Building the Innovation Framework for Future Growth in Commercial Real Estate

How Investa Designed and Executed its New Innovation Strategy



The commercial real estate market has been traditionally been slow-moving, but changes to working practices and office environments with agile and Activity-Based Working becoming widespread, and a new generation of entrepreneurial tenants wants a more flexible service offer and more nimble partners.

After a change of ownership led to a redefinition of vision, values and scope for Investa, the priority of innovation was raised.

Our challenge was to define and help build the strategic innovation framework that would enable Investa to embed innovation at its heart and adopt a design-thinking culture.

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How to Impact has designed a unique Innovation Framework process that moves the leadership team through 6 core stages of evolution.

It begins with an innovation audit and Innovation Culture survey, then takes the executive team through a series of provocative workshops to define their innovation vision and ambition (which sit below the organisation’s Business Vision) and guidelines for how they will innovate.

Within this, we need to establish behavioural and attitudinal baselines.

We worked with an expanded team of leaders and innovation champions to define what Investa will innovate - the critical internal and external battlegrounds and opportunity areas that drive future growth.

Then comes the hard part: building the process and models to deliver the opportunities.


Investa have developed a compelling Innovation Vision and pathway that has become a pillar of their business. Including:
- an Innovation Leadership committee
- company-wide innovation KPIs
- internal innovation accelerator programme
- a trained team of innovation champions

We identified 6 strategic imperatives that have dictated investment in innovation efforts over 2-3 years, including major tenant discovery programmes, data and information projects and the design of the internal innovation accelerator programme.


We ran a 5-month Tenant Deep Dive programme, which generated totally new customer journey maps, insights, opportunity platforms and business cases.

The first new service coming from the Tenant Deep Dive was launched in November 2018 – the Fast-Start Fit-out service.

‘Innopoly’ – Investa’s internal innovation accelerator – was run from September to November 2018, with 7 teams running through the 8-week process, generating 112 customer interviews, 110 ideas, 35 MPVs and 42 experiments.

The first release of the new data dashboard occurred in December 2018, with the second and third releases planned for January and February 2019