We’ve been on a roll of late, hiring some phenomenal people, delivering some fantastic work and generally having a great time.
So why did we decide to join Idean? It’s simple. We’re ambitious and want to have a huge impact.
We build Beta Businesses - businesses that realise growth through experimentation. In the past year, among other things, we’ve launched Smarty, V.Auto and have further Beta Businesses launching soon. But we’re hungry to do more. To launch more Beta Businesses and to do so in more industries and more locations.
We also want to offer exciting opportunities for our incredible team. Provide even greater career progression and the chance to learn new things on a global level and as part of a global community.
We hadn’t been looking to join forces with anyone at this stage. We’d focused on progressing our offer, having client impact and building a great team. We’d received a number of approaches and always said “thanks, but no thanks”.
Idean was different. It was clear they could help accelerate our plans but what I quickly found, and was excited by, is how alike we are.
Firstly, we both believe that design can completely redefine industries, identify and define bold new opportunities for companies and create differentiated products and services.
Secondly, our cultures are very similar. We both focus on furthering our practices, tools and, most importantly, creating new opportunities for our people.
So who are Idean?
Idean are a global design agency founded in Helsinki in 1999. They began life as a user research agency which means that, like us, they have always had the customer at the heart of their work. Like us, they see design as a strategic tool to create bolder futures and transform businesses.
Some 18 years later, they’re now based in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and have 11 studios across North America and Europe including a fantastic team in London having opened a studio here late last year.
They work with Fortune 500 companies and start ups in auto, financial services, healthcare, industrials, retail, and tech. And they’ve been doing some hugely exciting work, for example:
designing the future of air travel with Airbus
designing a winning customer experience for Kesko, Finland’s largest retailer
working with Cisco’s leadership to introduce and scale design thinking as a new way to work
And as well as great work and culture, they’ve also got an ambitious vision with a strong focus on client impact and plans to open many more studios globally and extend their offer while doing so. This ambition gained greater backing last year, when they were acquired by Capgemini.
What this means for Adaptive Lab
Well firstly we’re becoming Idean in the UK. As you can imagine, I’ve lost some sleep thinking about giving up the name we’ve spent 9 years building. However, we want Idean to be a globally recognised name, so it made sense to have a single brand.
Some senior members of our team will be joining Idean’s Design Leadership Board, a global forum that establishes and pushes the method, quality and impact of our work. I will be taking a global leadership role at Idean but will remain London based and UK focused.
We’ll be welcoming the existing London team of 20 people into our studio meaning we’re now more than 70 and one of the strongest players in London. We can’t wait for them to join us as they bring some fantastic new skills and expertise into the team and are already delivering exciting work in the UK and globally.
What this means for our clients
As a business we’re truly focused on doing great work and making our clients successful. We want to help them launch faster, grow quicker and behave bolder. And this announcement only furthers this aspiration and our ability to deliver on it.
We’ll be growing our capabilities in research and insights, business design, brand experience and data. With access to the skills and experience of the 300 smart, multi-disciplined folk at Idean, we have a huge pool of knowledge to leverage. Knowledge of industries we’ve not worked in before and of design challenges we’ve not tackled before.
And we’re even more serious about building Beta Businesses. Through the Capgemini group we’re able to offer an end-end approach for launching Beta Businesses and do so at scale.
New name, same awesome
Adaptive Lab is a special place. Our people are amazing, our positioning is admired, our work has great impact and we have a lot of fun while doing it.
So while our name is changing, we’re not. Just now we’re going bigger. Our ultimate goal is — new name, same awesome.
And here’s to the future. One in which we unite design, business and technology to build more Beta Businesses.