Find the Right Partner
After you have pinpointed your needs, you have to sift through the different types of innovation consultants to find the one that will suit you best. Oftentimes, consultants fall into broad buckets.
Some consultants such as Innosight, Doblin and Brightidea focus on innovation processes and systems, including innovation pipeline management that is usually supported by technology. Other innovation consultancies firmly plant their flag in the realm of ideation — either helping their clients come up with new ideas or coming up with new ideas on their clients’ behalf. This includes IDEO, Fahrenheit 212 and frog design.
As with any partnership, you need to find a consultant with whom you can work well. Begin by searching for a person or company with expertise that matches your needs, and keep in mind that a knowledgeable person is not always a helpful one.
First and foremost, you need a technical expert who also has the skills to carry you through the process of change. This person should demonstrate the ability to understand the best strategies for your business and show that he can engage your team and structure a system to work toward the end goal.
Finally, look for consultants who have a commitment to their clients and an ability to work collaboratively. Many a consulting engagement has fallen apart due to poor communication and an inability to manage expectations or meet client needs in an appropriate manner.