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Joining 2nd Road part of Accenture Strategy

Sarah Leslie design innovation leadership strategy

I'm delighted to be joining the team at 2nd Road, a leading strategic innovation consultancy helping organisations design and deliver new futures, and now part of Accenture Strategy. 2nd Road draws on 25 years of experience providing consulting services in the areas of strategy, innovation, and organisational systems across multiple industries and sectors. The publication of monthly insights on this website will necessarily be placed on hold for the time being.  

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The Value of Design and Design Thinking to Business

Sarah Leslie design design thinking insights

If you've heard about the power of design thinking to drive value creation in any business, not just those involved in creating physical products, but aren't sure quite sure how, here's a short primer. Design used to be associated solely with appearance and aesthetics, with being 'on-trend', where it's value in driving consumer demand is clear. If you consider the marque of car you drive, or the brands of clothing you favour, you probably didn't choose them based solely on a rational basis of price and functionality. You chose them because there was something about the way they make you feel, something in their meaning to you, something in their design. And for that you were prepared to pay a...

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The Innovation Collaboration Imperative

Sarah Leslie collaboration innovation open innovation

The convergence of internet technologies, cloud computing, and augmented analytical tools to interpret the rivers of data flowing through our now connected physical world is enabling the reimagining of new business opportunities and whole industries. It's an exciting time to be involved in innovation, in harnessing this exponential level of change to deliver superior customer experience, and drive profitable growth. Yet it seems that meaningful innovation, in a world where all systems are becoming inter-connected, is now harder than ever to execute, whether you're the start up or the incumbent.  Transforming long established industries, whether automotive, pharmaceuticals, service or healthcare, required sophisticated knowledge of regulations, testing protocols, and traditional physical assets in addition to...

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What's on your Innovation Radar?

Sarah Leslie innovation leadership strategy

It's often said that for any organisation to pursue a truly meaningful innovation agenda, senior executive support, providing air cover for the troops on the ground, is an absolute pre-requisite. Last year, leading academics and consultants in the field of innovation strategy and capability undertook design research into how the Chairs and CEO's of some twenty leading Australian corporations view innovation. Going well beyond the usual survey, they held wide ranging, semi-structured conversations - employing scenarios, examples and stories - to discover the culture and behaviours that are driving results. As well as synthesising their findings, the authors also made note of what wasn't said, the capabilities and approaches that weren't...

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Fundamentals of Business Experimentation

Sarah Leslie design thinking experimentation innovation

Ideas that eventually reshape industries very often fly in the face of the collective wisdom and experience. In the absence of historical data to provide any comfort that value can be created from such ideas, it becomes vital for businesses to develop competency in experimentation. Eric Ries' Lean Startup methodology has much to teach businesses of any scale about the value applying a scientific approach to eliminate waste in the development of new offerings, and the use of an iterative, test and learn cycle to de-risk the innovation process. But before embarking on business experimentation, consider these key questions:  What is the purpose of the experiment? Will it definitively answer a question about a specific course of action under consideration? Is there...

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