In the Moment

How Joined Up Teams Outperform Design Agencies and Innovation Labs

Mark Kuznicki

The Moment’s core value proposition to the world is to empower organizations to work better for people. We do this by accelerating, deepening, and scaling the impact of human-centered innovation work through our “Joined Up team” model. As this way of working with our clients has evolved over the years, we have seen the benefits time and again.

What is a Joined Up team?

The Joined Up Team model starts with a partnership between The Moment’s Innovation Designers and a cross-functional client team who work side-by-side through our innovation design process to create new value. The Moment and our clients become one team, each contributing key capabilities that are essential to success. While undertaking these projects, our client partners gain learning and experience in The Moment’s innovation design methods.

Our Innovation Designers are “T-shaped” practitioners, with deep capabilities in areas of customer research, product/service design or design strategy who also have a breadth of experience across disciplines that enables us to connect with client-side specialists in areas such as technology, product, business, and operations.

Benefits of a Joined Up team go far beyond the project

With several years of experience deploying our unique model, we have noticed many benefits:

  • Joined Up teams can draw upon more diverse skills and experience than either a traditional design agency or a client-side team working alone
  • Clients are able to leverage their investment in outside support with internal resources to get more projects done with the same amount of money compared to traditional design agencies
  • Client team members move beyond the “Design Thinking” basics into a more developed innovation design practice that can only come from lived experience and expert guidance
  • After completing a few projects in this way, client team members become increasingly capable and confident to take on new work on their own, or to further accelerate or deepen their contributions in future projects
  • Joined Up teams are deliberately developmental, creating space for learning, reflective practice, and a developmental approach is built into every engagement
  • Client team members are recruited from the business and bring important contextual knowledge and experience to the work. Joined Up teams are able to create more feasible solutions that will actually be implemented compared to the outside agency or a team of “experts” sitting in an isolated lab
  • Client team members who have been on a Joined Up team are better able to communicate the insights and maintain the integrity of findings into implementation. Critical customer insight doesn’t get lost in translation from research team to implementation team.
  • Client team members are able to demonstrate their newfound skills to senior leadership armed with well-designed “Insight Galleries” and other design artifacts used to socialize insights and validated results that create better decisions.
  • Joined Up teams benefit from access to The Moment’s deep repository of tools and methods. They can always pick the right approach to suit any challenge context – no cookie cutter approaches.
  • Joined Up teams always have access to The Moment’s deep skills in design process, team development, and leadership facilitation and coaching. When things get tough, we are there to sort through the complex and often challenging human dynamics that emerge when leaders and teams challenge the status quo.

All of us are proud of the accomplishments of our client teams. This post is a rare opportunity to demonstrate the impact and benefits of the work we do together. While we accept the accolades of our client partners, we tend to maintain our characteristic humility.

The results of our Joined Up work and the value it creates for the organization, its customers, and other stakeholders belong to our clients and their teams. We are thrilled to be able to support their journey and help them to learn and grow along the way. At the end of the day, they are the ones who own it and feel every ounce of pride that comes from the hard work of innovation and the impact that it creates.

Cheers to amazing clients and building new roads, together.

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  • Omar Vulpinari

    Thanks Mark, Thanks TM. I always find inspiration and allignment in what you share. If you ever need support in Italy, do let me know. Cheers, Omar