Design Brief


We like to kick-off our projects with a Design Brief in order to formalize and align as a team on our goals, the scope, and how we'll evaluate whether we've been successful. Below is our initial draft. While it serves as our "north star" that anchors us as we diverge and converge throughout research, we also like remain flexible and open to new directions that might emerge from unexpected information and insights. 


Project Description

Corporate Innovation Groups (CIGs)  have immense complexity to contend with, and therefore many suffer in pursuit of their goals (or in comparison to those of the mother ship). So rather than overstating that it's just not working period, (which of course isn't true despite a number of units having turned off the lights recently) we want to explore our assumption that it's much more likely that many are simply carrying far too much risk given the complexity of their mandate and their situation relative to the rest of the organization.

We’ll conduct a listening tour— a series of 1:1 conversations with leaders of CIGs— to explore how they are thinking about managing risk, approaching business model innovation, and accelerating new ventures into the market.


Target Users


We're talking with current and past leaders of CIGs from a diverse set of industries and approaches to structuring their innovation groups. We want to hear from those who have experienced relative success with the CIGs, as well as those who have since been shut down by the core business.

Listening Tour Community

Innovators, business leaders, designers - anyone looking to grow their existing innovation group's capacity or establish an innovation group at their organization.


Areas of Exploration

Through our interactions with innovation leaders, we're focusing on the following:

  • Strategic risk factors
  • Project risk factors
  • Testing and scaling new business models
  • Different models for structuring corporate innovation groups (CIGs)
  • Key mindsets and behaviors to embrace across the organization


Expected Outcomes

As a result of talking with innovation leaders and engaging with the Listening Tour community, we'll deliver the following to tour followers:

  • Exclusive interviews with corporate innovation practitioners across industries
  • Reflections from the Peer Insight Ventures team on interviews and our experience working with CIGs
  • Opportunities to engage with corporate innovation practitioners and peers in the listening tour community
  • Actionable insights, such as...
    • Strategies that have worked to navigate/avoid common failure modes
    • Ways to identify and flag warning signs within your own CIG and how to address them before they become make or break issues
    • Collective wisdom from earlier trailblazers that will allow your CIG to remain hyper-focused on getting to that first dollar of revenue


Success Metrics 

We'll know we've been successful when we have confidence in the following:

  • Shared understanding of CIG risk-factors and how to better manage them

  • Deeper understanding of how to facilitate and protect disruptive business model innovation within a large organization

  • Alternatives for how to accelerate ventures into the market without pre-maturely triggering BU antibodies


What else would you add? Drop a line to Clay Maxwell


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