Innovation Consulting: Need To Knows And How To Get Started

"Delivering the knowledge you need to succeed."

In this evolving market, not having an innovation strategy is no longer an option for businesses.

Many organizations are now turning to innovation consultants to help them create and implement a plan that will allow them to stay ahead of the competition.

Some businesses’ innovation capabilities are hidden within their organization.

The daily tasks and closeness founders, c-suite, and employees are to the problems can hinder progress.

Innovation consultants can help by providing an objective, unbiased perspective and generate ideas in order to accelerate growth.

These fresh perspectives can help organizations to find the skills gaps offering growth opportunities and potential solutions they need to improve their business.

According to MIT Sloan Management and Deloitte, 81% of respondents at digitally mature companies cite innovation as a strength of their organizations.

What is innovation consulting?

Innovation consultants are business growth experts who work with organizations to identify new opportunities for growth and expansion.

They take a systematic and analytical approach to business planning in order to design a unique growth strategy for each client.

Innovation consultants work with businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries.

They use their data analysis and experience to help businesses overcome challenges, reach new markets, and achieve long-term goals.

Innovation can be defined as introducing a new good or service or implementing a new process, method, or technique.

It is about more than just idea generation – it’s about turning those ideas into reality and making them work for your business models.

What do innovation consultants do?

Innovation consultants have a deep understanding of business and the marketplace.

Innovation can be difficult for business owners and managers to pin down.

It’s often misunderstood and even more challenging to execute.

That’s where innovation consultants come in.

They’re able to see things that others might miss and help organizations make the changes necessary to adapt and succeed.

Innovation consultants work with businesses of all sizes and in all industries.

No two innovation consulting engagements are exactly the same, but some commonalities exist.

Conduct research

Innovation consultants start by understanding the client’s business and industry.

They then closely examine the client’s current situation, products, and services.

This helps them identify opportunities for innovation.

innovation consultant interviewing employees

Conduct interviews

Innovation consultants conduct interviews with a variety of stakeholders within the organization.

This includes business leaders, front-line employees, and customers.

The goal is to understand the organization and its challenges deeply.

Example of process flow restructuring

Identify ineffective processes

One of the goals of innovation consulting is to identify and streamline ineffective processes.

This could include anything from manufacturing processes to sales and marketing tactics.

Generate new ideas and recommendations

After conducting research and interviews, innovation consultants will develop a list of recommendations.

This might include changes to the organizational structure, new products or services, or changes to business processes.

Develop growth strategies

Innovation consultants also develop strategies for growth.

This includes identifying new markets and developing go-to-market plans and a product roadmap to launch new products and services successfully.

Capatibility building in innovation

Build capability

Once ideas and recommendations have been generated, innovation consultants help organizations build the training, set up new systems and processes, or develop new policies to create their own innovation capabilities.

There are three key traits that innovation consultants look for when helping an organization build its own innovation capabilities:

Improve hiring practices

Innovation consultants also help businesses improve their hiring practices.

This includes identifying the skills and competencies that are most important for innovation success and revamping job descriptions and interview questions to screen for these traits and employee development.

New product prototypes and testing

Many innovation consultants also help organizations with new product development.

This includes creating prototypes and conducting user testing.

The goal is to validate the new product idea and ensure it meets customer needs.

Deliver innovation Workshops

Innovation consultants often deliver workshops to help organizations foster a culture of innovation.

These workshops typically cover topics such as creative thinking, problem-solving, and managing change.

The goal is to help employees understand the importance of innovation and how they can contribute to the organization’s success.

innovation consultant meeting with team

Innovation management

In some cases, innovation consulting firms also take on the role of innovation manager.

This involves overseeing the entire innovation process from start to finish.

This includes establishing an innovation team, developing processes and procedures, and tracking progress.

The goal is to ensure that the organization’s innovation efforts are successfully implemented for future growth.

Measure progress

Finally, business innovation consultants measure the progress of their clients.

This helps them understand what’s working and what’s not.

It also allows them to make adjustments to their recommendations as needed.

innovation consultant presenting new ideas to executives

Should you hire innovation consulting services

There are many reasons why businesses choose to partner with an independent innovation consultant or top innovation consulting firms.

Some of the most common reasons include the following:

Gaining access to expertise and knowledge

One of the most significant benefits of working with an innovation consultant is gaining access to their knowledge.

This can help you save time and resources as you don’t have to spend valuable time and money trying to figure out everything independently.

Objective perspective

Another significant benefit of working with an innovation consultant is getting an objective perspective.

This is because they are not part of your organization and can offer unbiased insights and recommendations.

Improved decision-making

Working with an innovation consultant can also help improve decision-making.

This is because they can help you generate new ideas and options and challenge your assumptions.

Increased efficiency and productivity

Hiring innovation consulting services can also help increase efficiency and productivity.

This is because they can help streamline processes and procedures and develop new systems and tools.

Greater creativity and innovation

Working with an innovation consultant can also help promote greater creativity and innovation.

This is because they can help you think outside the box and develop new ways of doing things.

Improve the bottom line

Finally, businesses choose to partner with an innovation consultant because it can help improve their bottom line.

Innovation agencies aim to help you generate new ideas to grow your business.

Working with an innovation consultant is an excellent option to improve your innovation process.

innovation consultant showing her ideas to business owner on laptop

How to become an innovation consultant?

Innovation consultancies are always on the lookout for top talent.

According to EY, 42% of c-suite executives say they will create roles such as chief innovation officer to foster innovation.

If you’re interested in becoming an innovation consultant, you can do a few things to improve your chances of being hired.

The right education

First, consider pursuing a degree or certification in business innovation.

This will show potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in this role.

Gain work experience

Second, try to get some experience working in innovation.

This can be done by interning at an innovation consulting firm or working on innovation projects at your current job.

The more experience you have, the better your chances of being hired as an innovation consultant.

Develop proficiency in innovation tools and techniques

Third, make sure you’re proficient in innovation tools and techniques.

This includes things like design thinking, lean startup, and business model canvas.

The better you are at using these tools and techniques, the more likely you are to be hired as an innovation consultant.

Showcase your skills and accomplishments

Finally, don’t forget to showcase your skills and accomplishments.

Make sure your resume and online profiles are up-to-date and highlight your experience in innovation.

You should also consider creating a portfolio of your work to show potential employers what you’re capable of.

innovation consultant building strategy on clear dry erase board

Innovation consultation skills needed

If you want to be successful as an innovation consultant, there are a few skills you’ll need to develop.

Some of the most important skills include:

Strategic thinking

As an innovation consultant, you’ll need to be able to think strategically. This means seeing the big picture and understanding how different pieces fit together.


You’ll also need to be good at solving problems. This includes being able to identify problems and come up with creative solutions.

Critical thinking

Another essential skill is critical thinking. This means being able to analyze information and make sound judgments.


You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively. This means being able to explain complex concepts in simple terms and being able to persuade others to see your point of view.

If you can develop these skills, you’ll be well on your way to being a successful innovation consultant.

Final thoughts on innovation consulting

Working with an innovation consultant is an excellent option if you’re looking to improve your innovation process.

These professionals can help you increase efficiency and productivity, promote greater creativity and innovation, and improve your bottom line.

You’ll need to develop strategic thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills to succeed in this role.

If you can develop these skills, you’ll be well on your way to being a successful innovation consultant.