Demystifying the innovation process

Nesta is an innovation foundation. This means many things, and is probably best described in our new 100 second video, available here. But one of the things that we at Nesta are most passionate about is spreading innovation skills by teaching people and organisations how to practice and embed innovative practices within their everyday lives.

It was for this reason that at our recent workshop for Inclusive Economy Partnership grant winners, we asked Nesta’s Head of Development Innovation - Glen Mehn - to lead a session on innovation skills.

At the workshop, Glen’s session focused on helping our grant winners understand the innovation process. Great innovators don’t sit in a room thinking analytically about a problem for months; rather, they dive in - they prototype, try, adjust, try again, adjust again, in a constant process of learning and refinement.

For businesses, much of the learning that drives the innovation process comes from customer feedback - whether explicit or implicit. In order to succeed, businesses must continuously adjust their offerings based on customer feedback and user experience. With this in mind, Glen had our participants think deeply about who their customers are, and what their customer experience might look like. As Glen explained, understanding customers well helps businesses refine their service offering, and effectively target their business pitch.

By the end of the session, as a result of thinking about their unique service offering, participants had developed killer elevator pitches which looked something like this…

Elevator Pitch

...and had begun developing some amazing service design models, which looked something like this…

Service Design

If you’re interested in learning more about simple, practical ways to become a better innovator, please contact us at [email protected]


Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Head of Corporate Social Innovation

Kate was responsible for managing Nesta's Corporate Social Innovation and Inclusive Growth work

View profile