The Institute was designed around the idea of shared thinking. We invite teams to our downtown offices to collaborate and experiment with us, with the goal always being to deliver authentic results.
The beacon guiding our work is an innovation process we developed through a mash-up of several models and practices supporting organizational improvement, called the IDEA Method. This method enables us to gain deep insights into challenges faced in organizations, build new processes, products and ideas, inspire culture and team and ultimately solve problems and act on solutions. At any one moment, there are several projects underway at the Institute involving experts, partners, stakeholders and users.
Incubate, Design, Experience, Act – it’s our platform for innovation. The core idea is that by deeply understanding customer [user] needs and the ‘root cause’ of major issues and problems, opportunities for innovation will emerge. These ideas can be further cultivated through rapid prototypes and iterative design. With IDEA, the user is always in the middle of the story.
The Incubate stage starts with a deep dive into issues of performance, culture or new directions in order to frame a design challenge and determine an initial direction. Human values are at the heart of our collaborative approach. We start in the field to uncover real human needs and perspectives to be addressed. Our collaboration methods will vary by project, sometimes hosting large meetings and “ideation” sessions, other times, smaller gatherings. We also may engage in the workplace environment one-on-one or small groups to get the best understanding of critical issues through the lens of users, leaders and the organization as a whole. This process allows teams to begin the process to re-imagine solutions in new and different ways serving as the foundation for initial design and testing of new processes or products for the organization.
In the Design stage, we take the results from ideation and field discussions along with collaborative ideas, theories, concepts and values to build out prototypes into the “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP). These MVP prototypes are then used in early field tests with intended users, as we begin refining toward a solution. This process taken from lean manufacturing allows for early testing with minimal investment in any new product development. It is a great way to prove a concept as the right or wrong direction toward solution building.
In the Experience stage, we implement the refined and expanded prototype into a working field environment - determining what is working well, what is not and what is ready for further build out. We monitor results, make refinements and test again. We run through as many cycles as possible as the prototype is refined.
We are now ready to implement re-imagined ideas and tested solutions throughout the organization. We collaborate through implementation, monitoring any issues along the way and continue to enhance, tweak and fine-tune the outcome for success.
Whatever your challenge, no matter how messy or complex, we will work with you to find and implement systems-level solutions.