In the Moment

What clients need to know about the future of innovation work

Mark Kuznicki

What we do at The Moment lies at the intersection of two sets of practices:

  • Human-centred, design-driven innovation
  • Human-centred, responsive organizational practices

We are an Innovation Design consultancy anchored in new ways of working that are tuned to the present and future conditions facing all of us: we are living and working in a time of increasing complexity, uncertainty and speed.

We have been very intentional about structuring our offerings to our clients in ways that support the principles of these practices. We believe strongly in their power to adaptively create new value for people through fast-changing times, and that is core to our unchanging purpose.

The Future of Innovation Work is Responsive

Innovation work today calls upon increasingly diverse perspectives, lateral thinking, frequent iterative learning cycles, and the adaptivity necessary to pivot as new knowledge is created and conditions shift.

Agile innovation design teams, working iteratively within a supportive organizational structure and culture are essential to the future of innovation work. This way of working can often be seen as foreign to traditional work environments, so we work hard to provide on-ramps for our clients.

Let’s Incubate The Future

Our offering to the world is to build, support and scale innovation teams.

When we sell our services, we supply blended teams of Innovation Designers who work through agile innovation projects side-by-side with our client teams. (Read this piece to learn about the multi-disciplinary skills and practices of Innovation Designers.)

These joined-up teams work through the innovation design process to discover new insights and iteratively develop and prototype solution concepts that can be quickly tested and validated with real customers. Through these teams we deploy the human-centred design toolkit, Lean Startup methods and agile project management practices to structure and govern the work.

The first team that our clients have us work with will encounter many of these practices for the first time. Those teams are working at two levels:

  • Creating viable new solutions to meet customer needs of the future
  • Developing their skills and capabilities in innovation design for future projects

By pursuing these goals simultaneously, every project builds the organization’s innovation capabilities and those client teams act as seeds of lasting innovation capacity.

How We Resource Teams

We resource these project teams using high level estimates of resource effort over time based on the initial understanding of the project budget, the complexity of the innovation challenge and the client team members’ current capabilities.

For example we might resource 2 or 3-person teams of Momenteers on either a partial (2 days/week) or full-time (4-days a week) basis. (We always protect 1 day per week for our team members to tend to their own needs and practice development.)

Projects are structured around cycles of four 1-week sprints. A single project might be 1 cycle, 3 cycles or more, depending on the scope and complexity of the challenge.

How We Staff and Manage Teams

Unlike traditional consulting firms or design agencies, this agile team resourcing structure depends upon having strong, experienced senior team members on every project. We don’t extract extra profitability by having large teams of junior consultants/designers working away back at the studio under the direction of senior directors or partners.

The work is immersive, with our Momenteers and their client team members engaged as full partners working side-by-side either at the client’s site or in working sessions in our studio.

While our team members have different strengths across the 12 disciplines of Innovation Design, these strengths and edge competencies do not align narrowly within a single discipline as Junior, Senior, Director, Partner levels of hierarchy and experience, so we don’t resource projects that way.

Every project has a Project Lead, who is responsible for ensuring that project goals are delivered within constraints of cost, time and scope/quality. But Project Lead is not a title, it is a role that any of our seasoned team members might assume based on the unique needs of the project.

What It Looks Like

Some our newest team members have been able to bring in the freshest perspectives and techniques that all of our client teams benefit from. We value all these talents, regardless of “seniority”. These are not capabilities that we keep back at the studio while “more senior” consultants appear before the client to present their work.

We have always believed that the traditional design agency/consultancy approach is inauthentic, expensive and slow. It works against our purpose, because it is not well adapted to a complex, uncertain and rapidly changing world. It holds back knowledge as something that is proprietary to the consulting firm to be protected from outsiders, rather than shared and mobilized through our client teams.

So, you might have a client team member who is an intern from MBA school working side-by-side with a Partner from The Moment who is a seasoned design professional. You might have a seemingly “young” Innovation Designer guiding a senior executive through a difficult moment leading their team into the great unknown of an innovative new business direction.

Every step in the process provides an opportunity for learning at all levels, and our job is to ensure that our clients get the greatest return on that learning as possible. We take moments to pause and reflect, not just about what we’re learning about the customer or the market, but also about how new ways of working might be used in future projects.

Why Do We Do This?

Why do we challenge the standard practices of our industry?

Because the old ways are broken, and need to change to meet the future. We are a small firm, but we are fuelled by a purpose that creates a new imperative: to innovate innovation for the betterment of society.

We promise to always meet our clients where they are, to serve them at whatever stage in their innovation journey they find themselves.

In return, we invite our clients into our ways of working and our thinking about the future of work as we start a new relationship, or as our work with our most loyal clients shifts, expands and moves to the next level in their innovation journey.

Because we’re in this together.

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