Snake OilThe same question can be posed of your Innovation consultant. Many consultants peddle solutions or best practice which is fine, except for the two cases highlighted here. If you are truly delivering value then surely you must be creative or innovative yourself. How can you add insights if you have never been through the process yourself (and failed)?

To see if you are getting (or going to get) value, you must decide what exactly it is that you want. Do you want someone who is going to challenge the status quo, depart from best practice and explore new areas or perhaps change the way you think about your business and marketplace, or, do you simply want someone to train you in creative thinking techniques and describe processes from (someone else’s) text books?

If you want to be 100% safe then you might be tempted by the seller of best practice. They, however, will be selling the same to all of your competitors so you will not be gaining competitive advantage. In fact when these consultants leave they will have simply given you yet another process to follow.

The consultant that adds real value will have worked with you to identify Innovation champions, spread innovative behaviour and embark upon many cultural changes. A bit like teaching a child to ride a bike, they will show you how, be with you as you wobble and then let go at the right moment! Do you want real Creativity and Innovation or some new processes to follow? The choice is yours.

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