Passionate, small, inter-dependent project teams can turn on a dime and, by keeping their eyes on the ball, get to bat more often and to impact the world in meaningful ways. Collaborative exploration is now changing how we think about and approach innovation and competition is quickly becoming an outdated paradigm.
We know that innovation is the life-blood of any society and it is the passionate, innovative individuals who continue to drive progress through breakthrough innovation. So, how does one accumulate the requisite competencies within a dedicated team and effectively manage to create breakthrough innovations? Using our consultancy of ingomar&ingomar as an example, let's examine what it takes to thrive as a small, innovative, international business consultancy.
It all starts by attracting and vetting bright, collaborative individuals with a 'can do' attitude since there are many more smart people outside than inside one's organization. 'Relying on the kindness of strangers', can significantly shortcut the innovation process and "trust but verify" will serve well in this process, with past behavior becoming the best indicator of future behavior. In a benign environment, trusting more than feels natural pays dividends since one becomes exposed to many more opportunities that one can then verify.
Repeatedly creating breakthrough innovations is a marathon, not a sprint and none of us are ever more innovative than our imbedded network. In other words, great ideas are synthesized from the ideas of those around us.
While working with some of the very best minds at BMW Group, Delft University, Fraunhofer, Copenhagen Business School and Stanford University, our consultancy forms organically expanding networks that produce new paradigms, ideas and repeatable breakthrough innovations.
By applying open innovation, crowdsourcing and design science research, our multi-dimensional teams have taken on extreme challenges within business and academia. When a challenge seemed impossible, it became an inspiration for a breakthrough idea to materialize and then to apply the grit to make it happen.
Some of the breakthrough innovation challenges tackled by our teams include, Design Quantification, Design & Business Model Experimentation, Gamification in Concept Design and Design Driven Startups.
Along the way, we discovered that:
- Design quality is not subjective. It can be measured and acts as a lead indicator for trendsetting and financial performance.
- Including design upfront reduces the design team's intuition biases and increases financial performance.
- Applying gamification in concept design increases the exploration of breakthrough innovative concepts and for an extended period of time.
- The combined strength of a business idea and design, together with a selected technology position, acts as a lead indicator for funding and market adoption.
Paying it forward is not only fair it is also a good business practice. Therefore, we share our insights though online social networks and new media, in near real-time as the project progresses. In this way, we quickly learn, self-correct, produce and disseminate more relevant recommendations and implementations for breakthrough innovations.
With quarterly design research deliverables available, we no longer have to wait decades for science to trickle down to the creative community. While conducting design research, we continuously build a repository of freely available design research studies - now consisting of twenty design science research projects, described in one hundred and sixty articles and thirty scientific papers.
These articles require no specialized knowledge to understand, while the scientific papers must still go though a rigorous review process and thus ensure the validity of the cutting edge research.
This new model of consulting combined with research has proven to be one that includes all stakeholders from the ground up and gives a quick turn around for some of the more "burning platform" challenges encountered within business.
The combination of learning and testing though crowdsourcing and design science research builds strong team competencies such as, risk-attitude, adaptability, grit, and a useful social network. This, in turn, allows for a much higher level of repeatability in delivering sustainable progress for a company's triple bottom line.