In the process of TEB Fikirbazlar, top emerging talents of the organization were selected by assessment which began by a six months experiential learning journey that brought together design-oriented thinking, lean business development, team entrepreneurship and new generation leadership approaches. In this journey which was designed and facilitated by ATÖLYE, participants developed new projects that address specific strategic and organisational topics by forming teams and being mentored by TEB senior managers on a one-on-one basis. Then teams presented their projects after a 6-month workshop to a jury made up of TEB’s senior management members. The final jury selected 5 of 8 projects to advance to a later stage, in order to be put in practice.

Twenty-four young “fikirbaz” selected from TEB’s different departments and units and eight assistant general managers who gave support to the process as mentors came together for the first module of the process in a two-day workshop. In the first module, project scopes and the teams to work in each were determined. In the beginning, workshop participants deepened their strategic point of view about project topics by discussing technological, social and economic trends that affect banking and financial sectors on local and global levels.

With the first module, design-thinking methodologies was introduced to teams and they learned the tools of the first step of the method; ”discover” to deepen their knowledge about project topics. After the first module, teams completed their field survey by interviewing with and observing the users and stakeholders who are at the center of design matters.

In the second module workshop, teams who have synthesising their learnings from field research developed their ideas by grounding them on user-driven insights. Afterwards, in order to test their substantial hypotheses, they developed their first prototypes, tested plans and then piloted their first low-resolution prototypes with users and stakeholders.  


Within the third and fourth modules, teams iterated their solutions along with their learnings, and developed them by receiving feedbacks from users and stakeholders. Meanwhile ATÖLYE community members from different areas of expertise supported the teams on various subjects, from interface design to 21st century HR implementations.


For the fifth and sixth modules, teams worked on how to convey stories in order to provide effective communication in their corporate projects. To present their projects effectively to the final jury, they took storytelling and pitching lessons. Moreover,  visual storytelling and design support were provided by ATÖLYE to teams. Another important step was to test the presentations. Before standing up before the jury, the teams went through rehearsals and received feedbacks from experts.

At the end of the process, projects that aim to develop new products and service systems, human resources models, marketing applications on different strategic and organisational topics were presented to a jury made up of TEB senior managers. 5 of 8 projects were selected to be put into practice by supplying funds and human resources.


In this process, participants worked on improving their abilities such as active listening, observation, empathy, creative thinking, rapid prototyping, pitching, effective collaboration and communication while learning methods of design-oriented thinking, lean business development, systematic thinking and storytelling.

“TEB Fikirbazlar” program aims to spread the transformation and innovation culture from in a tricketop by strengthen in-house transformation pioneers and also sets an innovative model for interdisciplinary and intergenerational learning and creating a collaboration capacity between departments that are essential for corporates to adopt themselves 21st century.

Related Case Studies