Ideas Innovation Hub

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  • 2018

  • Design Strategy

Designed By:

  • The Royal Society for the Blind
  • Business Models Inc

Commissioned By:

The Royal Society for the Blind

Designed In:

Australia

How might a NFP change the way it works and create employee led, customer insights led and market tested business model designed for the NDIS? The RSB "Ideas Innovation Hub" enabled cross-sections of staff to go from 100 ideas to 4 business models in 6 months presented to the board.


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  • At a time of national disruption for not-for-profits, organisations like RSB have to reinvent themselves through innovation. However, a top-down approach will not work when the market is changing dramatically. How might we work like a startup? How might we engage ideas from employees? Not just creating a business plan -how might employees start from the customer and create a market tested business model? At the same time we wanted to build new capabilities using design thinking, lean startup and other innovation methodologies to be relevant in the future.

  • RSB's innovation strategy centres on empowering and engaging employees to listen to customers to design solutions that they want to purchase. With increased pressure to transform, timing was critical to the program design. Innovation as a competitive advantage was introduced to the workforce in June 2017. 100+ ideas for new business models were generated. These ideas were evaluated and scaled down before a group of 20 participants accepted the challenge to be part of an intensive six part series. The result was four new business models for RSB .

  • Over 100 customer safaris (1:1 problem & solution interviews with customers) were completed to support the continual improvement of the design strategy. This intel has enabled RSB to enact a reverse integrated customer model focussed on listening to the customer to solve their pain points to improve their quality of life. This process has driven an inside-out approach to customer and broadened the agenda for inclusive communities. It has also inspired our existing workforce to turn their ideas into reality.

  • This program was designed to focus on empowering internal innovation to strive, establishing new sustainable revenue streams for business and most importantly delivering improved customer outcomes. There was a strong belief that if we listened to our customers and empowered our people, transformation through innovation would be our new competitive advantage. RSB strategically chose to partner outside of the NFP sector with Business Models Inc to bring a commercial customer model to life by starting with a blank canvas of ideas. The final four business models have heightened RSB's social impact agenda for an inclusive society as well as establishing new commercial pathways that are viable, desirable and feasible. With increased knowledge of customer and an internal workforce capability and appetite to improve the lives of our community and achieve sustainable business outcomes, this program has enabled RSB to strengthen its position in the new marketplace. The cultural shift achieved through this program's design can also not be underestimated when you consider that the biggest threat to innovation is internal politics and an organisational culture. Opening hearts and minds to learn from our experience in the pursuit of improved customer products and services is in itself good design.