We use our expertise in innovation and design to help clients to co-create the new products and services that will best meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers.
Change brings disruption and disruption brings opportunity. Our value lies in translating research findings into testable prototypes, and then evolving these to commercial readiness.
In cases where your business is running away with you, we rapidly put the brakes on and bring it back under control.
At our core we enable innovation to happen in your organisation. Our process will help you to design the human experience into every product or service in a way that is repeatable and sustainable.
Our services are focused into six distinct areas, however the fluidity of the innovation and design process requires us to frequently adapt our service offering to meet your needs.
Design Thinking Training
We offer Design Thinking Training and Design Thinking Courses for companies and departments. Our Design Thinking Training is offered in Johannesburg, Cape Town, South Africa, Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East.
Training of whole teams in our methodology empowers your employees with the knowledge and skills to effectively deliver innovation outcomes. These outcomes may be linked to your internal innovation strategy or even change the way you interact with your customers. We also develop bespoke toolkits for the on-boarding of new employees to sustainably embed a customer-centric mindset in the business.
Courses are tailored from half-day Design Thinking workshops to 1 to 5-day “hothouses”. We also offer an on-going Design Thinking Bootcamp, where employees engage at regular intervals throughout the year. Each option teaches the Design Thinking Journey at varying levels of intensity whilst catering for different levels of seniority.
Design Thinking and Innovation Facilitation
We have developed a range of interactive, high-impact and energetic Design Thinking Innovation workshops that help you to answer key questions along your innovation journey. These Design Thinking Sprints include problem definition and refinement, customer-based research, Design Thinking strategy and co-creation workshops.
Our facilitation services range from facilitated half-day design sprint workshops to week-long ‘hothouse’ processes or regular structured engagements over longer periods. Workshops focus on full corporate innovation strategies to narrowly focused design sprints.
We have developed various research and assessment tools to provide your company leadership with the ability to comprehend research findings and other process outputs in a way that aids decision making.
Building Capability and Enabling Innovation
Our team has deep experience in setting up a lean and effective corporate innovation capability. This includes the selection of suitable structures, development of systems and processes, building and capacitating of teams and the implementation of measurement systems. Once this framework is in place we support key role players to drive innovation initiatives that enable the cost-effective delivery of market ready innovation outcomes.
Our approach places guardrails alongside the innovation journey to mitigate ‘innovation risk’, and manages the expectations of stakeholders to make the innovation process repeatable and sustainable. Our system will equip your team with the ability to anticipate and address the challenges that may be encountered within innovation and design processes.
In many cases this engagement starts with an Innovation Capability and Readiness Audit. Our system is proven to minimise the Concept to Cash-payback cycle.
Design Introspection – Designing Our Own Products
During our consulting journey, we have done so many innovations and product discoveries for other companies, we have decided to turn our expertise inward and use our own techniques and experience to create our own venturing business.
This process will see us identify good businesses and good product ideas, and advance them using all the techniques we know. We welcome product concepts which we can develop alongside you from concept phase to launched product.
This journey will take us from concept, customer research, product design, prototyping and testing, intellectual property registration, to manufacture, launch and full commercialisation. We call this Design Introspection – the ability to design for oneself.
Business Salvage – Rapid Turnarounds
When it comes to stand alone companies, we have vast experience in turning around businesses which have slipped slightly beyond the owners control over time.
This is often due to rapid growth, inadequate accounting and control systems, historical staffing issues, poor stock management, incorrect margins, poor forecasting and cash management and a myriad of other reasons.
Our approach rapidly brings these businesses back under control to make them profitable and bankable. See our article “When Good Businesses Go Bad”. We call this our Simplify, Fund and Operate approach. We fix things immediately, make sure that the systems are operating properly going forward, and once stable, work to fix the backlogs and bring them into line.
if you are in trouble, or seek the peace of mind that your business is operating in the best way it can be, please give us a call.
Where desirable, we are also actively looking to take a stake in these businesses so we can be part of the solution going forward.
Adapting ‘First World products’ for African Markets
Introducing existing products and services into new markets brings many unforeseen challenges. Our tried and tested approach to the upfront assessment of real customer and market needs enables us to accurately advise innovation managers and company leadership on how to innovate their current offering before launching in new markets.
Our process applies advanced HCD and Design Thinking techniques to co-create profitable products, services, customer interactions and business models that are ideally suited for new market environments.
To do so we use our proven method of deep immersion ethnographic research to migrate key ‘voice of customer’ field work insights into testable, workable prototypes.
We have had success in adapting a wide range of products, services and business models for foreign companies entering the African market.
Enterprise Development, Corporate Incubators and BBBEE Transformation Initiatives
We have become one of the leading Enterprise Development Specialists in South Africa by applying our unique innovation and Design Thinking approaches to the challenge of BBBEE transformation initiatives. In South Africa, this transformation is largely driven by BBBEE where companies are compelled to spend a percentage of their NPAT on Supplier and Enterprise Development. Many companies fail to find meaningful initiatives that also add value to their core business ecosystem.
Our hybrid approach combines our innovation capability with an incubator program structure, so that BBBEE suppliers can be identified, established, trained, funded and mentored in a way that guarantees success.
We were instrumental in the set up of Distell’s E+Scalator Program. One of the stunning successes we had was the establishment of the 100% Women -owned Handwork Hub initiative to manufacture the gold tassels for Amarula. You can read all about that project here.
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