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Turbo Teams - Fast Innovation of new products / Services

In World War II Skunk Works® was a name given to a project team at Lockheed Martin who very quickly developed a new jet fighter.

The concept has been developed into the modern age with Turbo Teams; a group of experts who drop out of the mainstream of a company’s operations in order to develop some experimental technology or new application in secrecy or at speed, unhampered by bureaucracy or the strict application of regulations.

It can be a great way to develop new ideas for your business but it really has to be done away from the pressure of running the  business day in and day out. The time involved can be anything from a half day to several weeks, depending on how much development and research you want to do.

Here are some hints on how to generate new ideas.


Focus on the customer. Many small & medium sized businesses find it difficult to justify the expense of formal market research but it is imperative to understand what the value is that your customers derive from your products and services. For example, people buy drills and bits but what they value is the hole in the wall. Try to put yourself in the place of your customer. Even better, talk to them about how they use you services or products.

Think beyond the product. More and more customers are looking for “solutions” rather than simple features and benefits. Is there a way you can rebundle your offer to make it more attractive? Ten years ago bagged salad was unheard of, now it is a multi million pound market.

Learn to forget. One the one hand you need to be able to exploit the strengths that have allowed you to get to where you are. On the other you need to question the assumptions you have about how the market place and how your business model works. If you were starting again today, how would you do it?

Reach out to new places and sectors. The Web has provided every business with the opportunity to reach out to new zone around the globe and connect to people whose passion matches their problems or aspirations. With unparalleled access to information and knowledge and the means to engage in collaborative problem solving at virtually no cost, SME’s can realistically compete with larger organisations.

Develop a learning organisation. No matter how big or small your organisation is make sure it is open-minded and committed to learning with these learning shared between each other.

Collaborate. Knowledge Transfer Programmes (KTPs) are an excellent way of accessing top brains in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). There are many schemes available and London Innovation Centre can help you choose the best route, so contact us (hyperlink to contact form) to find out the latest details.

Dabble with weird ideas. Thinking “outside the box” is much more difficult than usually imagined. We are simply too programmed to reject extremes. Instead, look at ways that you can experiment to shift away from a “we’ve always done it that way” form of thinking.

Never end the quest to challenge conventional thinking and finds ways of improving your processes.

Rethink, Reconfigure,Re-sequence, Relocate, Reduce, Redesign, Retool, Repeat.

These are eight simple rules that when applied are likely to foster innovation and competitive advantage .Bringing them into your business can be challenging but London Innovation Centre will help you achieve this.