Much of what is found in Innovation Consulting focuses on the process. However, the top innovation consulting firms will look at other factors critical found in the best innovation cultures globally. When looking for significant results in your innovation, it begins with looking at the organization. The Valen Group focuses on three areas:
- Right People
- Right Process
- Right Environment
Right People. Innovation is doing new things that create value for the organization. In many cases, innovation is hard because to do new things we must create something. Creation or discovery when observing looks quite random and can be serendipitous in many cases; it also means change which is uncomfortable for a profitable, large organization with structure that has provided significant returns and value in the past. Team members who are open to new ideas and environments find insight and stimulus that helps them think in new ways and this is more likely to lead to a breakthrough innovation solution. Openness is one of several factors that we consider when assessing team members. Another factor is flexibility, because the problem-solving skills necessary to generate ideas are different from the skills to assess the feasibility or value of a concept, solution or new business model. It is important that your consulting firm partner has methods to manage and assess these skills so you get the best results from your innovation teams.
Right Process. Innovation process is critical to allow for the evolution of a concept. A good process doesn’t allow leaders to skip steps. Many times, the first idea is just that; a starting point. Falling in love with a certain strategy, concept, business model or innovation solution creates bias and many times the process while well designed with check-ins or gates from senior management, only creates what we call left to right inertia (think stage gate.) The steps or phases of innovation most inevitably that we see have basically three steps to identify the solution, develop it and execute it. The processes are similar to basic flow of stages such as: Concept, Development, Go-to-Market. There can be additional steps before Go-to-Market such as Validation but that is really just finalizing developing or creating the solution. Top innovation consulting firms are always creating the solution, and iterating not focusing on siloed steps that puts pressure on moving from concept to market.
This brings us to our last area of importance.
Right Environment. The right environment is really about the right culture, good strategy and decision-making, incentives and more. Too many times culture is about deferring to the top and the stage-gate or gated process is designed for top executives to decide if the concept is ready to move to the next step such as prototyping in development. This linear thinking approach we have covered in process shortcoming, but it is also that it props up a leader to be forced to decide leaving teams to defer to leaders in likely gray area decisions where the correct answer isn’t to rush to market but iterate back and study more. Those that iterate and focus on truth seeking and ideas or solutions from anyone on the team, any background or level of experience are the more successful innovative companies. Furthermore, success in innovation such as a new business model is very difficult and some of the most innovative areas explored are more likely to fail than success with probabilities of finding a valuable solution the organization can execute on at a 40% or less chance. Even so, the solution may not come instantly but over years. Judging teams on how they manage innovation is about managing innovation to conclusion, many times to quick failure or focusing on killer issues to determine success or not is where top innovation consulting firms should be steering management. This requires the right incentives, decision-making and discipline to refrain from the bias of team that found the valuable innovation are more valuable team members than the team who quickly honed in on the critical facts to find out that the innovation was not possible. Many the team that found the innovation spent too much time or could have done it more cost effectively, etc.
The best innovation consulting firms should have methods and tools to assess all three areas of innovation, people, process and environment.
At The Valen Group, we would enjoy talking to you about how to get the most out of your innovation efforts. We provide services in innovation consulting for:
- Collaborative Innovation Engagements – We work with you to create a highly effective team through the right mix of your staff, our consultants and outside entrepreneurs to collaborate on innovation. We bring our unique innovation environment and process. Our collaborative innovation approach provides the innovation environment, innovation process and best innovation team to optimize the outcomes. Our process is iterative where there is no step for creation or development because “create” is in the middle always working to improve the innovation solution throughout the process to provide the best results. We will work with you to deliver effective innovation concepts, new business models and many variations of innovation solutions necessary to compete in the future.
- Innovation Strategy. Without a vision and direction, innovation is really just a random
set of ideas. Therefore, The Valen Group
does not merely offer ideation services but rather consulting services to help
drive significant results in innovation efforts. Strategy is critical to
provide direction. First the business or
corporate strategy must be clear for innovation to work. Innovation strategy sets out “how” or
“where” innovation resources should be utilized to meet the business
strategy. The end result of innovation
strategy is a roadmap of growth platforms that provides innovation teams areas
of focus to create new ideas, solutions, business models, etc. based upon the
strategic direction given.
Innovation Management. Managing
innovation requires assessing the organizational structure including
decision-making for resource allocation and strategy, innovation processes and
people. We provide an innovation assessment to benchmark against best practices
with proven tools for benchmarking team’s problem-solving styles, company
environment and approach and process/tools to execute. Valen has models and
tools to consult on both country/region focused organization as well as how
some of the best companies in the world effectively organize globally to
optimize global coordination of innovation.
We offer innovation management assessments, global benchmarking studies for new
ways to organize or optimize innovation and other services for your specific
innovation opportunity or challenge.
About how we as a Top Innovation Consulting Firm will work
with you and your team to design, develop and execute growth-focused