Launching a Science-Based Innovation Consultancy
Before becoming the founder of Australia’s leading innovation consultancy, Inventium, Amantha Imber was working as a consumer psychologist in advertising. She related, “It was really interesting work intellectually, but ethically I felt a disconnect.” What Amantha wanted was to be using her knowledge of psychology to help people be better at work and that’s what she later did.
“I created Inventium by combining two of my passions,” Amantha shared, “Firstly, creativity and innovation and secondly, a passion for science and psychology. Inventium is all about helping companies become more innovative using scientifically proven techniques.”
Starting a company wasn’t originally in Amantha’s plans. She always imagined herself finding a great job in a company, but when she couldn’t find that, she decided to create one for herself.
Founding her science-driven innovation consultancy was well worth the change of plans. Amantha remarked, “What’s really exciting for me is seeing that shift in people’s behavior and mindset where they might not have previously seen themselves as being capable of driving great innovation, but we turn them into someone who believes that they’re highly innovative and can go on and have a big impact in creating amazing products and services for their company’s customers.” Amantha has done this time and time again with clients including GE, Google, Lego, Disney, and more.
Inventium’s unique approach to innovation drives lasting change at major corporations. Starting with evidence-based methodology, Inventium consultants use tools and strategies to take action that works. Because of this approach, Amantha and her team reduce failure and increase the success rate of the toughest challenges businesses face. It’s Inventium’s goal to put processes and structure in place so corporations can innovate successfully again and again.
Supply and Demand in a Consulting Business
As Amantha grows Inventium, she’s had the opportunity to learn a lot about entrepreneurship. One of the greatest lessons she’s learned is how critical one’s team is. “It’s really important to obsess over recruitment.” The Inventium Founder shared, “While a lot of what we do is based on developing world-class IP, it’s also about finding the absolute best talent who can work with that IP, improve it, and deliver it to clients.”
With a comprehensive recruitment process consisting of 10 stages, Inventium finds the right people for the right job. “We find that through really obsessing over recruitment,” Amantha noted, “taking it very seriously, that’s allowed us to find really great talent which I think is the backbone of Inventium and what makes Inventium so great.”
Some of these lessons come with obstacles. Amantha said, “The biggest challenge that we’ve had is that demand has outstripped supply. We’re constantly looking for good people because our phone is constantly ringing with people who want to work with us. Where that’s really difficult to balance is that often with many clients that want to work with us, there can be a 2-4 month waiting period before we actually have capacity to work with them.”
Amantha refuses to settle for anything less than amazing with recruitment. She pointed out, “It does mean that things are quite challenging in terms of resourcing what clients want and giving them what they want, when they want, which is often impossible.” With a number of companies knocking on their doors, a waiting period is required. Balancing supply and demand is something that all startups will have to consider as they grow. Deciding whether slow and sure growth is preferred over fast and unstable is something that entrepreneurs will have to face.
The Experimentation Stage
“Something we talk a lot about with our clients is the importance of experimentation.” Amantha related. As a science-based innovation consultancy, it’s no wonder. The Inventium Founder shared, “Entrepreneurs tend to have no shortage of ideas, but what’s really important is that you don’t move through idea to implementing that idea and that you actually have an experimentation stage where you test your idea on actual customers.”
Amantha implores entrepreneurs to experiment as much as possible before launching an idea. For startup founders who are particularly cash-strapped, this method not only ensures that you have a product customers love, but it also saves money in the long-run by avoiding needless expenses on bad ideas.
Amantha certainly knows something about going from corporate work to launching a company. Her advice for entrepreneurs is to go for it. “You’ve literally got nothing to lose.” The Founder noted. “If you’re really passionate about an idea and you’re really passionate about solving a problem that exists within the world and if that passion is there, than you will go far.”
As Head Inventiologist for Inventium, Amantha drives innovation internationally. She is the co-creator of the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies list, an annual list that Inventium compiles, ranking Australia’s top innovators. As a creativity and innovation thought leader, you can find her articles on Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post and more.
What does the experimentation stage mean for your business? How can you test your idea? Let us know your ideas and thoughts on Amantha Imber’s work in the comments below.