The Agile Innovation Advantage

The rewards from a successful business, product or process innovation can be huge; but the risks are also significant.  So the prevailing wisdom tends to be that you need to get everything 100% right before progressing.

This pursuit of perfection – can be the enemy of action!

The unprecedented disruptions of the first eight months of 2020 have provided lots of examples of corporate leviathans tearing up their own innovation processes and delivering corporation-wide innovations that are scarcely believable.

But as we move forwards, are these demonstrations of what is possible going to be dismissed in favour of returning to ‘innovation as normal’?

We believe agility is the key to delivering successful innovation; especially during challenging times – and that it is better to gain actionable insights quickly and act as soon as you can – than wait to uncover the perfect insight and have the perfect idea – when it’s already too late!

The Agile Mantra!

  • Be Iconoclastic:   Gathering insights into how your target market works is sensible; but don’t try to codify its “rules” – instead work out how to break them.
  • Experiment More:  Never assume there’s a single answer.  There will be many ways of solving every consumer challenge – the trick is to spot the most promising.
  • Embrace Risk  We aren’t suggesting you start taking crazy risks, just stop trying to eradicate all risk – make every idea as good as it can possibly be.
  • Accelerate your Processes:  Don’t try to skip Stage-Gates, just pass through them faster!  Make the maximum progress in the shortest time – without sacrificing rigour.
  • Prepare to Iterate:  Don’t wait for perfection.  Test your concepts as early as you can, be first to market – then keep improving your offering to stay ahead.

#1: Gathering Virtual Insights

Virtual tools are the perfect way for iconoclasts to gather actionable insights.  They let us observe how consumers use current solutions, spot pleasure & pain points and get under the skin of how they feel about existing offerings.

Virtual tools allow us to gather insights across several geographies, segments or sub-groups simultaneously, but iteratively – so we can quickly and cost effectively spot clues and build disruption hypotheses in realtime.

The trick is to pick and choose between the best available tools and techniques; to identify those that will help you ‘get inside’ your consumers’ heads – and predict what they’re likely to want next …

#1.1: Online Ethnography

Moderated online ethnography brings together structured questioning, stream-of-consciousness and video-tasks to build a rich understanding of consumers’ everyday lives, rituals and behaviours.

Agile Advantage:  Quickly gain insights into your consumers’ challenges.

#1.2: SmartPhone Safari

Virtually ‘visiting’ the ‘in-use’ environment gives you unrivalled access to consumers’ homes, shopping trips, workplaces and social environments –  to challenge assertions and spot actionable clues.

Agile Advantage: Be inspired by seeing your consumers challenges ‘in the moment’.

# 1.3: Micro Super-Groups

Virtual Micro-Groups with super-consumers can reveal insights every bit as rich as classic face-to-face groups – and we can sample multiple geographies.

Agile Advantage:  Rich insights into target consumers’ attitudes – to inform decision making.

If you’d like to know more about the other virtual innovation insight gathering tools we can help you leverage – check them out here.

#2: Leveraging Virtual Ideation

To be truly agile, you need to experiment more, embrace risk and accelerate your processes …

By combining the power of Microsoft Teams, with a limitless whiteboard and our proven moderation tools and techniques – we’ve been able to unlock virtual creativity in fresh and dynamic ways.

Virtual workshops allow you to bring together the diverse, multi-disciplinary thinking talents of your team; wherever they are located in the world – more quickly and more cost effectively than ever before.

#2.1: Unlimited Inspiration

Our fluid ‘whiteboard’ structure seamlessly integrates: expert-witnesses, web-tours, youtube videos, even the classic PPT decks. Everything you need to stimulate your team’s creative juices.

Agile Advantage: Ideation stimulated by the best and most relevant inspiration – wherever it is found.

#2.2: Empowered Creativity

Limitless Virtual Whiteboards allows our moderators to replicate the challenging, inspiring and empowering experience of a high-energy, face-to-face workshops – online.

Agile Advantage:  Leverage full-team brainstorms, team-breakouts and offline think-storms to build banks of starter ideas.

# 2.3: Collaborative Pitching

Remote breakout teams collaboratively build ideas into compelling concepts and competitively ‘pitch’ them to their peers for feedback and prioritisation.

Agile Advantage:  Prioritisation templates make it easy to harness team commitment and build innovation pipelines.

If you like more detail  about what makes our virtual workshop tools and techniques so powerful – check them out here.

#3: Virtual Co-Creation Sprint

Promising concepts mapped into innovation pipelines are great, but they’re hardly the end of the innovation process.  You need consumer evaluated and optimised concepts that you can quickly realise and bring to market.

We’ve developed a virtual concept evaluation and optimisation solution that combines the best of face-to-face co-creators with online groups, virtual whiteboards and quali/quant tools – then sandwiched them with hybrid, team-incubation sessions to create a Super-Consumer Co-Creation Sprint.

Each Sprint allows us to evaluate and co-create your agile innovation concepts with super-consumers, optimise them in Virtual Incubation Workshops – before re-sharing them with consumers.  Multi-market co-creation was never this efficient or cost effective!

Want An Agile Innovation Advantage?

The search for perfection can stop an innovation process in its tracks

Our virtual approach to insight gathering, ideation and concept co-creation gives you the ability to be faster, more responsive, more intuitive and more experimental …

So the billion dollar questions is – why wouldn’t you want to be agile?

Let's Harness Virtual And Get Agile!

If you’d like us to help you plan an Agile Programme to deliver your innovation objectives, of to discuss just insighting, ideating or concept co-creation; you can get in touch via our website, give us a call on +44 1491 411272, or connect with David or Joanna via LinkedIn.

Let’s get Agile!