Innovation Engineering: How it really feels!

It’s not easy to shift to a new way of working,  especially one that requires a fresh mind-set.  I’ve recently had the privilege to coach the  Cool Foods Team over in Dublin. They started in 2014 with their signature product line “Cool Beans” - a range of 3 tasty, healthy, convenient bean-based ready meals in pots. They have entrepreneurial flair and no shortage of ideas. When we met they needed a system to identify and accelerate their best ideas to market  My thanks to Tanya, Head of Operations at Cool Foods for sharing her feelings after applying Innovation Engineering at Cool Foods, via the ITI Challenge Programme:-


Firstly, the biggest lesson I learned about myself is that I can be creative and come up with new and sometimes wacky ideas. I previously would have said that I have no imagination whatsoever but this programme has proved to me that anyone can be creative with the right type of stimulus delivered on a number of platforms. It has also highlighted a fault I have, which is the propensity to procrastinate when faced with a task that is difficult or if I am unsure of how to execute. This is probably the most valuable lesson I have learned as when using the IE system, I have learned to identify death threats and activities to overcome these threats. I feel more confident now in that we don’t always know how or what to do and that is ok, if you reach out, someone will know the answer. This will help me in all aspects of my job and life and will have a hugely positive impact on me personally and on the business as a whole.

I have also learned that things don’t have to be perfect. I have always been a perfectionist and as such it can be hard to start/finish a task if things aren’t just so. Through this process I have seen rapid prototyping in play and hugely appreciate the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough for testing. This had made me relax a bit and I will confidently use minimum viable products going forward. It also makes way more sense to develop a product this way as you are involving the main purchaser in the creation of a new product therefore they will be more likely to buy. It seems so obvious in hindsight”.


I wish the whole Cool Foods team all the success they deserve.