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During my time at Johnson and Johnson, I worked with a lot of innovation and design consultants. And we experimented with a lot of different methods and quite honestly, we found that there is a lot of differences in the different types of consultants and their approaches. And I've learned to categorize them into four buckets. If you take all the innovation consultants out there you can put them in one of these categories.
The first one I call them the sort of the invention consultants. These are consultants who help you generate ideas. They either have a method that they help you use. They let you sort of DIY, you do it yourself. But they're also very good invention consultants that can generate the idea for you. Hey, you pay them money and they come up with the idea and give you the ideas.
Those people are very valuable right. You got to generate an idea. You have to have an invention. That's consulting group number one. But then there are consultants out there I call that are basically design consultancies. And design consultancies, in my view, are the ones that take the idea and they put life around it. They put form factors, human factors. They make aesthetically appealing. They help the new product that this new concept be embedded into the world of the customer in a successful way.
And they're great design companies out there that do this so successfully. Once you have the great idea the designers take over. Once the designers are done, then you have a third type of innovation consultancy, what I'll call the engineering group. These are the people who have to put science to the idea. Right, they have to come up with the materials. They have to come up with the approaches, the scientific and engineering approaches or software approaches that make things work. Stuff has to work right, to get it into the marketing place.
And then after that, there's still a fourth category of innovation consultants. I call it the actualization. These are the people that take the working product, the working design concept and help it become actualized and launched into the marketing into the marketplace. And again, they're very important right? The invention folks really don't do this marketing strategy piece very well and vice versa. So you have four consultants. Invention I, D for design, E for engineering and A for actualization.
Conveniently enough it spells the word idea (laughs). And so I call it the IDEA model of innovation consultants. You know works for me right? Because what I get frustrated by is consultants telling me that they do it all. That they're a one-stop shop. And my advice to companies is, no! Don't buy into that! If they are a design firm, hire them for the design work. If they are a strategy firm, hire them for the actualization work. Don't mix and match. Go to people for what they really do best and then move your selections around to what you need at that particular point in time.
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