Discover, Refine, Scale, Repeat.
We help teams lay the foundations for intelligent innovation by embedding a framework to systematically develop profitable new ventures.
Year after year.
Campaign after campaign.
What we do
Our process in a nutshell
Identify the right problem and opportunity area.
Develop a comms plan that gets your team excited about tackling it.
Train in-house innovation champions to help your team identify and articulate their ideas.
Apply technology to collect ideas in a consistent, structured and repeatable way.
Review the portfolio and select the most promising options.
Select contributors to pitch for further investment from the business.
Support from Pollen8 with advice around how best to resource, grow and maintain the venture.
Manage your portfolio of ventures to avoid duplication of effort and to keep tabs on your investments as a whole.
Launch your next set of ventures...
What clients say about us
“I am constantly astonished by the range and depth of skills which they are able to bring to bear. We look forward to having Pollen8 support on a broader range of innovation activities in the near future.”
“Working with the Pollen8 team is a delight! My team loves their attitude and creativity that brought our programme to life. They’re tireless, super engaged, adapt quickly, I’m looking forward to the next steps of making our shared vision happen!”
“Continuous innovation is the way to survive and succeed. This programme helps gather, filter and support ideas that can help us enhance who we are as an organisation.”
Our view on innovation myths
Myth 1: ‘Innovation, like any creative pursuit, is always messy and random.’
Our take: Innovation can and should be elegant, systematic and orderly. It’s not about random sparks of genius, it’s about building an organisational capability that helps you focus your efforts. Every big business today has an HR system, a sales system, a CRM system, why not an innovation system?
Myth 2: ‘The best ideas come from creative agencies, labs or charismatic lone geniuses.’
Our take: It’s the people closest to the everyday problems of the business who are the richest source of untapped creative potential in most organisations.
the best ideas come from the most unexpected people, working in roles where they can spot opportunities an agency would never stumble upon.
Myth 3: ‘Innovation is all about the Eureka moment.’
Our take: If you’re hunting for light bulb ideas, you’re starting in the wrong place. Focusing on the right questions, clearly articulating the problem to be solved and systematically working through how to address it is far more important. Ideas are just the helpful byproduct.
Myth 4: ‘Innovation is best done behind closed doors or it might unsettle (or get contaminated by) the wider business.’
Our take: Transparent, free-range innovation is the best way to engage staff, and stop your most creative problem solvers from leaving. Or worse, becoming frustrated and giving up.
Myth 5: ‘Innovation requires rigorous strategic analysis from consultants.’
Our take: Innovation is about creating a culture and framework where the people on the ground are inspired and empowered to do the hard work. We follow Peter Drucker in believing that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’.
Myth 6: ‘Once you’ve got a great idea with the right team and resource behind it, the job’s nearly done.’
Our take: If only that were true. In reality, it’s impossible to predict which initially promising ventures will stall and which ugly ducklings will soar. The key is to spread your bets via a portfolio of ventures, giving yourself the best possible chance of success.
GKN’s 10x programme
Our programme with GKN resulted in the development of an entirely new Electrical Aircraft department.
GKN has a huge amount of engineering talent all across the globe, but it’s not always easy for one team to know what another is working on (or has already explored).
We designed and implemented a programme called “10x” that ran for 8 months in 16 countries across 3 business units. It was supported by our online platform, a global network of “champions”, and a comms campaign that touched 20,000 employees. We discovered a broad range of ideas and flew selected finalists to London for a week-long boot camp that resulted in them pitching to their executive board.
One of those ventures was so impactful, it led to the creation of a new department within GKN with the aim to develop Hybrid and Electrical Propulsion Systems for the next generation of aircraft. The initial investment made to launch the programme paid for itself within 5 months through the launch of another single venture.
We are driving change
We are a vibrant, interdisciplinary team of creative problem solvers. Since 2015, we have been on a mission to bring elegance, rigour and structure to the world of corporate innovation.
Meet the team
Head of Creative
Director of Consulting
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Pollen8 is a trading name of Outsourcing Innovation Limited, registered in England No 09535121. Registered Office: Epsilon House, Enterprise Road, Southampton Science Park, Southampton, SO16 7NS. VAT Number: GB 217648395