Redesigning a business:
Shaping a business in a time of disruption

Our client, a Canadian not-for-profit organization in the media sector, engaged The Moment to develop their innovation strategy and portfolio, build innovation capabilities within their team, and help them develop new offerings in a volatile and quickly changing marketplace.

Throughout this project, the burning platform for our client was significant. New technology threatened to disrupt their business model, customers were discovering other means of gaining their services, and their relevance in the marketplace was rapidly waning. The client was in need of a robust innovation portfolio that would provide a variety of innovation opportunities–from the incremental to the transformational. Their funding model was failing, and time was of the essence to get some great innovation work done.

It was clear from the outset that although we were brought in as an outside resource to accelerate the process of getting to strategy, portfolio, and new offerings, the financial reality of the organization demanded that the organization itself was able to carry the innovation work forward. To ensure they were set up for success, we took a two pronged approach.

Strategy and Innovation Portfolio: We began by assessing the current state of the business by examining their business model and value propositions, as well as the external environment in which they operate. We then used strategic foresight methodology to help our client imagine several possible futures of their business, their sector, and the world. Using a combination of the insights from both of these analyses, we worked collaboratively with the client to build an Innovation Master Plan which outlined the who, what, where, when and how of innovation and detailed their Innovation Portfolio of core, adjacent, and transformational opportunities.

Capability building: We began this workstream by assessing the organization’s innovation capability and readiness to transform. Once the baseline indicators were established, we created a program of just-in-time learning and action-learning opportunities for staff to participate in the creation of all of the project outputs. Everything we did to help them design their future was done with the client close by. At first we led all initiatives, and by the end we had transitioned to supporting their internal innovation leadership.

As a result of the assessments and workshop interactions, staff members with aptitude and interest for design were identified and were actively involved with the work. With our guidance and support, team members applied design approaches and innovation tools to real business challenges, and eventually to the opportunities outlined in the innovation portfolio. One phase of the project had the team experientially learning to engage in an end-to-end design project to explore the needs of current and former customers and design solutions that could address their pain points and desired gains.

The final step in this work stream was to lead the recruitment of a Director of Innovation who is now leading the work internally. Upon his hire, he was presented with a ready and capable team, and the foundation for continuing to build internal innovation capability.

Since working with this client, they have indeed transformed their organization into one that is no longer stuck in the past and the old ways of doing things. They have embraced cutting edge technology and new offerings for their existing and new customer segments. While the cultural after-effects of this project are numerous, most notably the way in which they work together has changed. They have become collaborative, open, nimble, and hopeful. They are squarely focused on remaining relevant and prosperous in a sometimes inhospitable business environment and are now using design and innovation practice to address their most critical business challenges.