The secret life of an innovation consultant

room44 Ltd

29th March 2019

Innovation consultants aren’t obvious in every coffee shop. We can’t be picked out by our black uniform (architects), or that slightly dishevelled and wired look (junior doctors), or even the button-down shirted, penny loafer and blue suit-wearing business type (McKinsey). We are a relatively rare breed that sits on a stool with a quizzical look. We’re what Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Graylockfame calls ‘the infinite learner’.

Question everything

In room44’s case, we have an internal mantra that sits at the heart of our brand essence –  question everything. How did you get to where you are? Why do you still do what you do? Have you seen that trend yet? How about the macro trend sitting out in the future that promises to knock your growth plan off-course, or that looks like an opportunity to latch onto?

One of the reasons our clients work with room44 is our enquiring minds – the most central tenet of which is: who is it for?

Consumer-centricity sits at the core of our being. We don’t work to deliver ‘innovation’. We work to create a strategy that delivers products and services to let your customers experience innovation: a better experience, or a more satisfying solution to their problem.

The father of disruptive innovation, Clayton Christensen, defined it as being what creates new markets by discovering new categories of customers. In our opinion, the best place to start to disrupt is from an established market position. From this position, you have everything you need to succeed and all the tools a start-up would kill for: customers, brand presence, market penetration, shelf space, relationships, track record, trust and revenue.

In the coffee shop

When we’re in the coffee shop, we watch. When we’re at the bus stop, we watch. When we’re at the checkout, we watch, and when we aren’t watching, we’re reading or listening. There’s a good reason for this. There’s as much merit in observing people going about normal business as there is in dive into the internet. In fact, they’re interrelated. Seeing the world in action and following a line of enquiry with ‘why?’ at the heart of the matter is essential to the development of new ways to meet consumer need.

This is how we learn and how we apply an objective consumer perspective to any market segment.

To learn how an innovation consultant can help your business, you can read our guide to strategic innovation. We call it the Programme for Changemakers.

Access The Programme for Changemakers here.

If you think you can spot me/us in the Silverstone Innvation Centre shared space, come and say hello.

Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.

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