How and Why Innovation Can Be Outsourced Successfully with David Holland

[Webinar Recording] How and Why Innovation Can Be Outsourced Successfully, with David Holland

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[Webinar Recording] How and Why Innovation Can Be Outsourced Successfully, with David Holland


Euan Pallister, Commercial Director at Innovolo Product Development and DesignEuan Pallister  00:04

Hello, welcome, everybody. Great to see you all! Not I can actually see you all but I can see that a few are still very much logging on now. My name is Euan Pallister. I am one of the directors here at Innovolo.  Today we are going to be covering the hot topic of why and how innovation can be outsourced. Firstly, a few introductions. We’re extremely fortunate today to have with us two very talented people in this area.

Firstly, allow me to welcome David Holland. Thank you for joining David. David is one of the most experienced business coaches in the world today. Having worked in over 30 countries published 45 books on business and personal development. David began his business coaching career in 2003. We’ll put a link in the chatbox so that you can see David’s full bio, so some of you can read in due course.

With us today, we also have Bradley Pallister who’s the operations director here at Innovolo. He is highly experienced in business development and how to get ahead of the competition, mainly by innovation. To learn more about Innovolo and who we are, we will put a link in the chatbox for more information.

During this event, we would like to make it as interactive as possible for you, we’ll be having two Q&A sessions during this event, one halfway through after David has given us some tips, and one near the end. We’re looking to open up the mics to the attendees during the second Q&A session. So please don’t be shy to unmute and speak up and note down any questions as we go along.

So without any further ado, let’s dive straight in. David, why should we, and how can we outsource innovation?

david holland headshot - Innovolo Product Development and Design - Innovation-as-a-ServiceDavid Holland  02:13

Thank you, thank you, and good to be on the call. Like yourself, I can’t see anybody apart from you guys. I’m going to share my screen and show some images and pictures, and have a quick discussion around some tips and ideas of really, why we are (me in my business and maybe for you in your business), you’re not the best people to be creative and innovative. So let me just ping my screen up. And I will then kick-off.  So yeah, I’m based over here in Luxembourg.

My name is Dave Holland. And I was saying earlier on, you know, what’s it like in Luxembourg? Well, it’s grey and damp and surrounded by the French. So where we are it’s a nice place to be! We’ve been here for about 10 years now and I work with clients all over the world. As a business coach, I call myself a co-pilot. I sit next to my clients in a variety of sectors, anything from accounting and finance, manufacturing and wholesaling all across the world. And the common theme, I think for a lot of people is that they struggle to be creative, they think they’re creative, but actually, they’re not. And there are some reasons for it. So I’d like to just go through some of the principles I find that applies to me in my business, but also to people like my clients, in their business as well. And maybe to you guys as well.

The first one is that we have a learning curve. And on this little chart here, this is how we learn things or the pace of learning. So everybody’s heard about this said that the learning curve when we’re born, we have no skills, no knowledge, no experience. And as we grow and develop, we start to get some knowledge and experience up to the age of probably, you know, 23 or 24. And then these yellow dots you can see on the screen, these represent the opportunities and the things that we can recognise because they’re within our frame of reference, we have the knowledge and experience to recognise them and be creative about them. The green dots you can see on the screen as well, they are outside of our frame of reference because we don’t have the knowledge and experience to recognise them as such. And this is why most of us can look back on life and career in business. And in hindsight, see things we should have done differently or the relationship we shouldn’t have had or the deal we shouldn’t have done, but that the benefit of hindsight. And what happens is when we try and be creative, by definition we need to expand this frame of reference and we can do it by either expanding our knowledge base looking for ideas and inspiration. And then these things here, this is where the best ideas come from outside of our frame of reference. And there are two ways we can get through it is to either use other people bring other people’s knowledge and experience in.

So this is the learning curve. And without going back, all the red dots are these things outside of our frame of reference. Those days we need to focus on bringing skills in. And another reason why we’re not really the best people to be doing the creativity, innovation is because we are programmed or conditioned to stay safe if that makes sense. And what I mean by that is, there are certain conditions that we have, that we like to feel comfortable in. And we have, at the top of this slide, we have certainty and uncertainty, we have positivity and negativity. Now, as business owners, entrepreneurs, and as humans, if you like, we want to be here, we want to have positive certainty, predict the future, we want to have understood that our plans and our guidelines are going to come to fruition, our budgets and templates, and forecasts, and we want to have that comfort, that we have positive certainty, that’s where we were happy. There were other situations we have, however, would be sort of positive uncertainty, for example. But that creates anxiety.

Now, I promised not to talk about Brexit or politics. And I’m not going to talk about politics, we look at the Brexit situation, for example, if you want Brexit to happen, then great, but there’s uncertainty right now of how we’re going to get there. And we’re going to have a trade deal, and maybe we are, maybe we’re not, and then whatever happens is going to be okay. But when we have a positive outcome, but uncertainty around it, we still have anxiety, and we tend to avoid it, we don’t like it has that stress inside us. And we may have negative uncertainty. And this could be something as a negative outcome. And it’s uncertain. And this could be, you know, if you ever had a tax audit, we had a tax audit in Luxembourg from the CSFF. And we knew we were okay. But the potential is always negative, because not sure what we’re going to find. And it’s uncertain, because it’s going on, it’s highly stressful, we don’t want to be going there. And therefore we avoid that as well.  If there’s, the fourth quadrant, if we are certain that something is going to be negative, we know it’s going to fall apart, then we avoid it anyway, we don’t want to go there.

And the challenge with innovation and creativity is this risk, we avoid risk and uncertainty because the challenge of creativity and innovation is it may go wrong, it may not work. And although we may think that we’re the best people to do it, we inherently want to be in this certain positive quadrant, and we avoid the risk. And the reason we do this is that it becomes from our ancestry. We don’t like uncertainty, we don’t like things that are unclear, we don’t write things we can’t predict. And when we’re looking at creativity and innovation, by definition, they are uncertain, they are highly creative. And the risk is that they don’t work. So although we may feel that we are good at creativity and innovation. Actually, we’re not. And this is why we need to maybe bring other people in or bring a strategy in place that allows us to be creative and removes this level of personal risk for us.  And the third aspect of creativity is we’ve got no choice, we’ve got to be creative and innovative. We’ve got to have a strategy in place to differentiate our businesses, as we’ve all done, or through 2020, given the COVID lockdown, we really have no choice.

This is a strategy matrix, which I find is useful for my businesses and for my clients. And there’s a saying out there that if you do what you’ve always done, then you’re going to get what you always got. And that doesn’t apply anymore. Because I think now if we do what we always did, we’re going to get less than we always got, because things have changed. If you think of what your business plans look like in January this year, compared to what actually happens, a lot of change, a lot of dramatic shifting going on. So we got to innovate and be creative. Because it’s a strategic choice we’ve got to make it’s a differentiation in the market. If we don’t innovate and be creative, we’re going to get less.  So we have existing products or markets, that’s just market penetration, do more with the same and I think most business people are good with that. They’re good with doing more than the same markets, where it starts to get a little bit uncomfortable for a lot of people in business is when they have a new market to go, for maybe existing products, but new markets, marketing developments. That’s slightly risky if you like. Then we have new products, then we have diversification and as you move down this chart into diversification, the risk increases because diversification can be highly risky. Therefore we tend not to do we avoid it because bluntly, we don’t know what we’re doing.

I remember when back in the day, I was a weapons engineer. I’m an engineer by training and background. And we had a project we had to do. And the job was, is back in the Falklands was on back in 1982 for those that are old enough to remember, a specific project. So I was put onto this weapons development project. And there were about eight of us on the team. With a senior leader, an engineer leading it, and we had to make this weapon, do this certain thing. There was an old boy walking around the workshop, and he’s sweeping up, he is nearly retired. And he said to the lead engineer, he said, “I can fix this for you. We did this, I know how to do it. We’ve done it before. I was in the military. I know how to do this”. And of course, what happened was the lead engineer said, “No, no, we’re that we’re the experts. We’re good with this. And we’ll fix it”. Of course, they didn’t fix it! The idea he had, that took him three or four months to figure out, he knew how to fix it. And what it was the engineer was so controlling, of not taking a risk of doing something new and creative, he couldn’t fix the problem. And this is a challenge for lots of people in business, that this diversification, innovation, creativity, it’s high risk. And because we tend to avoid risk, we’re programmed to do it, we tend not to be the best people to do it. So this is why a lot of people in business are they think they’re creative and innovative. But actually, they’re not.  So how do we overcome it?

I spent some time over in California, with an organization called UBT, this is two-three years ago now. And we were interviewing and working with lots of creative startups, and looking at how did they do it? How did they do this in Silicon Valley? And we were interviewing all sorts of different people, Airbnb, we were looking at Uber, and these sort of things. You look at these highly creative, highly innovative businesses, all started by people from outside the industry. And the key thing that came along was that a lot of organizations, they do what they call, spin it out, they get a creative team. They hire some engineers, some technicians, some kids in the back bedroom, they say, “look, you guys take the risk you go where you be creative, be innovative, come to us with some ideas that we would never think of, and will then assess them and will then introduce them into the business”, and some examples of this for you.

So the big guys that did, Lockheed Martin, you may have heard of these guys big weapons manufacturer in the US, they have a thing called Skunk Works. And they develop and design amazing incredible weapon systems and some of the things that they’ve designed developed; The C shadow, (the boat, the ship) the USS C shadow, and of course the Blackbird SL71, Spy Plane.  These weapons, these articles were not being designed by a traditional you know ship designer, these are crazy designs that only had to be created by very unusual people outside of the baseline organization. So spinning it out, getting creative people who don’t know your business, 100% maybe, but are good at creativity to come to you with ideas and innovations. We lived in the US. We lived over in Las Vegas for a while. And we were just south of the Nellis Air Force Base, Area 51. And we will see some very strange aircraft flying around there because Area 51, not going to get around the conspiracy routes, but they do a lot of development there. And they test, it’s all done off-site from the normal military. And this is how they create these amazing designs by spinning it out. They get a creative team. They fund the creative team, they put them in a shed at the bottom of the garden, go and do your creativity, and then come to us with the ideas. They don’t bog them down with all the day to day aspects of the business. That’s how Lockheed Martin does it.

LEGO does it as well. This is a website you can go and check out, an interesting one about how Lego became creative. And what they do here, this is LEGO Ideas and website. And you can, anybody can go on there. And you can use the LEGO toolkit to create ideas or products or innovations. And what you do you create your idea using the LEGO toolkits. And if it gets votes or supporters, you can see some on here, there’s one, there’s a Wallace and Gromit one, there’s a GMC truck, if they get 10,000 supporters on the website, then  Lego will take that product and do a market analysis and all being well, take it to market. So in Lego, they know they’re not the best people to be creative themselves. They spin it out if you like by using their clients and their customers to be creative for them. If the product is taken to market, they share some income with their people as well, with their clients as well. But they’re using their clients to be creative through their website as well. Very, very clever. Another way of spinning it out to get your creative ideas.

Another fabulous one of my favourite stories in creativity and innovation is this one. This is a product you may recognise, it’s Shreddies, the well-known breakfast cereal, little squares of shredded wheat, and they’re in the UK I think Canada, and over in New Zealand, Australia as well. In Canada, so the story goes, they were losing market share. And they had to get they were being beaten by the new innovative, creative cereals coming into the market. Now they got the marketing team together and said, “Okay guys, how do we fix this? How do we create a different product with Shreddies?” And the marketing team came up with all the sort of things that they were trained to do because they’re thinking like marketing people. And they said, “well, let’s add chocolate to it, let’s rebrand it. Let’s put toys in the box. Let’s do all the standard sort of things that marketing people do.” But they were thinking closed. They’re thinking within this frame of reference that they had. And so the CEO over there, this is in Canada, took a very brave, or the marketing team took a very brave decision. They say we’re not going to listen to our internal marketing team. Because they think in a blinkered way, they just do, they don’t mean to they just think in a blinkered way, and they actually hired an out of work comedian to come into the business, they said, “Look, you know nothing about marketing, or innovation or creativity, or the market or anything like that. But just give us your thoughts. Give us your ideas.” They spun it out to a comedian, and they said, “What do we do? How do we get this back on track?” And this comedian came up, and you can google this as well, you can Google it, he came up with a couple of ideas. And what he said was, “well we’re going to have Shreddies, we’re going to have another product, and we’re going to have diamond Shreddies, and there’s a TV advert being produced. And of course, the diamond Shreddies is just the Square Shreddies, turned through 45 degrees. Now, logically, this is ridiculous. It’s just the same product that was square Shreddies on a Monday, now it’s diamond Shreddies on a Tuesday. And people think, Canadians are bright people, they got it, they get it? Well, what happened was, it made such a splash in the markets, they had a pressure group formed to bring back traditional Shreddies, they don’t want to lose traditional Shreddies.

Remember the coke when they reengineered Coke, Coca-Cola. So they had diamond Shreddies out in the market. And people they saw through it. And then they had to bring back in traditional Shreddies. But then what happened was they got huge visibility, market share started to increase it did a great job with it. And the next year, they came back and said to the same guy, “okay, this is very, very cool. What can you do next? How can you innovate and be creative for us again, can you do the same thing?” And I think the idea that he had next was even better than his first idea. So the products he created, if you like or innovated was we had original Shreddies was the first one round, we had diamond Shreddies, and then we had the combo pack. So now you’ve got three products, and you’ve got the square Shreddies, you got diamond Shreddies, and you’ve got a combo pack in which you have square and diamond. It’s the same product! Now the marketing people within the organisation would never have thought of that because it’s crazy. It’s crazy. It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t compute their understanding of the market, their understanding of the product range.

I’m not recommending that anybody goes and just develops the Shreddies but the principle is, sometimes the best ideas that you’re going to get are going to come from outside of your frame of reference outside of your boardroom, outside of your team. And if you’ve got to innovate and be creative to maintain that diversification and differentiation in the market, sometimes you’ve got to bring people in who on the face of it aren’t experts in your business, but experts in creativity and innovation. So this is why the spinning out type approach, I find works. Yes, of course, you can be creative with your own business. But there is really a place for bringing outside talent in who look at have a different perspective, a different view. And they come up with what may seem to be slightly crazy ideas. We call it innovation, but you won’t get it from inside the organisation because we’re taught to think in straight lines, we’re risk-averse. And we don’t have this external perspective.

So there are some tips and ideas around creativity, innovation, why we in our own companies may not be the best people to do it.  And in some very quick summary, we all have limiting beliefs and mindsets around our ability to generate new ideas. We do tend to avoid risk and creativity; innovation is risky because it may go wrong. We, innovation is critical to us because it’s differentiation, we have no choice. If we always do what we always did, we’re going to get less so we have to do these things. And spinning it out is one of the best ways of doing it because it brings a different perspective. And the best ideas may just come from the people outside of the boardroom or design team. So that completes my time. My apologies for not having the slides shared for the first few seconds. I’ll stop sharing my screen now. That’s okay. And I’m open to answering any questions anybody’s got. I think we’re working on text at the moment but any questions that I can answer please let me know

Euan Pallister  20:00

Dave, that’s absolutely fantastic, really awesome. I just love that the combo pack has really got me, genius.

David Holland  20:09

It’s just genius. And I think that people in their market that would never have thought that, there’s work of genius!

Euan Pallister  20:15

Thinking outside the box, it’s bringing in the naive creative, it’s someone that comes in that’s not in, you know, not in the typical workspace someone that thinks completely off route if you like, and it’s amazing what can come in. So really, really good points there, really appreciated.

And so, we’ll crack on with some Q&A, there have been some really, really good questions come in, actually. And so I’ll fire them both it yourself. And  Bradley, probably. There are various bits and pieces coming in here. So perhaps… I’m just trying to put them in… Okay, probably one of the first ones. One of the questions that have come in; “Could you recommend some decent talking points with new clients and ways to convince them that outsourcing is a viable option for them to grow?” That might be one for you actually, Bradley. So it’s a way to convince the client that outsourcing is a viable option for them to grow? What would you say on that Bradley?

Bradley Pallister

Thanks, I’m just trying to try to understand that question fully. So are we talking about the end consumer when we say about the client? Is there any more detail on that question?

Euan Pallister  21:45

No, there isn’t. I’ll tell you what, what we’ll do is we’ll move that one, maybe to this afternoon. And if the person who asked the question is free to speak up, I think it’ll be good. And we can clarify some of the points around that question. Is that okay?

Bradley Pallister  21:57

That’d be good.

Euan Pallister  21:58

Yeah. Excellent. Another question that’s come in is, “how do you avoid risking confidentiality, if you spin it out?” What would you say to that David?

David Holland  22:10

Contractually for a start, I think that you have to tie it because it’s basically my understanding, (I’m not a lawyer), but my understanding is you want to control your IP, your intellectual property. If somebody has an idea, and they’re working on your dollar, what do you want to make sure you control that? Even if you choose not to take it to market, you still own the idea that whatever it is, and they can’t take it anywhere else? So yes, contractually is the way to do it I would have thought there. But tie that up first. And make sure before the cats out of the bag, and the great idea goes, do the contract first and then they have the ideas, not the other way around.

Bradley Pallister  22:47

100%. I mean, you’ll be under a legal contract, if you decide to outsource your innovation. And at the end of the day, put this way, you’re completely within your rights to, you know, take us to the cleaners if we do share your secret with anyone outside of the project team.

David Holland  23:10

I think just My guess, just my observation,  from your point of view, you’re only ever going to do that once, you’re never going, to because you’d be out of business after that, because it’s a trust business, isn’t it? So there’s a trust there. They obviously have a contract, but it’s not in your interest to start doing that.

Bradley Pallister  23:27

NDA’s are at the core of everything we do. You know, you answered it. There you go!

Euan Pallister  23:37

It’s a great question, especially in today’s social media. And you know, something can slip very, very quickly and very easily. Choosing the company, the right company to work with, make sure that they’re, you know, they’re a company that is well-reputed of, you know. Just be careful, who you choose and make sure that they’ve got a good practice whereby they sandbox, your project, they sandbox you as a customer, and nothing gets leaked in various directions. And they’ve got a really good way of doing that. I think that’s probably quite a key, a key area there to look at.

There is the other side to it is that the faster you do it, the faster you get it out there, the faster you can move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, next thing, so don’t worry too much about protecting it. Confidentiality, absolutely. But once it’s out there, get on to the next thing

Bradley Pallister  24:29

You use that money to market it instead.

Euan Pallister  24:31

Exactly. Yes. We’ve got another question here. What main benefits can outsourcing bring to my company? Who would like to answer that one?

Bradley Pallister  24:40

I can think of four straight away. So if you’re a, I’m assuming if you’re thinking about innovation, you’re going to be an ambitious organisation anyway. With that in mind, you may be looking to get investors. So for new companies or ambitious companies looking for partners and investors, outsourcing their development to, an innovation-as-a-service provider such as us will help those potential investors understand that, that company owner is maintaining the business well. He’s, you know, looking after the interests of the shareholders in the best way. There are cost savings to consider. Introduction of increased flexibility. So, particularly with smaller businesses, I guess, where the business owner needs to be occupied with the every day, day to day supporting the business companies outsource that innovation work means that they can focus exactly what they know best, what they do best. And they’ve got that extra flexibility, as well as, and this is my last point is that they’ve got access to specialist skills. Skills, if they had, if they hired them internally, it would cost them a heck of a lot. So that was my four. David, you probably have a couple more.

David Holland  26:23

I think the number, just for me, is my experience of the work that I do and I see. I think everybody in business is extremely busy. Time is a big issue. And I think innovation, creativity doesn’t shout loud enough in the business. And so what happens is the day to day takes over, and that bright idea they may have had or they thought about doing never gets brought to market. And so it bypasses that as an excuse. And also, it makes it into a strategy, not an afterthought. Because if you assume that innovation is going to be something you do, while you drive to work in the morning or while you’re in the shower or something. That’s not a strategy – that’s just hope. So is building a strategic platform around innovation, creativity, in a business, it takes away from the business owners and their teams. They busy anyway, but it has it so it’s a consistent strategic choice, rather than just something you hope that turns up in a bit of free time.

Bradley Pallister  27:17

Yes, no, I totally agree with that, having this kind of strategic approach rather than the tactical one. Is the order of the day, I think.

Euan Pallister  27:28

That actually answers a question that came in here, “would outsourcing be a distraction, or help us focus more on our core business. Answer is absolutely, it gives you focus, you can put numbers to it, you can control it,  there’s no, you know, you can get on with what you’re good at in your business. It’s definitely a and

Bradley Pallister  27:49

Yes, that’s great. And just to add to that, let’s take a sector like the legal profession or some other professional services sector. Now, if you look at that sector, you’ve got high employment, you know, the wages are high. So every dollar counts every hour counts. That kind of sector has a particular reason to embrace the outsourcing of innovation because the high central value of that employee’s time. So an hour spent on internal processes now lost to, I guess, revenue generation activities, if you like.

Euan Pallister  28:39

That’s great. We’ve got another question coming in here. It’s probably the last one for now until we move on to the second Q&A. How do you ensure that the company retains ownership of the project while outsourcing innovation?

David Holland  28:54

Well, I think the ownership of the project I think we’re back to contractual obligations for a start that the ownership, if you like, there, but I think it would be that there would be a plan, defined project plan with timelines, updates, and visibility, I think but almost by definition, if it’s, I use the word spun out, to be spun out, it’s under more control because it’s highly visible. there’s a track down which people are going to go updates and milestones and checkpoints. So I think he will give you more control rather than giving it to, you know, Bob, in accounts and tell Bob to go and be creative on a Friday afternoon, you’ve got no chance. So I think he puts more restructuring a framework around it. And then Bob can go and do accounting which he’s really good at.

Euan Pallister  29:43

Got any comments on that, Bradley, before we move on?

Bradley Pallister  29:44

No, he’s rounded it off well.

Euan Pallister  29:51

Cool, we’ve got loads more coming in. So we’ll have to leave them to in a minute. And so we’re going to move on now Bradley if you want to just kick off with some more pieces you would like to give us.

Bradley Pallister, Operations Director and Ideas Man at Innovolo Product Development and Design, Big IFBradley Pallister  30:02

Great, so hopefully won’t be too long, spare the audience. So most of you I guess would recognise this guy, Peter Drucker. And his famous saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Now, this kind of saying has held firm since he first said it. And I think it’s important to understand that he’s not meaning to dismiss the importance of strategy. But he’s more implying that a powerful and empowering company culture is a vital route to business success. Now, if you just think about the last few months, it’s incredible to see the innovation that has happened since the beginning of the year, and it’s continuing to push the limits of companies all around the world and keeping up with the pace of that innovation and the pace of change in our organisations has actually become a skill of its own. Innovation can be a catalyst for growth, but it can also be a risky expense that makes business leaders reluctant to initiate ideas. And I think this kind of answers one of the questions that came in, but we didn’t get around to answer, you know, there is a risk, and it does make business leaders reluctant to initiate that innovation programme and, you know, introducing new ideas, and potentially moving into new markets and sectors and so on.  So, what leaders are kind of asking themselves are, you know, how can innovators push forward new technologies? How can we, how can our teams push forward? These new ideas, new strategies and embed innovation into the culture, the very culture of businesses that are struggling to adapt, to change around them?  And I guess my second point is how can innovation be really built into strategies for the long, short, and medium-term. And just bearing in mind that some some technology is not even available yet. So right now, we need to, I’m struggling to find the right words here, but today, we find ourselves in an environment that is hyper-competitive, I don’t think we’ve seen for a very long time, a business environment is quite as competitive as it is right today. And for businesses that need to survive, they’ve got to respond to technology, you know, the technologies that are changing market trends, new competition. But more than that, we need to understand that innovation can help you make the most of what you already have in your business, right within reach.

Now, innovation is a word, and we spoke about this in a previous webinar, but you could define innovation in so many different ways. But the fact is, it’s a trending word, everyone knows about it, they, the more ambitious organisations want to do it. But how many companies succeed in embedding innovation into the very DNA of their culture. I mean, over the past, you know, as I say, during a lockdown, we’ve seen a lot of companies innovating and really pushing ahead very, very fast. But to actually create that culture of innovation so that innovation becomes part of your day-to-day. That is where organisations really are taken to the next level, when it actually becomes kind of your modus operandi if you like.

So what we want to do is to help companies to innovate and to really move ahead, and I don’t want to spend too long on this, but we’ve, just wanted to make a little announcement that we’ve been, Innovolo have been awarded a two-phase programme by the UKRDF to roll out the innovation, maturity certification. And basically what it is, is to help clients or help any businesses SMEs within the UK to grow in their innovation maturity. So basically, what this does is there’s two phases, as I said. So phase one is basically where we would, you would put in a short application, and we’ll share the link for that. And bear in mind, this is all free of charge, you send in a short application, and probably take you eight, maybe 10 minutes to fill out. A quick assessment of where you are today, we’ll then look at doing a full innovation culture audit. And that will involve a number of workshops and that sort of thing. Maybe some surveys with  your staff, and so on, what that’ll do is give you a benchmark, and tell you exactly, tell business leaders exactly where they are, in their innovation, culture maturity, which is basically five different levels. Obviously zero if you like being not doing it! So that’s the first part. And  we can then send you a report showing you exactly whereabouts you are against other companies across the UK.  And then the second part of this, phase two, is that pleased to announce that we’ve been, we’ve got there’s a pot of £120,000  worth of innovation, and service available free of charge for illegible companies. So basically, the first part you need to do is obviously go through the audit to start with, and then the second part, assuming that you’re eligible to receive this, we can then start rolling out and actually, you know, getting some of these innovation initiatives instigated in your company.  So why might you use this certification start? So a lot of clients or potential prospective clients that we’ve come across, they don’t know, you know, they understand the need to innovate, they want to innovate, they want to get ahead, they don’t want to be the ones that stay there or fall behind. But they don’t know where to start. This will tell you exactly the next steps to how to get on that journey. You might want to do this, where you started, but you need to keep up the pace and actually start getting the ball rolling a lot faster. And as I say, trying to really build up that culture where you know, your staff from the CEO down to the guy that cleans out the toilets, is innovating, creating new opportunities for growth and development of your company. The fuzzy front end, this is where you’ve got clients, or you might have a team, they’re very, very creative. But and they come in with ideas left, right, and centre, there’s no end to ideas. But which ones do you prioritise? And which ones are actually going to be commercially beneficial to your company? Well, this will kind of, don’t know how to explain it really, but it really helps to clarify which ones you’re going to get your ROI from. And obviously, your corporate culture will give you a toolset of different processes, different tools, and methodologies. You can go away and actually use this ongoing. So how’s it delivered? So we’ll work with you with a tailored set of tools and processes suited to your company. And that’s across different silos within your company. So it could be a sales team, it could be an operations team, it could be warehousing, it could be, your finance team, depending on what, what is needed. And as clarified by the audit. So, obviously, the first step will assess your innovation maturity, will then start to lay a bit of a foundation for the culture of innovation, we’ll design processes to actually start this whole movement forward. And the last point, we’ll actually set fire to the programme. And I think Euan, we’ve had some great you know, this wasn’t really on the script but I love my job! The ideas that come into, you know, that we come in touch with is incredible. And once, we’ve done this a bit with a number of clients recently, and it’s incredible to see how many ideas and how many new opportunities the clients have actually got right within their grasp. They’ve got within their own team. But they’re blinkered, they cannot get them out. And they don’t, do you know, I mean, Euan? We’ve had a few of examples of that recently.

Euan Pallister  41:41

Absolutely, totally, I know where you’re coming from. It’s so amazing to sit down with a  team, we did it with a company just last week or so. And we had 15 or so of the team on the call. And it’s incredible when we start that this kind of well, we’ve thought of everything we’ve been in business for 50 years. We know what our markets doing, we know everything. And then within an hour or so you’ve got 38-40 different products and service ideas on the table that have never been dreamt up before. It’s incredible. Fantastic.

Bradley Pallister  42:25

So yes, obviously Operation Innovation Kickstart, that’s phase two. And that’s basically where we will be able to offer eligible companies, a package of services free of charge to get them started on their innovation journey. So basically, so we’ll be sharing more information on this in the follow-up email. Don’t miss it! It’s all free of charge. It’s all been funded already. So no problems there. All you need to do is just fill out the form as a probably take 8- 10 minutes. And you’ll be in line to take a slice of that £120,000. So that’s it for me, I think Euan!

Euan Pallister  43:19

All right. Thanks, Brad. And Thanks, David. I think it’s been really good, so far. We do have quite a number of other questions that come in while you’ve been talking Bradley. And I’m hoping that some will have the guts and feel free to speak up if they have any further questions. But perhaps while people are gathering that together, we just got a couple we could cover off. Anyone who does have any questions, raise your hand or unmute if you can, and feel free to speak up. It was that someone tried to chip in just then?

Bradley Pallister  43:53

I think it was me moving my chair actually.

Euan Pallister  43:56

Ok! Good. Right, we’ve got one here. With the mindset being everything, which I agree, how do we help business owners to make the shift to being open to bring in outside support? It’s a really, really good question.

David Holland  44:15

It’s a big one isn’t I think I’ll jump in, I think I find this a lot. Whether it’s innovation, creativity, whether it’s bringing in a trainer or a coach or an accountant bringing outside people in, I think it’s really a case of explaining to them or demonstrating to them the benefits that they don’t know it all. And this is something that I find doing what I do, there were times I get told that you know, “my business is special and unique. That won’t work in my business. My business, I’ve been there for 50 years. What can you teach me about my business?” And it’s a real mindset shift to get people through. I think the way through it is evidence. I think it’s to challenge those beliefs. It’s to ask them the right questions and show them some examples because, you know, I actually use the diamond Shreddies story to explain to people, this is how creativity works. This is what it means. This is how crazy ideas can come in. So I think it’s it’s evidence, I think it’s challenging them in a positive way. and showing them that there are some examples of how it can actually work and get them to maybe, sounds very harsh, but you know, drop the ego a little bit as well. We have got to be open to ideas and allow other people to think of better ideas than we have as business owners allow other people in as well. So I think it’s a bit of education to great examples. And I sense some good questions as well, I think.

Bradley Pallister  45:42

Yeah,  that’s absolutely true. And feel free to boost the ego back up again, once you’ve proved that making that decision has been the right one.

Euan Pallister  45:55

Yes, and what you speak of there with the Shreddies is, what we call maybe a marketing innovation, you got product innovation, you got marketing, you’ve got service, there are various areas of innovation, you’re doing your business, and to actually sit around with a team and come up with that those ideas, it can be a very liberating experience for the business owner. And remember the question here we see innovation in several types, just what I’ve been saying, such as business model, customer experience, and so on. So what type of innovation can be outsourced, while individuals and third parties have really got an incomplete picture of the entire organisation?

Bradley Pallister  46:37

This great question, go on David.

David Holland  46:41

I was just getting, just very quickly. I think the fact that people outside the organisation don’t have a complete picture is a strength because they don’t hear all the same excuses, they don’t have the same baggage, the same history, and the same principles. The same blinkers on. But what it means is that some of the ideas that external people will have will be ridiculous, just can’t work. But one in two, one in three, the nuggets are going to be there not having an interesting specialization or complete picture, I think is actually a strength, which is a bit sort of paradoxical, I think. But I would say that’s a key strength actually.

Bradley Pallister  47:23

Yes, I 100% agree with that. Because if you did have a complete view, and a picture of the entire organisation, as the question was posed, you will discard ideas before they’ve had time to bear fruit. Absolutely.

Euan Pallister  47:42

But that’s it. That’s absolutely it Bradley. Sometimes we go through these ideation sessions and the workshops. Some of the ideas that get put on the table are so crazy, that almost get discarded on the spot. Actually, they can be reformed, they can be twisted and changed, built on. And suddenly, before you know it, you have a completely groundbreaking idea. And we have one on another session not too long ago that came forward in that way. And that has been prioritised to number one of all the ideas that came out and actually started off as a crazy idea.

David Holland  48:22

I would have loved to have been in the meeting at the Tesla when somebody said, “what we’ll do a launch a rocket, and then we’ll make it land itself vertically backward on the same landing spot.” And that’s just that’s ridiculous. It’s just incredible. It’s an insane idea. And yet, but that’s how it goes. But knowing too much about everything means that idea would not have got anywhere, don’t think.

Euan Pallister  48:48

No, you are right, very good. We’ve got another question here regards the UKRDF. Bradley, this is probably one for you. Since it’s quite a new arrangement that’s just been set up with Innovolo and we’re very fortunate to be selected as the partner to deliver it. And the question is, can I apply for UKRDF if I’m outside of the UK?

Bradley Pallister  49:19

Good question. I don’t know. And I will clarify that. I will clarify that in an email as a follow-up.

Euan Pallister  49:39

No, I was just gonna say that the UKRDF obviously has been set up. I think particularly and is being used as a vehicle almost to push innovation in the UK post-Brexit. You know, we’re just about to go into a very uncertain time in the UK. And it’s a really a vehicle to really boost Innovation in the UK. That said if there’s a  not somewhere else in the globe that wants to take advantage of if, there’s a direct benefit to a company or to employment innovation sector in the UK, then it could well be regarded and actually, in a positive way. So don’t you know, it’s definitely still worth applying even if you’re not in the UK, that there may be, there may be a case for it. And then there’s someone just asking, Where do we find the form to apply for the UKRDF? And that will be posted on the link in due course. And you will be responded to directly. Is there anyone that would like to unmute and ask any questions live? Think we have someone with a raised hand, perhaps he could be unmuted.

Guest Speaker 1 from Audience  51:06

Hello, if we’ve got the theme of today’s webinar, is why and how innovation can be outsourced, how would that particularly work in relation to innovation and ideas that are actually outside the remit of my normal day to day business?

David Holland  51:29

Is that outside your core business, this is about the diversification approach, is it?

Guest Speaker 1 from Audience  51:36

Totally outside of the business. So it’s not related to any of the customer base market base or product range. But it’s something totally out and I wonder how this was talked about today affects it?

Bradley Pallister  51:49

Okay, so this would be a personal project rather than the company project would it, or?

Guest Speaker 1 from Audience  51:55

That’s right. Yes

Bradley Pallister  51:58

Well, I’m assuming that you would be trying to focus on your core business. And obviously, this will, you know, outsourcing it will enable you to do that, and not get distracted from what you’re good at, what you do best? And what do you think Euan? Have you got any points on that?

Euan Pallister  52:22

No, not particularly. Only that if I was a business owner, that was looking at potentially diversifying with a completely different business model completely outside of your core business completely separate, you’re looking at setting up a new business, and you’re looking at developing a product to kind of launch that base of the business on, then one of the first things you need to do is do your homework, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got your market research done. And you’ve got to know where you’re going with it. And that, once you’ve got that market research,  my recommendation would be that you crack on and get an ideation session done, whether that’s just with you and your colleagues, or whether it’s with an external team, get an ideation session done around the market research around the kind of core concepts that you’ve already thought about. And very quickly, you could come up with a kind of prospective business that could really launch well. And that said, there’s still obviously a lot of work to be done around even once you launch the product, or developed the product. But absolutely, outsourcing in that regard is still very, very much relevant.

David Holland  53:35

I think that there’s a reason why 80% of startups don’t make it. And sometimes, it’s not a great idea for a start. And it’s probably to avoid that, I think it fits, I would assume it fits, absolutely. It’s probably quite a broad remit, but I think it fits better, rather than think about it yourself. You’re brilliant, as business owners can be to have an external team doing it and all the areas that will probably increase the potential for success anyway, I think.

Euan Pallister  54:08

Yeah, that’s excellent. Excellent. Has that answered your question, Bill?

Guest Speaker 1 from Audience  54:13

Yes. Great, thank you.

Euan Pallister  54:14

Thanks. Anyone else likes to unmute, feel free to raise your hand or request it? If not, we have one other question that has been asked that we could ask now, before we move on. The question just popped in, and we’re a relatively small company, is it worth us outsourcing our innovation?

David Holland  54:41

Yes. It’s probably more critical because if you’re only a small company, you haven’t got that many people with the ideas. I bet you’re really busy as well. Running the day to day so I guess even more critical to bring external perspectives in order for that’s just my two pence worth.

Bradley Pallister  55:05

Yes, look at it from a negative point of view, what happens if you don’t?

David Holland  55:09

That’s right.

Bradley Pallister  55:11

You know, you’re a small company. So your input in the day to day operation of that business is crucial. So I guess you kind of got this choice to make A. not to be distracted by these new shiny ideas, which deep down, you know, will help you grow. And to kind of focus on what you’re doing, and then B. the point that that guy, what’s his name? Tony Robbins always says, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”. So what’s the compromise? Outsource your innovation and survive?

Euan Pallister  55:50

Great answer. Yes, there has been another one that was wanted to be answered live just before we finish, we’ve only got about a minute left to go. So someone just asked about coming up with new innovative ideas for completely new businesses based on demand. And I think, we may have answered that in the last question. Bill asked about, you know, think you have an idea or developing a product completely outside of your core business. So unless there are any further questions around that one, feel free to reach out directly following this webinar. And we would be glad to answer. One last chance for anyone to unmute before we wrap this event up.

David Holland  56:42

No pressure, look, no pressure.

Bradley Pallister  56:45

Just want to add a couple of points on what you were saying there Euan about, you know, going into new markets and that sort of thing. If you’re in a particular industry vertical, you’re kind of, this is what you do. So you’re in construction, whatever. By outsourcing your innovation, your vision is not just narrowed to that particular industry vertical. And our innovation as a service will basically give you exposure to a lot of adjacent markets and sectors that you’re not currently in. And this is something that Duncan Wardle, the ex innovation guy at Disney, and who coined the term naive experts. And we’re quite often known as that here at Innovolo, it’s because we ask those silly questions that always overlooked internally. But it’s those questions are actually critical to your growth.

Euan Pallister  57:53

That’s excellent. Well, we probably ought to move on, we’re a minute over. So time kind of flies when you are having fun. And we’ve got some really good questions coming in. But it is definitely time to wrap up the event now. And as mentioned in the chatbox, any questions that are not being answered live on why have I overlooked a few and apologies for if I have, and we will get in touch following the event to answer you personally on that. And obviously, we will be posting some of this on social media. So thank you very much, David, firstly, and Brad very much for the insight, and trust has been some really valuable key takeaways for everyone today. We do appreciate your feedback, we really do. And it will help form future events. So please be sure to fill in the survey when we close. And as was mentioned at the beginning, if you’ve got any further questions or you’d like to explore outsourcing product development in your business, and just have a look at it, you know, look at the costs, explore it, see where it says please reach out and we’ll be very willing to assist you. Trust everyone has a very relaxing break over the new year. And we look forward to starting January with bounce and enthusiasm and energy.

Bradley Pallister  59:10

Happy Days. Thank you very much.

David Holland  59:12

Thanks, guys. Thank you.

The Easy Guide to Outsourcing New Product Development

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