The Challenge: Uncover unmet customer needs & launch a new venture outside the core business
The Enterprise Innovation Team at Morneau Shepell approached Highline Beta with an audacious goal: Find radical new ways to help people live better lives at work and beyond. They had identified white space opportunities, and it was time to seek out the mentorship and methodology that would allow them to launch something radically new.
The Solution: A New Venture program to validate opportunity areas & speed time-to launch
New Venture Bootcamp
The Enterprise Innovation Team jumpstarted the innovation project with a 1-week immersive boot camp. Highline Beta was engaged to disrupt embedded ways of working and to guide the team through hands-on experience with Lean Startup methodologies. Using key tools and techniques such as the Lean Canvas and Empathy Mapping, intrapreneurs connected face-to-face with potential customers. The team was able to rapidly validate problem areas, and even uncover a surprising new target audience.
Guided Accelerator – from Idea to MVP
To quickly develop a solution that could be tested with early adopters, Morneau Shepell leveraged the Highline Beta team of entrepreneurs, strategists, and investors to run a 60 day guided sprint. Scheduled office hours and always-on mentorship with Highline Beta provided the support and structure needed to break through roadblocks and to develop new ways of working.
Customers Interviewed: 100+ Concepts Tested: 10+ Weeks to Launch: 9+
The Results: In 9 weeks, Morneau Shepell launched a new product to the early adopter market
With Highline Beta, the Enterprise Innovation Team was able to uncover and validate a new customer problem. Morneau Shepell’s reach and core competencies make the company uniquely positioned to launch a new business venture to address this need. In 9 weeks, the MVP of their new product was ready for the early adopter market.
Bonus: Innovation at Morneau Shepell – an interview with Paul Sywulych, VP, Digital Innovation
Morneau Shepell grew to what it is today through the drive and energy of great entrepreneurs, and one of the key tenants of our value system here, as peter Sywulych, VP, Digital Innovation put it is to “cultivate Innovative & Entrepreneurial spirit.” Morneau Shepell has four key lines of business — Consulting, Administrative Solutions, Employee Support Solutions, and Absence Management Solutions. Each line of business builds and drives its own innovative programming, as the insights and prioritization process requires a deep understanding of the unique value drivers for those businesses.
In addition to new product development, we help foster the culture of innovation at Morneau Shepell by aligning with the Innovation Champions within the various lines of business to explore approaches to innovation & agility that help the organization advance new ideas in a nimble, client-centric fashion. We’ve embraced the methodologies of Design Thinking & Lean Start-up, and are collaborating with organizations such as Highline Beta and Communitech to optimize our approach to innovation, and to effectively plug into the start-up ecosystem.—Paul Sywulych, VP, Digital Innovation, Morneau Shepell
The pace of innovation in the start-up ecosystem is threatening to many organizations — many live in fear of disruption and set-up their own innovation labs or create outposts within the innovation hubs & accelerators to try to copy the behaviors of the start-up. I think there’s great value in plugging into the start-up community to build the right type of sensing mechanisms, but think we need to look at this as a way to augment internal innovation efforts vs. as a way to detect and react to new solutions and business models that could threaten incumbent businesses.