Successfully discovering, developing, testing and launching adjacent initiatives in existing organizations is a unique challenge. Institutions that have successful core offerings often have difficulty identifying “what’s next.” One key issue is that adjacent opportunities have significantly more uncertainty to navigate than expanding services in the core, where typically ninety percent of an organization’s business is performed. Impact Studio lives primarily in the adjacent space.
Virtually all organizations are faced with the dilemma of how to generate sustainable growth. Under pressure to diversify their portfolios, many organizations double down on core business activities in the hopes that what brought them success in the past will continue to do so. This is risky. A better path to sustainable growth is through redistribution; investing in a diversified portfolio of growth opportunities that are more likely to have a transformational impact in the long run.
The deliverable is an Investment Grade Proposal (IGP). The IGP is a holistic proposal, including the expected financial returns, key uncertainties, and a disciplined investment plan for incubation. The proposed solution addresses our empathetic understanding of audience needs and how our unique capabilities allow Oregon State to serve the market. The IGP does not predict the future; it brings committed people together to create it.
The IGP narrative is backed up by appendices containing user needs, solution design, market information, financial modeling, and other pertinent details.
The deliverable is a validation of the proposed approach prior to scale-up. To validate, we rapidly and cost-effectively test the key uncertainties.
Each launch phase starts with a customized plan to test the most important areas of uncertainty. For example: during incubate, it is common to test whether the audience for the new service understands and values it to the extent assumed in the Investment Grade Proposal. In pilot, the core uncertainties often revolve around whether the full solution contains all the needed parts and whether the organization can deliver it. In scale-up, the uncertainty typically revolves around whether the solution can be delivered to multiple audiences with high quality and in a cost-effective manner.