Design thinking
 

We use design thinking methods to achieve better innovation outcomes

Traditional sequential stage gate innovation processes don’t allow you progress ideas with pace.

In large organisations, there is a risk that traditional innovation processes get in the way of good ideas.

Let’s look at a a typical lengthy stage-gate process which can be time consuming and resource hungry:

 
 
A typical front end stage gate process is sequential and limits your ability to respond to new news

A typical front end stage gate process is sequential and limits your ability to respond to new news

 
 

We are great fans of process and rigour. However, this approach can be slow

Also, innovation doesn’t always work as a seamless series of handovers like watching the Jamaican’s running the 400m relay.

Insights can pop up at any point in the process, issues around feasibility need to be considered up front otherwise you spend time on ideas that won’t see the light of day. Finally, this approach doesn’t encourage rapid test and learns.

Traditional stage-gate processes are rigorous but lack pace and don’t allow you to pivot when you uncover fresh insights
 

What if there was a more agile approach?

 

Design thinking and agile techniques unlock insights and ideas with greater pace

Design thinking and co-creation methods provide a solution that allows you to progress rapidly through iterations of 'low resolution' prototypes: mock-ups, sketches, storyboards, animations.

Design thinking methods also focus on optimising the user experience and feasibility in tandem.

This approach works equally well for products, services and business models and studies by McKinsey and PwC show that companies which use these techniques outperform their peers in terms of growth, ROI and stock market gains.

Check out our simple 30 second explainer on design thinking.

We use this approach to shepherd a cross-functional project team on a collaborative journey to explore insights and ideas.

By co-creating you achieve two things: a) you continue to learn and uncover fresh insights, b) as a result your ideas get stronger.


We use design thinking and agile sprints to unlock ideas with market potential

When we embark on an innovation project it typically looks like this:

Sprint 1: 

Interrogate your existing research and consumer understanding for fresh insights, hunches and hypotheses.

Spend time with users to fill insight gaps - spot unmet needs and opportunities throughout the consumer journey.

Gather inspiration from outside of your category to spark ideas.

Define the problem to solve and align with stakeholders.

Sprint 2: 

Develop a range of possible opportunities and ways to solve the consumer tension.

Pinpoint ideas with potential and where you want to focus.

Sprint 3: 

Iteratively build and refine promising ideas through fast and 'low resolution' prototyping.

Co-create with your consumers to get to the heart of what makes a winning solution.

Explore the fit with your internal capability, expertise and brand.

Devise ways to talk to consumers about this idea: when where and how they would expect to hear about it and what is required to encourage trial of this new product or service.

Spot the quick wins that you can spin off early, as well as the solutions that will take longer to solve.

Lock down the concept and chart the implementation plan.

The result: stronger ideas created in a more agile and seamless way


Design thinking involves iterative exploration of insights and ideas. Each iteration results in a sharper understanding of the problem, and how to fix it.


We align innovation with your brand and business strategies

There's no benefit in moving fast on ideas if they don't fit with your brand vision and strategy. Plus they need to align with your unique organisational capabilities.

Our approach helps achieve alignment.

With each iteration you can pressure test ideas against brand/business strategy, but also the critical 'can we make it' question – or the 'how could we make it' question.


Summary

Design thinking helps you achieve stronger ideas, with pace

You put the consumer and their needs at the centre of ideas

Iteration and experimentation helps optimise your solution

Ideas are conceived through collaboration and co-creation


If you’d like help to accelerate your innovation get in contact.

We’d love to hear from you.