In recent work with a major insurer, we were approached by the Head of Strategic Innovation, who had been asked by his organisation to lead a team charged with generating new business ideas, exploring their feasibility and developing a process for their implementation.
This team had begun to develop their own innovation methodology and required a third party perspective and guidance in order to:
- Validate and improve the methodology already developed by the team
- Build credibility within the organisation
- Develop a more detailed approach to idea shaping and ensure the adopted methodology would be both thorough and rigorous
- Create new procedures and tools for each stage of the process
- Identify appropriate staging with clear decision points and a full understanding of the criteria on which decisions to proceed should be based
- Refine the approach to market research and financial analysis
In addition this team sought assistance in establishing:
- The optimal way of presenting conclusions and recommendations to decision makers
- How best to manage the boundaries between the team and other departments, especially the handover to implementation
- How to make their work in progress more explicit in order to encourage more participation both within the team and from people in other areas of the organisation
We were able to share our experience and insight in this area with the team and worked with them through a ‘destroy and rebuild’ process establishing the strengths and weaknesses of their in-house methodology, suggesting appropriate tools with which to approach each innovation and working through three real propositions with them as hands-on examples – one pre-implementation pilot and two to more detailed business cases.