This is the final blog of our 5 part Ignite Innovation blog series from the Head of Ignite Exponential, Alan Cucknell.

In previous articles we’ve discussed some observations about strategic innovation:

• it is complex, multi-faceted and highly uncertain, and the pace of change is only increasing with emerging disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things;

• there is no 'silver bullet’ process or approach – we feel you need a broad toolbox and the collective knowledge and experience to use it well;

• partnership and not innovation outsourcing or processes-led innovation is especially important for early stage strategic innovation to provide broad external perspectives as well as build internal ownership.

Caveat Emptor:  From our collective experience these observations seemed obvious… but in our search for partners for early stage innovation and design projects for Plextek ( and its clients we didn’t find it!  So a team from Plextek and beyond created a new innovation unit. We call this team Ignite Exponential.    I hope you have enjoyed this blog series, and find this conclusion a useful stepping stone to your strategy innovation roadmap.

I believe the strategic growth challenges faced by your company are inherently unique. In our collective experience here, successful innovation comes not from applying standard tools to the specific innovation problems our partners face (and ignoring those very real multi-faceted and changing uncertainties that don’t fit in a tidy process or tool) – but from harnessing a broad range of innovation experience, disciplines and tools in close collaboration with our clients to create solutions that are tailored and valuable for your business. As Steve Blank said, “No business plan survives first contact with customers”, and we think the same is often true of innovation processes and strategy.  You need to do the planning, and you need to have the tools available – and it is the preparation that is valuable.  There isn't one existing process that is right for your business. In fact we’ve often found that our best results come from modifying, tailoring and  hybridizing existing processes to best suit the challenge at hand.

So we advocate an approach that is unashamedly collaborative, cross-functional and process-agnostic. We work in close partnership with you through interactive workshops and lean design sprints to navigate strategic challenges, discover new market opportunities and design holistic solutions. We have shown this mindset can help to redefine strategic challenges, identify new opportunities and robust early stage customer, commercial and technical concepts before costly and time-consuming development.

But don’t take our word for it - the proof is in the partnership. To start a discussion please get in touch with us for an initial chat: Thank you for reading our blog series, launching Ignite Exponential!