One of the business units of a global Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing company hired Inovo to help them identify strategic growth areas (Domains) aligned with their market focus on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

This business had a very healthy economic outlook for the short to medium term (out to 5 years) but was looking to ensure their longer-term prospects. In addition, they had recently synthesized a small family of new chemical compounds that could be used as a source of new business opportunities.  These compounds had interesting and novel performance characteristics in their original form as well as in various derivative forms.

By the Numbers

Together, we produced the following outcomes

What We Did Together

The joint client/Inovo team deployed the Domaining phase of our ADOPTS™ framework for strategic innovation over a 5-month period.  We started by formally defining the boundaries of the white space within which the team would seek to discover attractive Domains.  Through our 2-stage “iterative deepening” approach to Domaining, we identified 50 stage-one Domains and narrowed that to 10 stage-two Domains. The team gathered evidence and insights from both primary and secondary research to create and shape the Domains.

The primary research consisted of direct engagement with a purpose-built community of 24 subject matter experts selected from the relevant business ecosystem. Our online voting tools were used to canvas a large group of internal experts and leaders and gather subjective preferences.  We also assessed each Domain with a more objective, analytical approach that we call ‘Should-Could’. Throughout the process, the project team conducted frequent discussion and debate sessions to formulate and shape the Domains and to support the evaluation and selection process. A final online vote was conducted to help prioritize the final 10 Domains.

The Outcome

The client was pleased with all ten of the winning Domains.  Resource constraints dictated a prioritization of the top two, middle four and bottom four.  The client immediately embarked on a more focused investigation of the top two Domains and began to pursue a third Domain within the first year.

I haven't seen the I-Council as excited about a group of well-formed concepts... ever. We literally couldn't sit down when we were deliberating about which opportunities to fund

Brandon Rowberry , Director Innovation Council

United Health Group