Orla Cronin Research
Social science research and strategic consultancy
0161 408 2047
Strategy & facilitation
As part of our services to support research & development, we provide facilitation and workshop support across the project cycle, including stakeholder consultation, strategic R&D planning, project planning, creativity & innovation, knowledge activation, communication and dissemination planning and regular reviewing.
One of our clients was refocusing their R&D effort across their laboratories. With the client, OCR developed a process for generating long term science roadmaps, and then implemented this process within several departments. This resulted in clear and consistent communication within the laboratory, and enabled the prioritisation of core science themes.
A new science unit emerged as a result of an internal reorganisation. OCR worked with the management team to develop a strategic plan including a mission, vision and strategic research themes. We reviewed this annually for the following five years, and OCR co-ordinated and edited an annual report of progress against these themes.
Creativity and innovation
Orla is trained in a variety of creativity and problem solving approaches, including Synectics, and can provide numerous examples of facilitated creativity and innovation workshops. These range from swift 2 hour problem solving workshops to extended ideation over a period of several weeks. She has also convened regular ‘consumer creativity’ clinics, which acted as a test bed for new ideas. In addition to facilitating innovation, she has also led specific innovation projects, taking technologies from the ‘1000 ideas’ phase through to screening, visualising, concept generation, prototyping and consumer testing. A satisfying part of her innovation activities has been taking two innovations through venture capital competitions, reaching the finals in both.
Creating external networks
A client wished to increase the use of a particular health-related product in their target market. Together with the team, OCR identified suitable external academics and convened and facilitated a joint workshop in order to identify ways of changing behaviour. This yielded a research and marketing strategy which, when implemented, created the desired behaviours and thus increased product consumption.
A client was aware of substantial but fragmented activities around a particular science topic happening in different areas of their R&D function. OCR convened and facilitated a knowledge activation workshop where existing activities were reviewed, and gaps and next steps identified. OCR then assisted in the creation of a community of practice for this area.
Communication and dissemination
OCR created an internal and external communication and dissemination strategy for a research unit, considering audience and stakeholder needs and covering a variety of communication channels including conference papers, publications, internal reports, web-based communications, regular newsletters and training courses.