People working in a room to create innovation statements

Case Study: Defining an Innovation Strategy with a Global Hospitality Brand

How might we create a global hospitality company’s enterprise-wide definition of and approach to innovation?

People working in a room to create innovation statements
At A Glance:

Fortune 500 Global Hospitality Company

6 weeks


VP of Customer Experience

Innovation Team

The Challenge:

One of the world’s largest hospitality and travel brands, our client needed to define the current state of innovation in the company and curate an overarching vision for what the future of innovation could be. Our team was brought in to facilitate productive discussions with senior leaders, identify innovation gaps and overlap, and recommend areas for “how to win” in the innovation space moving forward.

The Solution:

Our team led three “sprints” to identify where innovation leaders were aligned—and where there were areas for growth and improvement.


We conducted approximately 25 interviews with executive leaders across multiple functions to understand the current state of innovation at the company and uncover where leaders saw opportunities for growth. Three key insights emerged from our research, which served as the basis for a half-day workshop with 10 senior leaders to co-create the team’s Innovation POV. Our interviews and continued discussion in the workshop helped us uncover where the team was undeniably aligned, and where there might be opportunities to be more intentional with innovation goals and processes.


Through our discovery research, we uncovered key elements of innovation that leaders were aligned on, and realized where there were areas of opportunity. Our team designed and developed three potential strategies forward, each showcasing a different level of risk, investment, and potential. We created process maps, identified trade-offs, and used supporting evidence to bring each strategy to life.


To increase the effectiveness of future innovation efforts, our team drafted an Enterprise Innovation Charter, with the recommendation that the organization clearly define its objectives for innovation, align the right teams around the charter, and identify resourcing models that align with its risk tolerance and expected results. Our final deliverable acted as a collection of insights, recommendations, and thought-starters for the Experience Design team to use in conversations with C-Suite leaders to craft the company’s approach to innovation, and each team’s role to make it a reality.

The Results

  • Quotes and key findings from 25 Executive Leadership Interviews
  • Assets to facilitate one 4-hour Executive Leadership Workshop with ~10 senior leaders
  • An Enterprise Innovation Charter summarizing key findings from executive interviews, opportunities that emerged from the leadership workshop, and 3x distinct Innovation Strategies to better align and inform investments, metrics, and operating models
The Enterprise Innovation Charter contained key interview insights with supporting quotes, an aligning vision on the meaning and purpose of innovation, and 3x distinct Innovation Strategy recommendations.
Spark your interest?
The Design Gym
[email protected]

The Design Gym is a strategy and innovation consultancy helping leaders to grow their business by fully unlocking the power of their most important advantage: their people. We work at the intersection of business strategy, experience design, and change management to engage the people that matter most to your work: your customers, your leaders, and your employees. See something that resonates with a project or challenge you're working on? Shoot us a note at [email protected].

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