Applied Methodology Expertise

The exper­tise of the “Insti­tute for Inno­va­tion and Change Method­olo­gies (IICM)” is based on three dif­fer­ent pil­lars: Change, Inno­va­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Depend­ing on the needs and in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with our clients, we co-cre­ate cus­tomised for­mats in order to achieve sus­tain­able impact on the orga­ni­za­tion.

IICM Spectrum


In the con­text of the VUCA world and the asso­ci­at­ed need to dri­ve change not only quick­ly, but also in a resource-sav­ing and focused way, the “Cus­tomer Cen­tric Approach” offers the mind­set as well as method­i­cal pre­req­ui­sites to work effec­tive­ly and focus on cus­tomer ben­e­fit. In inno­va­tion projects, IICM focus­es its per­spec­tive on this approach in order to opti­mal­ly align strat­e­gy, process­es, prod­uct and ser­vice devel­op­ment with the indi­vid­ual cus­tomer. The knowl­edge gained can be adapt­ed as quick­ly as pos­si­ble and iter­at­ed effi­cient­ly.

With Design Think­ing, user-spe­cif­ic prob­lems can be iden­ti­fied, and inno­v­a­tive solu­tions devel­oped on this basis. The indi­vid­ual phas­es in Design Think­ing can be divid­ed into under­stand­ing, prob­lem for­mu­la­tion, idea gen­er­a­tion, conceptualization/design and test­ing. The method is an inte­gral part of the IICM work­ing method, can be applied to almost any project and be method­i­cal­ly extend­ed. IICM also trains its clients’ employ­ees as well as stu­dents at uni­ver­si­ties and edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions.

Inno­va­tion Pat­terns is a method to devel­op new busi­ness mod­els, products/services or process­es. In con­trast to many oth­er inno­va­tion meth­ods, cus­tomer needs are ini­tial­ly ignored in the idea gen­er­a­tion process. Instead, the focus is on the exist­ing resources of an orga­ni­za­tion and its experts. The method takes the “Func­tion Fol­lows Form” approach, which means that an inno­va­tion is first iden­ti­fied from exist­ing resources by apply­ing inno­va­tion pat­terns in order to then find its intend­ed use and cre­ate new cus­tomer needs.

Thanks to long-term expe­ri­ence in com­plex projects a core com­pe­tence at IICM is the selec­tion and appli­ca­tion of dif­fer­ent (ideation) method­olo­gies. These method­olo­gies help employ­ees and man­age­ment to think dif­fer­ent­ly, to take new per­spec­tives and to use their cre­ative poten­tial. Every­body can be inno­v­a­tive. For exam­ple, the “Ideas Engine” is a struc­tured cre­ativ­i­ty process, which, since 2005, has been suc­cess­ful­ly adopt­ed for the devel­op­ment of inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts, mar­ket­ing and ser­vices. In order to exploit its max­i­mum poten­tial, this method enables social exchange and inter­ac­tion for shared, effi­cient and high-qual­i­ty idea gen­er­a­tion.

Sce­nar­ios are a means to explore future oppor­tu­ni­ties in face of an uncer­tain future. The IICM sce­nario process enables par­tic­i­pants to devel­op sce­nar­ios in a struc­tured way in a 1–2 day facil­i­tat­ed work­shop set­ting which allows exist­ing trend inputs to be used in order to explore future trends and chal­lenges. The set­ting allows assess­ment of iden­ti­fied option fields and roadmaps. The sce­nar­ios devel­oped con­sti­tute a frame­work which can be used for lat­er stages in inno­va­tion process­es in order to test ideas, prod­ucts, and strat­e­gy port­fo­lios with regards to their robust­ness in face of equal­ly plau­si­ble future busi­ness envi­ron­ments.

Busi­ness Sim­u­la­tion (Busi­ness Wargam­ing) is an inter­ac­tive work­shop for­mat in which par­tic­i­pants assume dif­fer­ent roles such as com­peti­tors, reg­u­la­tors, market/customers and their own com­pa­ny in order to dynam­i­cal­ly sim­u­late future busi­ness sit­u­a­tions. The aim of the approach is to build up a deep­er under­stand­ing of future mar­ket dynam­ics and to antic­i­pate poten­tial com­pet­i­tive actions or reac­tions.

A cross-indus­try for­mat is car­ried out with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dif­fer­ent indus­tries in order to share best prac­tices and cre­ate trans­fer ser­vices for one’s own orga­ni­za­tion. IICM takes on the role of a cross-indus­try net­work­er and method­i­cal­ly accom­pa­nies the for­mat to ensure that all par­tic­i­pants ben­e­fit equal­ly from each oth­er.

The pri­ma­ry objec­tives of the Lean Start­up Method are to min­i­mize risks in prod­uct devel­op­ment at an ear­ly stage. In the course of this, a lean prod­uct — Min­i­mal Viable Prod­uct — is devel­oped that con­tains the core ben­e­fits and can be test­ed on the cus­tomer as ear­ly as pos­si­ble. This is done through an iter­a­tive Build/Measure/Learn cycle that is ide­al­ly per­formed at a high fre­quen­cy. This allows the desired strat­e­gy to be con­tin­u­ous­ly reviewed and adapt­ed.

New busi­ness mod­els can be iden­ti­fied through a sys­tem­at­ic approach. In addi­tion to the nec­es­sary meth­ods, IICM also offers sup­port dur­ing the sub­se­quent devel­op­ment process (e.g. Stage Gate Process) up to the test­ing of the MVP (Min­i­mal Viable Prod­uct). The long-term goal is to enable the organ­i­sa­tion to car­ry out and fur­ther devel­op this process on its own.


In order to meet the demands of a tur­bu­lent, uncer­tain, ambigu­ous and inno­v­a­tive envi­ron­ment, many com­pa­nies decide to become an agile organ­i­sa­tion. Agili­ty is a col­lec­tive term for dif­fer­ent meth­ods and ways of think­ing, such as agile soft­ware devel­op­ment, lean start­up think­ing and new lead­er­ship. IICM sup­ports organ­i­sa­tions in build­ing the cul­tur­al, tech­ni­cal and method­olog­i­cal skills to ini­ti­ate and sus­tain agile trans­for­ma­tion.

In order to be able to design a change process effec­tive­ly, a deep under­stand­ing of the scope, pre­req­ui­sites and par­tic­i­pants is nec­es­sary. The result­ing mea­sures for con­trol, mea­sure­ment and design are record­ed in a con­tin­u­ous­ly adapt­ing change archi­tec­ture. The over­all pic­ture gives the par­tic­i­pants an overview of the type and tim­ing of inter­ven­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mea­sure­ment of progress.

An organisation’s cul­ture exerts a sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence on its over­all suc­cess. Espe­cial­ly in times of con­tin­u­ous change, it is a nec­es­sary com­po­nent to be able to react flex­i­bly to new require­ments. IICM sup­ports the organ­i­sa­tion in an inclu­sive process to devel­op val­ues, norms, arte­facts and behav­iours that con­tribute to estab­lish­ing a sus­tain­able cor­po­rate cul­ture. This is brought to life by the employ­ees and has a pos­i­tive effect on their per­for­mance.

Many organ­i­sa­tions face the chal­lenges of a glob­alised and digi­tised world. In the course of this the role of the leader changes — away from a con­trol­ling to a sup­port­ing func­tion. As a result, their employ­ees are chal­lenged to solve com­plex chal­lenges inde­pen­dent­ly. With its PROV mod­el (Per­for­mance Rel­e­vance of Val­ues), IICM sup­ports organ­i­sa­tions in devel­op­ing high per­for­mance teams. Behav­iours that cre­ate an envi­ron­ment of trust play an impor­tant role. Trust not only pro­motes open­ness among employ­ees, but also trig­gers trans­paren­cy and feed­back, which ulti­mate­ly leads to per­son­al devel­op­ment and recog­ni­tion of employ­ee respon­si­bil­i­ty.

Work­shops are among the most effec­tive for­mats for involv­ing employ­ees in enabling or dia­logue for­mats. IICM sup­ports the con­cep­tion, design and imple­men­ta­tion of small and large group for­mats as well as train the train­er mod­ules and trig­gers own­er­ship for the rel­e­vant top­ics through the active involve­ment of employ­ees. In times of infla­tion­ary work­shops, gam­i­fi­ca­tion for­mats can be used to cre­ate inter­ac­tive events that con­vey seri­ous top­ics to employ­ees in a play­ful, sim­ple and mem­o­rable way.

The devel­op­ment of a cor­po­rate vision is impor­tant in order to pro­vide both employ­ees and cus­tomers with a guid­ing prin­ci­ple that describes the strate­gic ori­en­ta­tion of the organ­i­sa­tion. IICM uses a col­lab­o­ra­tive approach that aims to cre­ate own­er­ship. In the course of this, the per­spec­tives of all stake­hold­ers are first record­ed. The elab­o­ra­tion of a con­crete vision of the future can then be imple­ment­ed with the help of a suit­able work­ing mod­el (e.g. LEGO Seri­ous Play). Final­ly, the con­tents devel­oped are trans­lat­ed into a cor­re­spond­ing vision.


The pur­pose of info­graph­ics is to illus­trate and sim­pli­fy com­plex mat­ters such as process­es or future sce­nar­ios. In addi­tion, they can be used to com­pare a com­mon under­stand­ing and for inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion. IICM’s design exper­tise is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent in the plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of change and inno­va­tion projects.

Moti­va­tion, struc­ture and lead­er­ship form the basis for sus­tain­able change process­es. A fur­ther impor­tant com­po­nent is the trans­fer of skills and com­pe­tences which con­tribute to empow­er­ing the employ­ees of the organ­i­sa­tion for the change process. In order to anchor these in the long term, IICM relies on ” tan­gi­ble ” arte­facts that can be specif­i­cal­ly inte­grat­ed into the process. Arte­facts can be used in dif­fer­ent media, from the cul­ture box to the cof­fee mug to the holis­tic work­shop set­ting. In addi­tion to their vis­i­bil­i­ty in ana­logue envi­ron­ments, they pro­vide a frame­work for struc­tured dis­cus­sion and can con­tribute to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the par­tic­i­pants.

Inno­va­tion and change projects require pro­fes­sion­al and authen­tic com­mu­ni­ca­tion along the entire process. This is not least required by the employ­ees of an organ­i­sa­tion whose every­day life is strong­ly influ­enced by pro­fes­sion­al, pro­mo­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Accord­ing to the giv­en frame­work con­di­tions, the IICM relies on a cre­ative “Employ­ee Expe­ri­ence” to involve the tar­get groups both emo­tion­al­ly and ratio­nal­ly.

Clas­si­cal “sto­ry­telling” is about telling sto­ries in order to con­vince oth­ers and win them over to some­thing. The IICM inter­prets “cor­po­rate sto­ry­telling” as the abil­i­ty to con­dense com­plex and com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion — such as a strate­gic reori­en­ta­tion — and con­sol­i­date it in con­sul­ta­tion with the stake­hold­ers. After prepa­ra­tion, these can be com­mu­ni­cat­ed to the broad­er audi­ence in an under­stand­able way.

In inno­va­tion work­shops and oth­er for­mats, nov­el prod­uct, process or busi­ness ideas emerge which are inter­pret­ed dif­fer­ent­ly by the work­shop par­tic­i­pants based on their indi­vid­ual per­spec­tives. Through their man­i­fes­ta­tion in the form of real-time visu­al­iza­tion, IICM opens up the pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­sol­i­dat­ing indi­vid­ual ideas and build­ing a com­mon under­stand­ing.

In diver­gent phas­es, visions of the future, sce­nario matri­ces, visions but also rough con­cepts often take on unspe­cif­ic states. Despite the ear­ly phase, there is often a need for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which can be imple­ment­ed with the help of visu­al­iza­tion. In the course of this the IICM prefers to work with scrib­bles, illus­tra­tions and pho­tomon­tages and gives the hith­er­to unspe­cif­ic idea room for future spec­i­fi­ca­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion.