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A case of a government agency in sustainable management of natural resources

Stim came to the aid of the Innovation Lab manager of a French government agency, which manages the State’s natural resources & biological reserves in France. Our mission was to provide his team with methods and tools to activate a mid-term strategic plan, taking into account major social, business, and environmental changes.

 

The challenge

Provide the right methods and tools to refine an ambitious innovation strategy but not yet actionable

Since the 60s, this government agency has become an institution in France in sustainable management of natural resources, regrouping the nation’s best experts in the field. To prepare for the upcoming challenges of climate change, the agency’s collaborators are drafting a 40-page mid-term innovation plan in order to rethink their activities to adapt to new business challenges and to climate change constraints.

The drafted innovation strategy has high ambition but not yet pilotable with 23 strategic focuses and an unclear mix of 60 operational and exploratory levers, coupled with a low level of relevance between them. The Innovation Lab manager, therefore, called for Stim to help refine this plan and turn it into an actionable one.

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Our solution

A one-single-focus strategic plan with a distinction between Exploitation and Exploration activities

In order to refine the mid-term innovation strategy, Stim intervened throughout a series of interviews and working sessions with both the COMEX and the Innovation team, which revealed major blocking points:

  • The interviews with the COMEX have helped identify the top 3 challenges faced by the agency, including the threats from climate change, the need for new business models to adapt to changing demands from the sector, and their ambition to reinforce their position as a prestigious government entity in nature conservation.

  • Throughout a series of workshops, we have analysed the gap between these major 3 challenges and the listed actions in the drafted strategic plan. This led to the identification of uncovered topics and missing projects to achieve their ambition.

  • We have also pointed out a serious lack of distinction between Exploitation and Exploration activities within the agency. As methods and tools to tackle high-uncertainty and disruptive projects - Exploration activities - are not the same as business-as-usual ones, the agency is advised by Stim to implement a dedicated team and organisation for Exploration, which is non-existing to date.

In 2 months, a toolkit of methods for the activation of mid-term innovation strategy was given to the Innovation team to be presented to the COMEX, including how to pilot high-uncertainty disruptive projects, how to implement the right organisational structures in Exploitation and Exploration projects.

Most crucially, Stim has pinpointed the lack of an Exploration team within the agency - which must be created in order to pilot breakthrough innovation projects. If not, the agency risks being outrun by their own ecosystem, where new-coming private organisations and companies are innovating at a far faster speed.

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