Innovation Ability

Innovation Ability is a company that provides practical solutions that help companies establish and nurture their innovation activity to get the best for their business. New member of Valorial in 2022, we met Rob Evans, Founder of Innovation Ability. #Welcome !

Innovation Ability interview Valorial

What is your core business and the markets you target?

Innovation Ability is a new consultancy that helps Food companies innovate better, resulting in a higher success rate with more efficient use of resources.

I distilled 30 years’ experience at the sharp end of innovation with Unilever, Diana Food  and Symrise into a framework of Six Dimensions key to innovation success.  I use this to help companies to:

  • Identify the innovation practices that are the best for them
  • Understand what they need to develop or change to boost their performance
  • Define and implement durable, practical solutions

My customers are food and beverage producers and ingredient suppliers of all sizes because whether they’re a start-up or a well-established international player, every company should regularly review and update their innovation practices.

One of the first things I offer customers a diagnostic called the Innovation Health Check.  It provides a uniquely clear, compete and structured view of their current innovation practices and provides a solid foundation for developing further.  It’s a fully confidential evaluation based on structured interviews with key innovation contributors that provides actionable feedback and recommendations.

The next steps depend on the results of the health check.  Typically I work with key individuals and teams in workshops, training and coaching sessions to establish the solutions the company needs to unlock it’s innovation potential.

What is your activity at the moment and/or in the coming weeks/months?

Innovation Ability is just getting started so it’s all about establishing networks.  This means meeting people, discussing, listening and exploring ways to co-construct better innovation.  So if anyone’s interested in talking with me then get in touch!

What is your vision of innovation and/or what place do you give to innovation within your company?

For Innovation Ability, innovation is everything.  Helping others innovate better is the mission of the company.

I’m aware that innovation can seem ambiguous.  Most companies say innovation is a priority, but most companies are also dissatisfied with their innovation performance.  You can find many definitions of innovation in the literature, but the only one that really counts is the one each company needs to make for their own business.  When a company clearly defines what innovation means for them, it is the starting point of the journey to innovating better.

Innovation is multi-dimensional and a company’s innovation delivery is limited by the performance of the weakest dimension.  That’s why you need to take a holistic approach, and that’s why the Six Dimensions framework is a useful tool.  For example, there’s little point making your innovation strategy even better if what’s really holding you back is lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities.


The good news is that Innovation is something that companies can improve by working on it.  It’s complex, but not complicated.  Even better, it’s something that brings a lot of energy to a company.  In all my discussions on innovation, I’ve found passion, engagement, creativity and motivation and people in companies with a strong innovation culture bring that vitality to all aspects of their work, not just innovation.

Focus adhérent - Innovation Ability

Why did you join Valorial?

Joining Valorial was natural thing to do.  I’ve known Valorial for a long time and I know they have an approach to innovation that is very complementary to mine.  The Valorial team is dynamic and focussed on the members’ needs and you can see this in the way they animate the network; building high quality events, bringing relevant help and information and lots of energy.  The Valorial membership is a large and diverse cross-section of Agrifood actors, so it’s an excellent place to look for co-development partners.

Finally, I believe strongly that collaboration is a powerful way of working and this is the spirit I find in the Valorial community as a whole.

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Rob EVANS - Innovation Ability

(+33)6 42 34 04 39