13th July 2017

Digital Dinner series: Fostering innovation at enterprise scale

Simon Wakeman
Managing Director

As a leading digital agency that specialises in high profile, high stakes digital transformation we’re committed to sharing our knowledge and experience of delivering complex business change.

One of the ways we do this is through our series of monthly invite-only dinners. We invite a select group of senior digital practitioners to get together and discuss a topic of mutual interest. This month we were focussing on driving innovation in large companies and organisations. Our guests included digital leaders from the retail, finance, utilities, mobile, healthcare and publishing sectors. 

Our special guest for the evening was international innovation consultant Dr Tendayi Viki – author of The Corporate Startup. Tendayi also works closely with our in-house product innovation lab here at Deeson, where we’re focussing on applied artificial intelligence, chatbots and conversational interfaces.

Having worked with the likes of American Express, Pearson, World Bank, and the British Museum, Tendayi shared his experiences of the challenges established organisations face in building successful innovation ecosystems, and how organisations can overcome these hurdles. 

Tendayi Viki speaking

Tendayi Viki. Photo Credit: Intrapreneurship Conference

A theme that emerged strongly from discussions around the dinner table was about where to start when trying to introduce an innovation-led approach into an organisation that has long-established management processes and practices.

There’s an inevitable tension between established companies focussing on executing a business model that’s known and understood, and the need for those companies to act like start-ups in searching for a new sustainable business model for the future. Steve Blank talks about this as the relationship between searching and executing.

The most innovative established companies are those that are able to become ambidextrous – they can be excellent at both searching and executing at the same time. Tendayi’s book explains how executives can make this happen by viewing itself as an innovation ecosystem with different products, services and business models co-existing together.

In our experience working with clients to help them develop innovative digital products and services, we’ve learnt that there are plenty of opportunities to apply techniques from the start-up world in a way that’s compatible with the way larger companies need to be led. 

Our strategic consultancy work places practices such as build-measure-learn, lean canvas creation and customer development alongside more traditional design thinking and user experience activities. We combine this consultancy with rapid delivery of prototyped digital projects and services to help drive forward innovation where in-house delivery has struggled.

Our intensive Blueprint Workshop can help you identify your project requirements, backed up with strategic, technological, and UX insight.