iiNet, Australia’s second-largest DSL Internet provider, became a giant by building on its core strength—innovation. However, after 20 years of success, the company found itself sliding toward commodity status, facing fierce competition and rapidly changing consumer expectations. It was time to get back to its visionary roots and build innovation capacity to hedge against unforeseen market changes—and create new growth opportunities.

In essence the ask was to help future-proof the company. Presence’s response was to craft a repeatable, custom innovation process and roadmap that would help iiNet focus investment, determine team structure, identify the right level of governance, and hone in on possible partnerships and acquisitions to drive an idea to market.

Along with creating a bespoke innovation model, there was the challenge of acheiving alignment among a broad spectrum of stakeholders—the board, CEO, and a cross-disciplinary Innovation Group comprised of multiple members of the leadership team. From the outset, agreement was in short supply on everything from why iiNet should innovate to how, when, and where.

Over the course of the project, the Presence team made several trips to Australia to conduct research and C-level work sessions. The turning point came with the emergence of a plan the board members and executive team could all buy into. From there, Presence dove into the design of a custom Lean-Agile innovation process that mapped directly to iiNet’s business strategy.

The Presence team started by codifying and validating the innovation approach to design filtering criteria for exploration and early validation. Next—using human-centered design principles, inquiry-based learning, rapid experimentation, and other best practices for innovation—they ran through a mock concept to flesh out and document the process. They established the required team structure, setup, and investment, and made recommendations on roles and responsibilities. Eight weeks after kickoff, the finished innovation process and roadmap was ready.

With clear roles to hire for, a process to run, and a governance model for decision making, iiNet has the ability to operationalize its innovation strategy plan and organizational design, and can move forward on exploring new and sustainable market opportunities, meeting growth targets set by their shareholders.