Our innovation model

How we work in partnership
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The model below shows you how we work in partnership and the rhythm and processes to expect from working with us on an innovation project.

Explore > Imagine > Shape > Realise


We will spend time building a relationship with you, your team and other partners, to understand your context and aims, and to build trust.

As part of the exploring, we will also gather and share relevant knowledge and evidence – research, grey literature, published case studies – to understand the topic.


When we understand your context, we will work with you to imagine how the system could be different. We will ask questions about your best experiences of work in the past, and about what success might look like in the future. 

We pull on a number of approaches and tools to open up conversations. Examples include appreciative enquiry or co-production, but the approach used will be bespoke to you. 


We’ll then work with you to prioritise where we can make a difference and how this might look for you and your team/organisation/partnership. At this point we connect the thinking around values, purpose and meaning, to how we can make practical changes that help get us to where we want to be. 


We will then support you to try out new ways of working and find ways to make positive change.

We provide time and space for changes to be embedded in your context. A proposed timescale for this will be set out at the beginning of our work together. This will be ambitious, but give us the time needed at each stage. 

We maintain relationships with you beyond the core meetings and workshops, and aim to give you the confidence and skills to continue these processes without our support.

We will share the learning – both yours and ours – with the sector. The tools, methods and approaches we use will help the wider workforce.

More information: To discuss our current priority areas, or for more information on our approach, please contact Stuart at stuart.muirhead@iriss.org.uk.