Background and Challenge
IdeaPaint is a manufacturer of novel dry-erase paint products used in environments as diverse as kindergartens and the C.I.A. to create interactive, colorful work surfaces for stimulating communication, interaction and creativity. The company operates in more than 20 countries worldwide. The IdeaPaint management team asked L.E.K. Consulting to help them develop their process for building innovation excellence and capability within the company.
Approach and Recommendations
We helped the IdeaPaint team define metrics and a scoring methodology for each phase of the innovation process to make effective decisions on where to focus investment dollars. Key requirements included:
- Establishing metrics for filtering and screening to cover the right breadth of topics – and also be quantifiable so that different opportunities could be directly comparable
- Ensuring that the right mix of financial metrics were being used to focus outcomes on value creation
We also helped design a new organizational structure that focused on fostering the right innovation culture of accountability, ownership, leadership and reward for performance. Specifically, we worked with the IdeaPaint team to initiate the following:
- Defined new roles that gave clear accountability for the new product development process, commercial implementation in channels and operational performance
- We also helped refine the role of senior leadership for the company, helping to define the president’s responsibilities: mixing operational focus with an emphasis on fostering the right culture for growth and innovation
- Finally, we helped to map out the stages of a migration plan to transition the current organization to the new model in a manageable, staggered way
Change of this kind is difficult and challenges the entire organization. To guide the company’s implementation, we worked with IdeaPaint to map out a three-month action plan to make measurable progress in the company’s evolution.
Following our engagement IdeaPaint has seen an acceleration of its growth and product launches, successfully staying focused on the right opportunities as well as identifying, developing and commercializing key new products and line extensions. For example, the company developed and launched a new water-based product line to stay responsive to evolving market needs.