How to develop and roll-out an effective innovation strategy for your firm

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Innovation strategy

This How to guide draws on Meridian West’s two decades of experience helping firms develop innovative new strategies and services with professional and financial firms including Allen & Overy, Silicon Valley Bank, Canada Life, ACCA, Coutts & Co., and Citation. Our experience shows there are simple lessons that can help any leader of a professional service firm to adopt more successful innovation practices in their firm regardless of its size, area of specialisms or types of clients served.

Sample extract

Section 1: Dispelling the innovation myth

Professional service firms have a reputation for being slow to change and highly risk-averse. Yet this view fails to take into account that the majority of professional firms are highly entrepreneurial organisations. Many professional firms have already developed innovations in online client services, new pricing models and services delivery through offshore centres.

“Firms that fail to put innovation at the front of their strategic thinking, will find it increasingly difficult to grow, or even survive, in a complex and challenging professional services market.”

A recent Meridian West snapshot survey of the innovation activities of a range of a professional firms dispels the myth that they do not embrace innovation. Contrary to the stereotype, the majority have already developed innovations in a range of areas and many more are planning a significant innovation focus over the next 12 months. A noticeable proportion identify that they will focus on innovations in client journey mapping (41%), diversifying into new service areas (29%) and forming joint ventures with other suppliers with the intention to provide joint offerings to clients (29%) over the next 12 months.

Even artificial intelligence (AI) – once thought to be futuristic hype – is making its mark within the professional services sector. Although it does appear at the bottom of the list of innovations currently embraced by firms, as many as one in five (18%) are using AI today. A quarter of firms (24%) plan to invest in AI during the year ahead, which means that soon over 40% of firms will be using AI as part of service delivery.

Table of contents

Section 1:   Dispelling the innovation myth

Section 2:   Adopting a more strategic approach to innovation

The six phase “Innovation Lifecycle” for professional firms

Phase 0 – Innovation strategy formulation

Phase 1 – Ideation

Phase 2 – Prioritise

Phase 3 – Prototype

Phase 4 – Test

Phase 5 – Scale

Section 3:   Five lessons from innovation leaders