Kyle Nel of Uncommon Partners Discusses Helping Companies to Innovate

Kyle Nel of Singularity University Uncommon Partners was interviewed by Nextbigfuture.

After a long-time partnership, Singularity University acquired Uncommon Partners (UP) to expand the capabilities for clients and partners. Co-founded in 2018 by SU faculty member Kyle Nel and Amanda Manna, UP applies a multi-disciplinary approach to transformation that is rooted in behavioral science and helps organizations to design transformation strategies, prepare and train leaders, and develop emerging technologies.

The Uncommon Partners Lab team has a history of pioneering practical and effective innovation efforts in large, complex organizations—most notably at Lowe’s Innovation Labs, which was founded by Kyle Nel.

Under the leadership of Kyle Nel and Amanda Manna, the disruptive innovation hub for Lowe’s led the company to be named the Most Innovative Company in AR/VR in 2018 by Fast Company, and Lowe’s also led its category as Most Innovative in Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies list.

The team designed an approach to innovation rooted in behavioral science, narrative development, and rapid prototyping, which they used to build breakthrough products such as Lowe’s 3D, a proprietary 3D scanning and content generation system; the Holoroom, an award-winning virtual reality kitchen visualization tool; and Exosuits, lift-assistance exoskeletons designed to keep employees safe and healthy.

Additionally, when you work with us, you will have access to SU’s diverse array of world-renowned Faculty and Experts, talented entrepreneurs from our Portfolio Companies, and a global innovation ecosystem.

Overview of the Process

In an era defined by change and uncertainty, many organizations know they need to transform. They invest in new strategies and products, but success stories are scarce.

We’ve seen that the biggest obstacles to change aren’t technology problems, but people problems. Too often, human and organizational behavior issues – from lack of vision and alignment, to lack of customer understanding – get in the way of successful innovation.

Uncommon Partners is helping organizations around the world, from startups to the Fortune 50, achieve behavioral transformation using tools like strategic narrative, applied neuroscience and experimental design. We help our partners bring strategies to life, make better decisions faster, and build intuitive products and services.

The Uncommon Partner Process – First Strategic Narrative

The Uncommon Partners process is to first create a strategic narrative. This is a new robust story that describes the core of the innovation and purpose of the organization.

This provides clarity without excessive constraining detail. However, it also provides certainty.

Ideally this story helps to reframe the organization. Historically, if Blockbuster video had reframed the story of their organization to being a company that delivered entertainment content instead of VHS or DVDs from a brick and mortar store then there would been the first step toward possible salvation.

The Uncommon Partner Process – Breaking Bottlenecks

The next step in the innovation process is to break bottlenecks. Here is historically where a company like Lockheed created a skunkworks that was independent from the politics and regular operations and development of the company.

The Uncommon Partner Process -New KPIs- Key Performance Indicators

The next step is to develop news ways to track and measure the progress and success of the new innovation.

Transformative Solutions

Uncommon Partners custom and ready-made solutions are focused on creating meaningful impact for your organization and industry. When you work with SU, they collaborate with your team to identify pain points and develop the best possible solution.

Chaos Navigator
Foster transformative innovation and discover how your team copes with transformation, ambiguity, and uncertainty.

Uncommon Learning
Upskill staff and optimize your workforce using adaptive and immersive training tactics.

Uncommon Insights
Discover actionable truths about your consumers and workforce using cognitive data.

Hands-on Learning
Bring full-service immersive learning experiences to any event or conference.

SOURCES- Uncommon Partners site, Interview Kyle Nel by Brian Wang of Nextbigfuture