Agile Innovation in the Business Insights Lab

Surrey Business School’s Business Insights Lab reaches out to businesses of all sizes and descriptions who are trying to make sense of – and prosper within – the dizzying changes brought about by the Digital Economy. BiL brings together businesses, students, and leading academics to deliver tangible and effective solutions.

In October BiL moves into a new space on the ground floor of Surrey Business School delivering the perfect environment for running live business experiments that will enable businesses to practice Agile Innovation strategies.

New ways of thinking

Agile Innovation is a new strategy for management thinking linked with digital innovation. It was developed to adapt to, and exploit, the growing opportunity to apply and test innovations almost simultaneously with their invention. Fast, nimble, creative and lateral, Agile is the only style of business development that moves in tandem with the digital economy.

Agile Innovation processes give you a scientific method for navigation through the ‘fog’ of a future that’s possible to guess at, but impossible to predict: observe, hypothesise, test and recompute. But – importantly – at a speed that keeps innovation relevant.

These business skills can then be transferred back to technical disciplines, fostering agile innovation across multiple industries such as e-health, e-commerce, smart energy, environmental monitoring and broadcasting. Research, data, and innovation stay flexible, and much more broadly applicable, across a whole new set of rules for how business operates.

Delivering results

Using these business methodologies, Surrey Business School recently ran a cross-faculty lab on product development for two businesses in the veterinary sector, focusing on commercialisation, and the offers and services around a new product. Along with an experienced Agile project manager and developer as a guest speaker, and a graphical facilitator capturing the vision and mapping innovation paths, the two-day initial workshop was packed with ideas and collaboration.

Here are some of the issues tackled in the lab, the session took inspiration from the team’s extremely broad range of expertise:

  • How have the sweeping changes in the veterinary practices’ structure affected the way they innovate?
  • What is the role of innovation in a traditional industry?
  • How should a beneficial but innovative solution be introduced in order to maximise customer receptivity?
  • What variables influence the balance between Herd Welfare and Profit?
  • What is the role of the vet in education about new technology?

A series of short presentations and exercises from business, social science and psychology perspectives gave participants different and unexpected ways of looking at the issues, and we took away a set of new questions, plus an experiment to test the next step forward.

After a three week ‘sprint’, the group will come together again with a result – but will it be the solution pictured at the start?

If you’d like us to help run some lab-style Agile treatments for your business, we can offer expertise across many sectors, plus genuine practical experience. To find out more please contact Kris Henley, k.henley@surrey.acuk +44 (0)1483 682619