Sébastien MEUNIER from France 3 TV, asked to me to do a quick interview at #BlendWebMix a few days ago. He asked me what was an “innovation strategist”, how I was making money and a few other things about my job! He then snapped skillfully together an interesting montage. And yeah, it’s in French (^_^’)
Some of our customers are already using this retainer-on-demand consulting format but most companies still contact us too early or too late to work on innovation projects.
Too late, when they have thought through many points already and have engaged resources, they contact us to legitimize their approach or they hire us on a too narrow scope.
Too early, when the initiator doesn’t have the power to put into action, doesn’t have the resources or the back up. So it becomes a very short mission/discussion to help the client have the next steps clear to sell internally.
All in all if we decided to share about our on-demand format of consulting, is to ensure our clients (and potential ones) can use us to the best of our potential of value creation. Innovation is motion, so as co-pilots it is key that we are present at the right time to support and more often the case trigger the shift.
Discussion with a corporate customer yesterday over dinner. I realized that I gave only 2 public keynotes this year (3rd soon) vs about 8 private ones on ´sensitive‘ innovation topics for industrials, banks, etc. There is a market shift there. More insights, less BS?
— Philippe MÉDA 🇪🇺 (@icopilots) October 23, 2018
Not sure that traditional innovation conferences can get there. Which means delivering focused keynotes in context of a) a specific market problematic and b) a specific company culture. Which is interesting for us and small consultancies in general I guess…
As a matter of fact, I also realized that I couldn’t find a single interesting innovation conference to attend this year as a guest (seems I’m not alone).
Truly the rarest resource we are looking for (as consultants who have been doing this gig for more than ten years) are not tools or methodologies. It’s staying on the edge of things and refreshing our point of view. Which is also what we end up selling to customers (methodologies are commodities).
Have you been to an innovation conference or a business event that didn’t plain suck recently? If so, please pretty please, give me a hint. : )
Natasha JEN formulates a very calm and articulate deconstruction of the designthinking craze.
Just like open innovation, lean methodologies, effectuation, or intrapreneurship… design thinking is a methodology that is better at selling the idea that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to every corporate strategic hurdles, than actually delivering anything real.
I was asked to explain our innovation copilots logo enough times already that I feel I should just do it on the blog.
Here it goes:
In 2017, we moved from France to the Netherlands and decided to rebrand our agency from Merkapt to innovation (changing the market as our core skills) copilots (how we do it).
The ‘I’ of innovation is central and a constant reminder of our focus.
It’s slanted because innovation comes from a shift in perspective. And it’s only slightly slanted because in real life it’s rarely about radical turnarounds, but rather decisive sidesteps or « pas de côté ».
That’s simple enough I guess.
Now, the copilots word is another story. It’s only half visible because we are never center-stage.
A famous digital design agency working as a third party for Apple was saying in 2007 when Stéphanie and I created our business “We’re the most well known secret in the industry”.
This is who we strive to be. We’re not engineers, leaders, or communicants. We might be on stage for a keynote or to facilitate a workshop but our real job is backstage.
When the level of uncertainty gets extreme, we take commands with our customers and help them sidestep to a new opportunity, a new mindset and eventually a new culture if need be. Some customers call us well ahead of a storm, some call us when they’re already facing turmoils. But the market should not be aware of our role.