Our approach

A simple innovation process

Delivering valuable and unique services that clients like has long been a key differentiation for businesses. Such a stellar reputation is equally important when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

The pandemic has been an accelerant to look into how offerings are delivered, propelling all firms forward in the areas of technology and innovation. So, what is the best and fastest way to bring such and other innovative ideas to practice, and safeguard your organization's reputation for excellence?

For organizations that solve complex problems

WHAT

 

Organizations that solve complex problems for their clients are firms like system integrators, law firms, healthcare organizations, engineering firms, consultancies, high-tech companies, etc. What they have in common is that they are really good at delivering (innovative) solutions when a client asks. Compared to makers of consumer goods, these organizations are extremely decentralized so that their experts can efficiently and effectively respond to any customer request.

WHY

 

These businesses thrive in responding to client expectations. That is exactly what they are designed to achieve. However, when it comes to innovation projects that entail internal processes, multiple clients, or future client requests, these companies frequently struggle. Because there is no external customer making the investment, monitoring the scope, or controlling the quality, their operating routines are inappropriate for these cases. Proactive centralized decision-making is required to successfully execute these innovation projects, which goes against the grain of how these companies function.

HOW

 

While delivering innovative solutions to clients is a core capability of these service providers, very few have experience with validating ideas, running experiments, making a business case, testing assumptions, developing software solutions, forming partnerships, and other skills that are required to proactively bring a novel idea to practice. Therefore, at its core, the T4 platform is an online Tailored Training Tool for innovation Teams, so innovators get the guidance and support they need to execute these tasks successfully.

WHO

 

The question is who needs to bring these ideas to practice? Dr. Blindenbach has done extensive research to find the answer to that question. She has concluded that there is no way around having a senior or experienced employee - a heavyweight in the organization - drive innovation projects. Heavyweights who understand the business and who have most at stake by the successful implementation of the idea are critical to driving an innovation project to a successful outcome. They can open doors in the organizations and make introductions to clients. Fortunately, these heavy-weight leaders don't have to do all the work - that would be ineffective and cost-prohibitive. Support functions can provide a lot of assistance, and doing the leg-work is an excellent personal development opportunity for younger talent. Our T4 platform is set up to engage and support people in these various roles.

WHERE

 

Dr Blindenbach's research has also shown that there is no need to create a separate organization or office to execute innovation projects. Creating such an environment can stimulate creativity, but there are often more down than upsides. First, there are the costs of maintaining such a separate unit. Second, because of the complexity of the client problems, and the associated breadth and depth of the knowledge pool of experts in these firms, it is impossible to have representative and state-of-the-art expertise for each practice and domain the firm represents in a separate innovation unit. Third, in comparison to consumer products, successful new service offerings have limited scalability. The human factor restricts the number of clients who can be served. As a result, developing innovative solutions near to the business is usually more cost-effective. Fourth, few experts desire or are able to leave their current job and full-time devote their attention to a (temporary) innovation project. So having an online environment where all information is in one place, team members may join asynchronously and contribute as their schedule allows, and it is safe to learn and experiment is frequently all that is required to act on ideas and successfully put them into practice.

WHEN

 

Last but not least is the question of when. We don't expect team members to work full-time on their innovation project. Nevertheless, don't underestimate the importance of maintaining momentum. It is another critical success factor, our research has shown. We recommend teams spend at least 5 hours on a project each week. That workload can be divided among team members and not everyone needs to put in the same amount of hours. Contributions can fluctuate over time too. So there is a lot of flexibility, as long as the team is committed to making progress, moving their project forward, and taking the necessary actions to make that happen each week. For that reason, our trainers assign weekly tasks to make sure teams stay on track.

The result

A simple, cost-effective, and efficient innovation approach that works.

Innovation project management

What our users say:

The difference between night and day” - Innovation committee member

After 9 years of trying, the T4|YIP program helped us to get the data and facts needed to convince the partnership of this $1M investment in 16 weeks” - Partner, law firm

With the prenatal framework set and introduced as part of the [T4|YIP] program, the team could scale quickly from 30 providers to almost 200 doing virtual visits, and from 250 virtual visits per month to 250 per day.” - Dr. Martin, CHNOLA

T4|YIP saved us from wasting $200k on a product that nobody would have wanted” - Business owner

"Great experience! I gained a lot of knowledge regarding business. I am in healthcare, so I am not used to the business side of things as I typically do not handle those aspects of my practice. This program was superb for teaching me the other side of my career. I was taught how to accurately assess items such as finances, billing, interviewing, and how to think from a business perspective. It definitely made me think outside of the box, which was worth it as it taught me so much! I would highly recommend this program!" - Sherry L - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

“O4I helped me to develop and value a business idea before I put it to market. After our research, we concluded that the idea would not be a commercial success for our business. Without O4I, we either would have put this to market (which would have wasted our time, energy, and money), or we would have stayed in the 'what if' mode for a few years. With O4I, in just a few weeks, we concluded to focus our energy on other more valuable innovation projects.” - Esther van de Storm – Innovation Booster, Stormpunt

Comparison with other approaches

What about Agile, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Business Model Canvas, and other methods?

We are building on the shoulders of giants. strategic management, project management, design thinking, agile, business model canvas, and lean startup methodologies.

These are excellent approaches for dealing with various components of the innovation process (see graph below).

The T4 platform enables innovators to employ the most effective tools and concepts from each approach to handle market, solution, organization, and project risks, allowing them to know when to use which tools.

project management, strategic management, agile, design thinking, lean startup, business model canvas