Over the past months, Engage // Innovate has been working with the South Island Prosperity Partnership, the City of Victoria, the Association of BC Marine Industries and Urban Systems to lay the groundwork for the development of an ocean economic ecosystem on Southern Vancouver Island and Pacific Canada.

Building the Ocean Futures Hub & Cluster in Atlantic Canada

With the longest coastline in the world, Canada has access to an array of marine resources. With the world rapidly shifting to a more sustainable model known as the blue economy, the Ocean Futures Hub & Cluster (OFH&C) will be a vehicle for industry leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, governments, and investors to accelerate Canada’s position in the global ocean technology sector with a blue economy focus.

By 2030, the Ocean Futures Hub & Cluster (OFH&C) aims to become a global ocean technology hub, create new high-value jobs in British Columbia and transform ocean industries for the 22nd century.

Over the past months, Engage // Innovate, together global accelerator Hatch and Canadian firm Urban Systems, has been supporting the development of the business case, cluster framework and feasibility study of the OFH&C through research, facilitation and custom designed tools.

Working virtually with over 120 stakeholders towards a common goal

Together with Urban Systems and HATCH, Engage // Innovate engaged and worked with over 120 stakeholders to co-design the OFH&C concept – completely digital, across borders.

Working together with over 100 participants on a digital whiteboard – engagement requires well-planned tools

Split into 10 smaller breakout groups, the ocean and marine leaders worked through strategic questions and tools to discuss the strategy, structure, governance, financing and key strategic initiatives for the OFH&C, as well as the current challenges and future of the blue economy in Pacific Canada.

The stakeholder engagement process identified several key factors, which has been worked into a report released in December by Urban Systems.

Click here to read the report Business Case for an Ocean Futures Hub & Cluster on Southern Vancouver Island.

Helping government leaders accelerate national transformation

Over the past ten years, Engage // Innovate’s team has helped government leaders accelerate national transformation, develop new high-growth industries, build Innovation Supercluster Programs and transform economic growth.

Recognized as a global authority on Building Innovation Superclusters, the Shifting Energy Arena and how to drive corporate transformation, Engage // Innovate currently has active projects running in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. Despite the challenges of international business travels, all programs are delivered on schedule using a highly innovative blended approach to secure a successful project delivery.

Contact Information

Christian Rangen
CEO, Partner
Christian@engage-innovate.com
+ 4792415949

www.engage-innovate.com

In the wake of COVID-19, Engage // Innovate has seen a sharp shift in client needs around the world. Over the past few weeks, the company has secured multiple new economic development contracts in North America, Latin America and the Nordics.

Economic revival in a post-COVID environment

The majority of contracts secured this month are large-scale government initiatives to revive and kick-start economic growth in a post-COVID era. These contracts are all entered into with ‘entreprenurial government leaders’, leaning in to come up with large-scale economic recovery initiatives.

We see key government leaders really start thinking about what are our next growth are industries? What are our industries of the future? Then, laying down rapid-action plans to accelerate the development of these key future industries”, says Partner Christian Rangen of Engage // Innovate.

Building next generation ocean cluster in Western Canada

On the island of Victoria, in Canada’s British Columbia, visionary Mayor Lisa Helps is already leading the work on Victoria 3.0, a long-term strategic economic development initiative. Under the pillars of Recovery Reinvention Resilience, Victoria 3.0 lays out the economic growth model for 2020 – 2041.

Central to the economic recovery plan is creating an ocean futures cluster, accelerating western Canada’s value creation in the ocean space. While Canada has the world’s longest coastline, the economic activity and value from its ocean industries lag behind other major ocean economy nations. Combining the ocean cluster with the larger city-development of a brand-new innovation district is expected to provide an influx of high-value jobs for the region.

The project is the full development of a feasibility study, cluster framework and operating structure for a successful innovation cluster in Canada’s emerging ocean space.

“I see a massive potential for new economic activity in the ocean space, combining new technologies, venture capital and scale ups with the existing infrastructure and economic leaders in British Columbia”, says Rangen.

“This investment in the Ocean Futures Innovation Hub is an investment in the future of B.C.’s economy,” says Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Read the full press release from South Island Prosperity Partnership and City of Victoria here.

Engage // Innovate is partnering with global accelerator Hatch and Canadian firm Urban Systems to deliver the end-to-end project on a significantly accelerated timeline.

Developing new medical technology growth industries in Latin America

Under the leadership of the Latin American team, Engage // Innovate has recently secured a key contract with CINDE – Costa Rica’s Investment Opportunity Agency. Tasked with developing Costa Rica into a high-knowledge, high-value country in the medical technologies, manufacturing and devices industries, CINDE plays a key leadership role in accelerating the development of a new Life Sciences Hub in the region.

“This is a superb Innovation Supercluster Initiative, and I am very excited for the potential I see in Costa Rica. In line with the global transformation of the medical technologies industry, Costa Rica can really take a leading role”, says Rangen.

The project is designed to pull all the key stakeholders together to co-design and co-develop a new strategy for the country’s significant medical devices and medical technology industries. Ever since the launch of a national medical technology program 20 years ago, Costa Rica has been able to attract talent, foreign direct investments, multinationals and manufacturing companies to the country.

Today, Costa Rica is looking to grow in the areas of high tech, software, innovative business models, scale ups and further talent development.

“I look forward to following Costa Rica’s ambitious journey in the medical technology space”, says Rangen.

Helping government leaders accelerate national transformation

Over the past ten years, Engage // Innovate’s team has helped government leaders accelerate national transformation, develop new high-growth industries, build Innovation Supercluster Programs and transform economic growth.

Recognized as a global authority on Building Innovation Superclusters, the Shifting Energy Arena and how to drive corporate transformation, Engage // Innovate currently has active projects running in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. Despite the challenges of international business travels, all programs are delivered on schedule using a highly innovative blended approach to secure a successful project delivery.

Contact Information

Christian Rangen
CEO, Partner
Christian@engage-innovate.com
+ 4792415949

www.engage-innovate.com

Due to a growing interest and need to change how Strategy and Innovation programs are conducted, Engage // Innovate is expanding its global footprint by opening operations in Latin America. Under the leadership of Roberto Chaverri, the global Strategy & Innovation consulting company will serve an increasing number of clients across the region.

“Latin America is a diverse region with fast growing economies, successful local and regional enterprises and a strong emerging innovation ecosystem. Our belief in the region’s potential makes our expansion to Latin America a natural step for us,” says co-founder, Christian Rangen.

According to the The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum and The Global Innovation Index by WIPO, there are only two Latin America countries within the top 55 in both Rankings, Chile (33, 47) and Costa Rica (47, 54).

“Latin America remains one of the most promising regions in the world, but at the same time, it continues to lag in terms of competitiveness and innovation,” says Roberto Chaverri.

“What we strive with Engage // Innovate‘s presence in Latin America is to support the entire business ecosystem by engaging with all its members (corporations, entrepreneurs, academia, capital markets and government) and providing them with a new framework and tools that can leverage the existing capabilities while learning from the best practices of regions and countries like the Nordics, Switzerland or Malaysia,” added Chaverri.

“We are very excited to have Roberto joining us and leading the build-up of our client base in this exciting region. His deep knowledge of the challenges and opportunities organizations face in operating in a dynamic but complex region, is quite important for us.” says Rangen.

Roberto Chaverri brings more than 15 years of experience as a Senior Executive in multinational companies such as The Clorox Company, British American Tobacco, The Coca-Cola Company and leading regional ones like Dos Pinos and Ingenio Magdalena. Most recently he has been working as an independent Consultant both in Germany and Costa Rica, where he will be residing after 7 years living abroad.

“In Engage // Innovate we believe that serving our clients requires a local understanding as well as a global perspective. With Roberto on our team, we will be able to serve our clients with such a mindset.” added Rangen.

“Due to its strategic location, we have selected Costa Rica as our Latin America base, out of which we will be coordinating the entire region”, concluded Christian Rangen.

To engage our services or explore a partnership with Engage // Innovate in Latin America, please email Mr. Chaverri at roberto@engage-innovate.com.

ENGAGE // INNOVATE INICIA OPERACIONES EN AMÉRICA LATINA

Debido al creciente interés y la necesidad de cambiar la forma en que se llevan a cabo los programas de estrategia e innovación, Engage // Innovate está expandiendo su presencia global al abrir operaciones en América Latina. Bajo el liderazgo de Roberto Chaverri, la compañía global de consultoría de estrategia e innovación atenderá a un número creciente de clientes en toda la región.

“América Latina es una región diversa con economías de rápido crecimiento, empresas locales y regionales exitosas, y emergentes ecosistemas de innovación. Nuestra convicción del potencial de la región hace que nuestra expansión a América Latina sea un paso muy natural para nosotros “, dice el fundador de la consultora noruega, Christian Rangen.

De acuerdo con el Índice de Competitividad Global del Foro Económico Mundial y el Índice de Innovación Global de la OMPI, de América Latina sólo dos países se ubican en el top 55 de ambos rankings, Chile (33, 47) y Costa Rica (47, 54).

“América Latina sigue siendo una de las regiones más prometedoras del mundo, pero al mismo tiempo, sigue rezagada en términos de competitividad e innovación.”, dice Roberto Chaverri.

“Con la presencia de Engage // Innovate en América Latina buscamos proveer a todos los participantes del ecosistema de negocios (corporaciones, empresarios, instituciones académicas, mercados de capital y gobierno) de un enfoque novedoso en cómo hacer estrategia y desarrollar programas de innovación, así como de herramientas prácticas que permitan aprovechar las capacidades existentes y aprender de las mejores prácticas de regiones y países como Escandinavia, Suiza o Malasia.”, agregó Chaverri.

“Estamos muy contentos de que el Sr. Chaverri se una a nosotros y lidere el desarrollo de nuestras operaciones en esta región emergente. Su profundo conocimiento de los desafíos y oportunidades que enfrentan las organizaciones al operar en una región dinámica pero compleja, es muy importante para nosotros.”, dice el Sr. Rangen.

Roberto Chaverri cuenta con más de 15 años de experiencia como ejecutivo senior en compañías multinacionales como The Clorox Company, British American Tobacco, The Coca-Cola Company y líderes regionales como Dos Pinos e Ingenio Magdalena. Más recientemente, ha estado trabajando como consultor independiente en Alemania y Costa Rica, donde residirá después de 7 años viviendo en el extranjero.

“En Engage // Innovate creemos que servir a nuestros clientes requiere una comprensión local y una perspectiva global. Con Roberto en nuestro equipo, podremos servir a nuestros clientes con esa mentalidad “, agregó Rangen.

“Debido a su ubicación estratégica, hemos seleccionado a Costa Rica como nuestra base en América Latina, desde donde coordinaremos toda la región.”, concluyó Christian Rangen.

Para contratar nuestros servicios o explorar posibles alianzas con Engage // Innovate en América Latina, envíe un correo electrónico al Sr. Chaverri a roberto@engage-innovate.com.

Seeing an increasing client demand for  a tailored approach to strategy and innovation, Engage // Innovate is expanding its team to welcome new Partner Ian Pallister – who comes armed with more than two decades of experience helping top management across the globe on strategy, innovation, and transformation.

 

“It’s a great privilege to have Ian Pallister join the team, bringing on board deep expertise from his time at renowned strategy firms Strategos (with Gary Hamel) and Palladium,” says Engage // Innovate co-founder, Christian Rangen.

Residing in Munich, Ian Pallister has a 25-year track record of working with clients across a broad span of industries – from telecommunications, government, to energy and Fast Moving Consumer Goods – to solve their most complex strategy, process and people challenges.

“With Ian on the team, we will be able to serve a wider variety of clients and create even stronger impact.” added Rangen.

We sat down with Ian and a cup of coffee to understand what he brings to the table.

 

Tell us a little bit about your work in strategy and innovation

 

For the last 20 years I have been working in advisory roles, working within well known consulting firms to help clients with their strategic and innovation challenges. And I’ve been fortunate to work with some great people and clients around the world, from whom I have learnt a huge amount.

At Strategos, I worked with clients to formulate robust strategies that were based upon a solid ‘foundation’ of strategic insights. The resultant strategies were focused upon opportunities for growth that took account of what the company was uniquely good at, and where it could out-compete others; but also unique insights into current and potential customers and markets.

As well as strategy formulation we always emphasised the need to design strategies that could be implemented and that lead us to develop Migration Maps that clients could use to guide their strategy implementation.

Our work in innovation built upon a similar approach – we focused upon developing new innovative concepts but also emphasised in-market experimentation for ultimately greater launch success. So, in summary the work was about creative design and rigorous implementation.

At Palladium I was able to continue that work, helping clients with both their strategy and innovation challenges. Palladium is known as the world’s premier strategy execution firm and its work in that area is based upon the ground-breaking work of Prof Kaplan (from Harvard) and Dr Norton who developed the concepts of the Balanced Scorecard and the Strategy Map.

At Palladium, I helped to bring more of a front-end strategy formulation aspect to their work, whilst also developing a comprehensive approach to innovation which was called the Innovation Impact Framework. This framework was very comprehensive, starting with the strategic role of innovation through to the measurement and management of innovation.

Could you highlight a couple of the more interesting projects you’ve worked on?

Some of the most interesting projects are those where clients are facing big challenges that they have never faced before and you are able to come in and reassure them as to how they should move forward.

A recent strategy project saw me helping a company adjust to a completely new set of strategic challenges that had come about through a change in their Group strategy.

They no longer had a protected ‘internal provider’ status and had to go into the external market and compete for both external customers and internal business.

This was a huge disruption for them and required a completely different approach to strategy, one that actually required them to be more innovative in their thinking and a lot more focused upon extrernal trends and customer needs.

Helping them to make this very difficult strategic adjustment and develop a really strong strategy was very satisfying.

A recent innovation project saw me asked me help a leading Telco firm develop new innovation spaces in the areas of IoT and Big Data.

This was especially interesting due to the leading edge content matter of the project itself but it also reinforced my belief that disruptive innovation as well as more incremental innovations can be brought to market by the application of a thorough innovation process, that involves the right participants from both within and outside of the company.

 

‘Based on your experience, what do you think are the key building blocks for developing an innovation proficiency?  

The key here is to be able to develop an approach to innovation that fits well with the existing organisational culture. And this requires a bespoke approach.
Of course it is advisable to start with an existing proven approach and a set of tools, and the guidance of experienced practitioners. It is all about adopt, adapt, and embed.
This involves adopting a framework/system/process and through some practical application to real business challenges, adapting these processes/tools to your organisation. And finally you need to embed the approach by extending it to as many parts of the organisation, and as many people, as possible.

 

‘You’ve worked on projects where you helped teams look out and capitalize on long-term trends – what are the things you think we should look out for?’

Well, in terms of the process that you should adopt to help you look for the trends, I think it does help to take a broad view and by that I mean to look at trends in many different categories – technology, markets, customers, socio-economic etc.

The key thing here is not to focus upon individual trends but to be able to look for the intersection of trends and the reinforcing of separate trends that have the potential to drive discontinuous changes that can result in large scale market disruptions.
At present, we see a lot of disruption that is technology-led and this will continue but we also see a lot of disruptions to business that come from political and market changes, so being able to predict those changes, and perhaps model the impact of those changes through some form of scenario planning is a useful exercise.

 

What are some of the key issues you see that CEOs are struggling with currently?

Building upon the answer to the last question, at present I think the key issue CEOs are facing is the level of uncertainty and rapid change in the world and this has only been magnified by recent political changes i.e. Brexit, President Trump and his leaning towards trade tariffs etc. The world was complicated enough without these additional drivers of uncertainty.

So, I see CEOs struggling to develop long-term strategies that set out a vision and direction for their firm and stakeholders, but are also practical and implementable in more than just a short 3-6 month execution horizon.

Of course, the solution to this is to work on formulating longer term strategies that are based upon a robust and broad set of strategic insights – the Strategic Foundation – and consider different strategic options and scenarios as part of that formulation process.

And then to implement rigorously in a short to medium term time frame (12-24 months) using tried and tested management tools such as those I mentioned earlier, Strategy Maps, Scorecards etc. and build the management and reporting of strategic success into the culture of the organisation. Implementation then becomes more than just a reporting of numbers and allows for greater organisational agility to ‘course correct’ as necessary based upon changing conditions.

 

How do you see the intersection of strategy and innovation changing in the years to come?

I see the intersection of these two areas as being vitally important and strategy and innovation are becoming inextricably linked. And in many ways strategy formulation is all about innovation i.e. identifying new market spaces, developing new concepts, and bringing them to market; whilst also ensuring that existing product/services/business models remain relevant to changing customer preferences.

For example, The Innovation Impact Framework that I mentioned earlier was designed to ensure that all innovation activity was 100% aligned with the business strategy and that any outcomes from innovation efforts were completely aligned with the vision of the business. If there is any disconnect between the two, then innovation effort and budget is wasted.

Finally, let me say that what I love about Engage//Innovate is their focus on both strategy AND innovation. I think you are leading the way in helping clients to bring these two vital areas of management together and I look forward to working with the team in the future.

This interview first appeared in Ctrl-D in the Romanian language. Click here for original article.

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Christian Rangen will meet with the Romanian public at the IMWorld 2017 conference on October 4-5, 2017. Engage // Innovate will go on Main Stage, where he will hold a session on  Is Your Strategy Ready for the Future?

 

A lot of companies talk about innovation, although they don’t always know what they mean by it. So, how would you explain innovation… for an employer and employee?



Thank you for a great question.

In its most simple terms, innovation is something new that creates value for the company and its stakeholders. Of course, very often it’s much more than that.

We like to talk about innovation vs transformation, where innovation is a number of important new things for the company – for example a new product, a new service, or entirely new business models, while transformation is really a large scale, significant change to create entirely new businesses or business areas that over time can become bigger than the old company.

We always recommend companies to learn our tool The Innovation Pyramid that uses 9 different levels to explain what is innovation. This is a really powerful tool to create shared understanding and shared language in the organization. You can download it at www.strategytools.io.

 

The right tools, the right structure or the right mindset – which one is the most important for a company to successfully seize new growth opportunities. Why?


You need all three. We work a lot with companies to build innovation capabilities, and again and again and again, we see that we need this combination of factors.

You need a mandate and structure for anything to happen, you need the right tools internally to work within an organizational setting, but without the right mindset and culture, nothing is going to happen over time. 

 

What other measures are needed beyond just training executives in a new strategy tool, in order to innovate?


Successful companies share three traits. First, they have a strong mandate for innovation, usually from the board of directors and the CEO. Second, they have sufficient resources in terms of time and money, and finally, they have the right structure and tools in place. Hence, the right tools are really really important, but you need to look at the wider organization in order to succeed.

 

Can a company teach its people to be innovative?


Absolutely. Innovation, like any other organizational skill, can be taught, trained and developed over time. We’ve seen some great examples with large organizations really putting innovation and creativity training to the core of their people development.

Based on our work with large companies around the world, we’ve observed three things – first, you need an innovation hero. This is the person that’s creating the internal interest and buy in. Second, you need to link it back to the corporate strategy – so where the company is going in the next ten years. Then it’s really simple, in the matter of designing and running training programmes. This can be physical training sessions, it can be online programmes, or it can be corporate education programmes.

But yes, innovation and creativity can definitely be taught and learned in any conversation.

 

Nowadays most of the companies outsource innovation. Do you think this is a good thing or that innovation should be a core company competency in order to create a culture of innovation?

 

I think building a deep capability for innovation is a must for any company and any industry. I also think companies should develop innovation strategies that allow for both internal and external forms of innovation. A great example is Cisco and its framework for innovation strategy. They do a really, really good job of explaining how innovation should either be internal-driven, acquisition, partnership, investments, or collaborations. But first and foremost, innovation should be a deep organizational capability.

 

You’re the co-creator of several strategy tools for business model innovation that really speed up processes & help companies make informed decisions. Can you talk a bit about each model and about the main thing it helps with?


I’d like to point to 3 of our most popular tools:  the first – Three Levels of Business Models – is a great tool for building structure and portfolio around your business model innovation.

It has helped IT companies move from an hourly billing model to a portfolio of business models including one that helped dramatically increase profit margins.

Second is the Industry Shifts Map. This is a newly developed tool that we’re seeing great impact from its work. The Industry Shifts Map allows executives to better understand and act on significant industry inflection points and changes.

Third is The Transformation Test. This is a tool available in its first generation, and it allows executives to survey the company’s ability to lead large scale transformation. We are currently developing an online survey version of this to be tested out with key companies over the next year.

The market all over the world is changing rapidly and many business models are no longer viable. The most common advice companies receive is to reinvent and transform. What does that mean, beyond theory? Where to start from?


I’m so glad you asked that question. It’s the number one challenge many companies struggle with.

The starting point is to develop a strategy for the future. Develop a strategy that allows for much bigger change in your environment and industry. Develop a strategy where you decide on claiming ambitious positions in this new landscape, and finally develop the right transformational architecture inside your company. This requires the right people with the right mandate and tools, to create the future for your company.

We can no longer rely on legacy business models, but need to take aggressive and accelerated positions for the future.

We’re seeing this being done with clients in energy, utility, technology and industrials, but it really requires a top management team with ambitions for innovation and growth, rather than just more of the same.

To be successful, companies should start by building innovation capabilities and the right tools for innovation and transformation.

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All tools mentioned in this interview can be downloaded free at www.strategytools.io

Seeing a growing a global interest, Engage // Innovate is strengthening its presence into the Middle East. Under the leadership of Tarek Fahmy, the global strategy & innovation consulting company will serve an increasing number of clients in the Middle East and North Africa.

“In the past 24 months, we’ve significantly increased our business in Asia and the region. Opening up a business in the region is just the next natural step for us,” says co-founder, Christian Rangen.

“We are privileged to have capacity like Mr. Fahmy joining us to build our client base in what is truly one of the most exciting and dynamic regions of the world,” says Mr. Rangen.

Building Transformational Capacity

Our entire team is truly excited by the strategic opportunities found in the global energy industry. While the transition away from fossil fuel, most of it oil, can be painful in the short term, we believe both companies and governments will benefit from it. Our work from the past three years on building transformational capacity has shown that companies can succeed on a large scale strategic change.

We’ve run projects on solar energy, smart city, electric cars, fish farming, space mining, drones, and the future of mobility — all as part of building transformational capacity.

See our client success stories here.

Serving Multiple Industries

Engage // Innovate serves clients in technology, energy, oil & gas, fast moving consumer goods, consulting & advisory, education, construction, and transportation. The company’s strategy tools and methodologies help executives navigate industry shifts, manage strategic inflection points, and develop a deep capacity for successful innovation.

The company’s services focus on three areas — innovation workshops & training programs, strategy and transformation projects, and a growing number of corporate accelerator programs to accelerate new business development and new ventures.

“We feel our portfolio of services is a good match for the challenges and opportunities to be found in the Middle East,” says co-founder Mr. Rangen.

Experienced Strategy Designer

Mr. Fahmy joined Engage // Innovate with a nearly 20-year background in management and advisory services, most recently coming from a position of a strategy designer with a global consulting company, where he helped develop programs, projects and served clients in the Middle East.

Growing the Business on the Ground

Engage // Innovate is already serving clients in the region and will significantly ramp up business development activities. Later this year, the company will host a number of workshops, keynote talks, and executive sessions for clients and potential clients in the region.

To engage our services or explore a partnership with Engage // Innovate in the Middle East and North African regions, please email Mr. Fahmy at tarek@engage-innovate.com.