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Our Approach

Excalibur (UK) Ltd was formerly the Innovation Services Division of the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre - one of the largest and most effective innovations centres in Europe. This division itself was formed in 1991 to take the message of the importance of innovation and continuous new product and service development to the wider business community.

The division utilised the highly effective Sword Innovation courses to train managers in creativity and innovation skills in an “action learning” format, which postulates that the best way to learn anything is to “do it for real”. Using this approach the Division rapidly established a nationwide reputation with a large variety of companies and also with numerous Business Links and other business support organisations.

Excalibur (UK) Ltd inherited this reputation and today is recognised as a key UK provider of innovation programmes and new product/service development process consultancy.

A key part of Excalibur’s management approach is to “practice what you preach”, i.e. we also practice new product and service development. In the past few years we have successfully developed a number of new “products” including the Shield Programme for budding entrepreneurs, and innovation programmes aimed at “social enterprises”.

Case Studies

Why innovate?

The pace of change is accelerating in the early 21st Century. Globalisation, rapid technological developments and constantly changing customer attitudes and needs are producing a whirlpool of change unprecedented in human history. These development obviously impact dramatically on businesses.

Our purpose and mission is to train managers on how to cope with these changes and enable their companies to adapt, grow and prosper in this sometimes frightening environment.

One manifestation of these changes is that product and service lifecycles are now much shorter than previously. This means that companies - both product and service based - must CONTINUOUSLY develop new products and services to stay ahead of the competition. However, easier said than done!

One must be trained in the PROCESS of innovation to cut development times and reduce new product/service failures. This is where we come in. By training your managers in the process of continuous innovation we can increase your overall effectiveness and long term profitability.

Scimitar is one of the programmes in the Sword Innovation System and all our programmes incorporate six key principles, which work together to ensure a successful innovation programme.

SYSTEMATIC – the Sword Innovation System is systematic and leaves nothing to mere chance.  Outcomes are predictable, reliable and cost-effective.  We apply the process rigorously and make sure that all your opportunities are discovered.

CREATIVE – in business, managers tend to use, quite literally, only half of their mental powers.  The Sword process improves thinking skills, introduces a modified psychology and applies creative techniques to unlock novel business ideas.  Only when the creative part of the brain is stimulated can people overcome corporate mind-sets and visualise these novel opportunities.

EXPERIENTIAL – there is nothing mysterious about innovation, it can be taught and learnt.  People learn best through doing, so we show you how the process works by taking you through it.  You get not only a portfolio of innovative new opportunities, but also a team trained to re-run the process so that your organisation can innovate continuously.

MULTI-DISCIPLINED  - innovation needs the skills and experience of all the major business disciplines.  We work with a team of your people from across each of the main functions.  This keeps your ventures balanced and avoids the “not invented here” syndrome.

MULTI-DIMENSIONAL BUSINESS MODELLING – this process is unique to Sword.  At each stage of the innovation process, your team will build a multi-dimensional model of your business.  This defines your strengths and sets up an integrative search area for new opportunities.  In this way, you can be sure that you have the ability to turn your ideas portfolios into profitable new business.

THE NUMBERS GAME – innovation is a numbers game and follows the laws of probability.  If you only have a few business ideas, then your chances of success are greatly improved.

 

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