This post explains it nicely, specially two basic things: first our job is to remind companies that they were innovators at their very beginning and that they have to do it again, only now with more resources and experience!; and second that as consultants, we are storytellers, we share the successes and failures of other firms in order to encourage our clients to take risks, to be more innovative!
Alright!!, so one of my greatest goals in life is to become a full experienced and well-known Innovation Consultant, for that matter I’m preparing all the gears needed to make it happen! =D
But okay, let’s keep the focus on the matter on hand, what really is an innovation consultant?, I ask, because I dont want to conform of what I learnt so far, also I want to share with other wannabe-consultants so we can all improve together =D. I mean, knowing less than nothing can make you a Pro?
So here are some research results:
- If you type on Google “Innovation Consultant” you get over 74,600,000 results!!
- There are hundreds of innovation consulting firms here is a list of some of them
- Another great article, The Change Challenge for Innovation Consultants
- And of course an article called Innovation Consulting
What should a Innovation consultant should know?
Become an Storyteller!
Like I mentioned before, our job is to encourage companies of the great things that they can achieve as well as share the learning tips of failure endeavors. For instance, telling the history of Apple, but in a way that most of the people dont see it, that they success of this company lies not only on the outstanding products but also in the ecosystem: iphone, ipod, ipad, mac book pro, all connected by itunes, and now by icloud!, a big locking ecosystems that enables able to make more money, without this business move, they wouldnt make money as they do now!
Stories like this, in which the company can realize that they dont have to focus only in the development of products and services, but also in the strategy, in the business model innovation, in the big picture!.
He has to know about innovation processes: to figure out which one is the best for every particular company, whether is Design Thinking or Outcome Driven Innovation, even more to when and how articulate a stage-gate framework. This is key as the basic chosen process ensure in certain level the flow and execution of ideas into functional prototypes. In addition to this it is important to add conferences, workshops, coworkers training exercises, etc.
Invincible Iron Man #527
With process the consultant transform the company from within, opening their eyes of things that they could do all long, rising intrapreneurs, challening projects and the exitement of doing something new.
The business model Innovation
According to a survey of IBM in 2006, the business model innovation outperform the innovation in operative processes and the innovation in products!, this is a major major factor that a consultant should definitely know! Our job is also to help companies to re-design their business models, to dare to innovate by changing significant points in they way that they make money.
Did you know that you can actually prototype business models?
Did you know that small changes means significantive incremental innovations?
Did you know that business model innovation leads to flexibility and sustainable competitive advantage?
Intellectual Property Strategy
IP is more than just patents! and it is more than just protect your ideas from competitors to copy. IP is actually an strategy of how your company can maximize and leverage the outcomes of their product development. Our job as Innovation Consultants is to help to build an IP Strategy that involves formal methods such as trademarks, domain names, registration of design, patents, etc, and informal methods (my favorites!) lead times, complexity of design, trade secret, etc.
Depending of the company and the product, the IP strategy helps to save money or to make more money in a sustainable way!
Personal Complementary Assets
Of course there are more of what an Innovation Consultant is, such as education and relevant work experience, there are things that only can be learnt in the mist of the organizations; in addition to this, usually a MBA or a Phd in Business knows very well what he is talking about, however if you as me, it has to be a little bit of an entrepreneur, because if you think about it every potential innovation is almost a new entrepreneurial journey even if it is for an established company.