We see a lot of clients wanting to experience the process for themselves, projects are opportunities to learn and discover together, and we think this makes projects better . A traditional benefit for clients of working with consultancies is they get a more rounded, cross-category sense of the consumer. Clients are very knowledgeable about their own sector but perhaps less informed about broader consumer trends. As some innovation is being taken in-house, there’s a risk that some of that lateral perspective is lost. As a result, we believe that collaboration across organisational or categorical boundaries is key at all stages in the innovation process.
We also see the potential for a kind of network consultancy, where the number of people on payroll becomes less important and it’s more about access to a network of creative, collaborative, innovative people that can come together to work on a project as quickly as possible.
What is your opinion on the key skills needed to be successful in innovation today?
Obviously, creativity and intelligence are prerequsite but also persistence and patience can be equally as important, as major opportunities can take time to be revealed. Also important are collaboration and self-awareness. You need to understand who you are in order to know how best to contribute to any team that you’re in.
What is your opinion on where you think the world of innovation consulting is going? Who will succeed and who will fail?
I think those who succeed will be the people who find a way of creating new value for clients; those who will fail will be the people who resist change, focus internally and are happy with the status quo.
Consultancies have a responsibility to develop insights on emerging trends and to give clients the tools to figure out how to use this knowledge in their businesses. The businesses that don’t do this will eventually become irrelevant.
And to close, what makes After the Comma different?