Case Study

New Opportunity Space for GBC/Acco

GBC needed to find new avenues of product innovation in a world of increasing competition, including from their own suppliers and customers, and decreasing margins as well as a rapidly changing workplace. Knowing that their traditional approaches to product innovation were not going to cut it, they recognized the need to do something different; but what?

We undertook a short (two week)  innovation project planning phase in which we assessed their situation by a review of material, interviews with a broad range of stakeholders and experts and two workshops.  Using the five hunting grounds model to collate what was known and what was unknown, we concluded that the primary focus of the innovation project should be futures needs, supplemented with a deep and assumption-free review of the copious in house voice of the customer data that they had.

Faced by an uncertain future as the connected world was accelerating rapidly and changing the way their customers worked and communicated, it became clear that managing for uncertainty needed to be a core component.  We used a classic scenario planning model to identify possible future worlds and then mapped in the critical functional “jobs to be done” needs of their marketplace.  This provided fertile ground for a first round of hypothesis forming “jobs” ideation, allowing the team to extract future-proof areas of development and product concepting.

The work identified a number of unforeseen and unaddressed future need states which have been the subject on ongoing exploration and development.