As our team leader Simon Berry reports, we didn't succeed in our proposal to run a Third Sector innovation exchange for the UK Government. Disappointing, but not a great surprise as you can see from our earlier post-interview reflections. Simon writes:
The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) are still to announce their preferred partner for the delivery of the Innovation Exchange. But unfortunately it's not going to be us . .
John Craig has indicated to me that they were looking for a partner that already knew what needed to be done and had specific actions to make it happen. It could be argued that this reflects more traditional thinking ie "we know how innovation works, this is what needs to be done and this is how we are going to do it."
I also think that they had problems with our approach to the web presence for the Innovation Exchange and would have preferred more complete designs to be presented. This was exactly what Ben Whitnall of Delib thought would happen. In the video after the interview he said “We weren’t about trying to build a proprietary, monolithic new system to bring everyone to us, we just wanted to leverage what was out there already. Unfortunately, I don’t think that makes for a very sexy pitch . . .”
Obviously, I am really disappointed with this decision but have to say that I am not surprised. There was a ‘lack of chemistry’ during our interview. Jane Berry said afterwards “I don’t think they want innovation [in the delivery of the Innovation Exchange], they just want somewhere to put it”.
At the end of the day we didn't want to do what they wanted and the customer is always right!
Personally, I'll stick by our belief that the network approach is the right one and with Web 2.0, we have the tools to do it properly for the first time.
Anyway, we wish the winning consortium the very best in the delivery of the IE and will help in anyway we can to make it a success. And in any case, we will be keeping an eye on progress. I understand there will be an announcement at the end of the week.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Open Innovation Exchange. I am very proud to have been part of the team that made it happen. I'd also like to thank John Craig who has been very positive about the process we used.
Watch out for the New Statesman Awards, we are still in with a chance there. The NS tell me that the shortlist will be announced on 3 July. The details of our nomination is here.
I would echo Simon's thoughts. I'm sure all the team will reflect on what we have learned from the process ... and what we might do now. In order to get the burst of energy we've had for the past few weeks you need a clear focus - a deadline to be met, a contract to be won, a project to invent. I think we have the skills in the team to do a bit of purposeful wandering about and come up with something else. Ideas and offers welcome here, or even better across on the Open Innovation site.