by Jesse Burns

The Challenge

A research and development lab was struggling to move its breakthrough concepts in global health and development from the lab to the market. Two concepts were running 12 to 24 months out; schedules kept getting pushed back and additional rounds of funding were needed. While the lab had brilliant people doing applied research, it needed the business perspective and cross-discipline support to turn technical solutions into commercially viable products. Leadership engaged Point B to develop a process that would demonstrate the viability of each concept and align everyone around it – including R&D, finance, commercialization and leadership stakeholders. 

Aligning for market success  

While many Design Thinking efforts focus on ideation, Point B also helps customers through the critical next steps: the business of taking their best concepts to market.

We worked closely with our customer's executive team to build trust as we developed and delivered Design Thinking workshops for its two concepts. Each workshop brought together leaders from across the entire organization. We created a safe environment in which leaders across multiple disciplines could see that they all came to the table with their own assumptions. This realization opened minds to move beyond assumptions and share concerns about key business questions for going to market: Who is our customer? How do we reach them? How will we make this a financially viable product?

Through the workshops, we helped leaders transition from the limits of a project management perspective to an organizational learning approach that will serve them in future commercialization efforts. We also gave them a framework to determine whether a concept is worth additional funding. We provided test-and-learn plans that articulate the sequence of key assumptions that need to be validated before making further investments over the next three, six and nine months – as moving forward becomes progressively more cost-intensive.

Finally, with knowledge transfer in mind, we created a playbook that builds their own capabilities to do this work long after we're gone.

Better products, faster pace 

Point B's Design Thinking workshops achieved the alignment and business perspective our customer needs to commercialize winning products at an accelerated pace. For the first time, leaders across the organization are equipped to join forces and turn their best ideas into market successes.