Building a product incubator within a global sustainability consultancy

ERM is the world’s largest pureplay sustainability consultancy with more than 5,500 people across 40 countries.

Despite significant growth over the last 40 years, margins were being squeezed and ERM acknowledged the impact of competitors and startups on the value chain of their industry. The sheer speed of change in an industry where it once enjoyed ‘sole supplier’ status led ERM to recognise the need to build new systems to increase their ability to innovate and future-proof their organisation.

To leverage ERM’s collective reserve of subject matter expertise, we designed the inaugural ‘Innovation Incubator’. 

Our approach

We worked with the leadership team to create a vision for the Innovation Incubator and define the places, talent, processes, structure and governance needed to create successful products within a globally distributed team.

Then we got to work, running the process with the innovation team to fine-tune the tools and templates to find the best ideas.

The outcome

ERM was able to increase speed to market for commercially viable ideas while eliminating non-viable ideas based on data, much faster and more consistently than had previously been possible.

Four products successfully launched and many more are in the pipeline. The work is ongoing, with the team in hypergrowth to keep up with internal demand.

We are building upon the initial design system and service design templates and training provided to the team to make it better, slicker and faster with each new product launch.

Discover how our UX and Service Design capabilities combine to invent better customer journeys.

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