Now-to-new is an umbrella term covering innovation, change, problem solving and other types of project involving a shift from the present situation (‘now’) to what’s needed instead (‘new’).

Six main types of now-to-new work

  • Creating the new (products, services, work practices, anything)
  • Effecting a change
  • Solving a problem
  • Surmounting a challenge
  • Developing (increasing value generation capability)
  • Utilising value generation potential
Type of workNowReal exampleNew
CreatingThere is a need, desire or opportunity to create something that will generate abundant valueWe need to conceive, develop and launch a new potato-based product within a limited timeframe

The new creation exists and is generating the desired value
ChangingA different state of affairs is desiredWe need to change the way we provide the travelling public with rail ticketsThe desired state of affairs has been achieved
Problem solvingThings are not as they should beWe need to restore harmony between our marketing and sales people, who are currently at loggerheadsThings have returned to the way they should be
SurmountingThere is a need, desire or opportunity to surmount a tough challenge or accomplish an almost impossible featWe need to respond to the very real threat of new dog-to-human viral diseases entering England from mainland EuropeThe challenge has been surmounted or the feat has been accomplished
DevelopingValue generation capability is not at the required levelWe need to teach some of our people to organise and facilitate Open Space meetingsValue generation capability is at the required level
UtilisingValue generation capability is not being fully utilisedWe need to find a good use for the contaminated water that accompanies oil as it emerges from the subsurfaceValue generation capability is being fully utilised

Some actual now-to-new projects, selected from my casebook

A state-owned rail operator in continental Europe intends to shift ticket purchasing from service counters to self-service machines, but the plan is meeting strong opposition from service counter staff. How can this situation be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction?
The management teams of two hospitals, twenty miles apart, want to integrate 35 services including emergency care. The conversation is being dominated by a well-organized “Save Our A&E” campaign that has gained the strong support of a local newspaper. How can the integration be accomplished successfully, with minimum disruption and distress?
A global food manufacturer wants to create — overnight — a concept for a new product, inspired and evaluated by potential customers. How can this result be accomplished?
There is a serious threat of new dog-to-human diseases entering the UK. How can the threat be eradicated?
An oil and gas company located in Oman has discovered an oil reservoir in a rare type of rock. How can the oil be produced at a commercial price?
The CEO of a Dublin-based brewer has received a directive from the parent company’s chairman, instructing the brewer’s management team to establish a close connection with its customers without recourse to third party market research. How can this connection be made?
The contract to provide community arts services in the Welsh valleys has been awarded to an alliance of local authorities. How can the alliance’s Year 1 objectives be achieved?
The bosses of an R&D facility within a multinational have spent many months developing an innovation strategy. How can they ensure it will be implemented effectively?

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Create-the-new methods | Setting Newcreate in a wider context

Create-the-new work: create alone, create together, help others create

How does Newcreate compare with design thinking?

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