How can we help?
Our services for mastering innovation:
- Tackle the chasms discussed above.
- Are applicable to individual organisations and to clusters and networks alike.
- Are relevant to all types of innovation (in technology, products, processes, services, etc).
- Are comprehensive, covering all the key areas for mastering innovation.
- Extend well beyond providing ‘general innovation management tools’.
- Catalyse innovation through collaboration - within and/or between organisations.
- Provide a toolkit for mastering innovation which includes frameworks, processes and behaviours.
- Can be applied selectively, in response to specific needs, or grouped together in coherent packages.
Our services for innovation include:
- Brain-Pool Workshops: These highly innovative Workshops are integral to many of the services listed below. They contrast sharply with the traditional mix of 'talking heads, flip charts and 'sticky notes'. Our use of special technology enables co-creation of ideas 'on screen'. Everyone gets a fair and equal opportunity to contribute their views. The anonymity which can be provided by our supporting technology is particularly useful when working with stakeholders on controversial and challenging innovations. The Workshops deliver a vast improvement in productivity and knowledge capture. Our distillation and assessment techniques deliver clear outcomes. Our service covers design, pre-work to engage the participants, facilitation, analysis and reporting.
- Engaging stakeholders: We support engagement on innovation with funders, universities, businesses, policy-makers, and the public. We promote early 'upstream' engagement to obtain feedback on issues of public concern, risks, and limits to public acceptability. We catalyse the capture of knowledge and insights from experts and stakeholders to maximise the chances of success and manage risks where the implications of innovations may not yet be known (or even knowable).
- Developing product concepts: Our workshop-centred service covers all the steps from generating ideas through to specifying, assessing and prioritising product concepts. Our tools promote intense creativity and systematic analysis, usually across many ideas. We do much more than 'brainstorm'. We bring experts in marketing, technology and production together to consider market and customer needs and co-create product concepts which reflect emerging ‘market pull’ as much as ‘technology push’. The workshop outputs are clear and unequivocal briefs ready to go forward for selection for commercial product development.
- Systematically co-creating new services: We also support organisations and networks in developing new service offerings. For example, we supported the Company Chemists' Association in developing proposals to meet Government expectations set out in the White Paper 'Future Pharmacy'. Our Brain-Pool Workshop enabled senior industry figures to co-create service proposals using a standardised template. This was instrumental in moving the debate on from simple aspiration to the consideration of practical opportunities and their associated implications.
- Roadmapping Workshops: These provide a powerful springboard for strategy development for individual organisations or networks. We tap diverse perspectives, both internal and external, in co-creating roadmaps. This establishes new connections and networks of collaborators ready to take the roadmap forward. Our three-stage process involves engaging participants beforehand in developing draft frameworks and detailed proposals, a deliberative 1-2-day Workshop, and detailed analysis and synthesis of the outputs afterwards. This service applies equally to similar initiativez (e.g. 'Horizon Scanning', 'Foresight', 'Future Planning', and 'Visioning').
- Developing Strategies for Innovation: We cover future external perspectives (e.g. scenario planning, market prospects and competitor analysis), internal capability assessment, strategic options analysis and 'conversion to action'. We also take full account of uncertainty and complexity. Our approach can be applied to individual innovations or to portfolios of opportunities. Our tools ensure that innovations are fully specified, not just left in the form of ‘great brainstorm ideas’.
- Developing Structured Networks for Innovation: Our service supports innovation within and/or between organisations. We kick-start, develop and maintain 'clusters', 'networks' or 'communities' for innovation. Within an organisation, these 'Structured Networks for Innovation' offer a powerful way for large, complex, high-technology companies to promote innovation across internal interfaces (see the link above for a case-study). Beyond any one organisation, the scope of the Networks can enlarge to include researchers, suppliers, potential customers, and venture capitalists.
- Developing toolkits and providing training and mentoring: We design and develop toolkits to support innovation within businesses, between businesses and potential collaborators, and among clusters and networks. We train and mentor people to equip them with the necessary mindsets and skills.
- Developing 'Innovation Pathway' tools: We design and develop tools which guide researchers and businesses in realising and commercialising innovations.
The tools cover all the stages from research, discovery, market testing and manufacture to selecting business models, commercial delivery, and continuous improvement. The tools also cover regulatory
requirements at each stage.
Aligning innovation to Strategic Goals: Our workshop-based service enables individual organisations and networks to develop authoritative programmes for research and innovation. We bring relevant players together to identify and articulate proposals, check their alignment with wider strategies, determine priorities, and develop practical action plans for implementation.
- Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) and Knowledge Exchange: Our services for mastering innovation are highly relevant to the work of the UK KTNs, and we have worked with several. They encourage investment in science, engineering and technology with active involvement from business and industry, and support from the Technology Strategy Board. We also support professionals engaged in Knowledge Exchange through our toolkit and training.