A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by FX1's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from FX1 is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


1FX1 |
Consulting Director
Fx1 is a company committed to helping organisations solve
their toughest innovation challenges and achieve their
goals. It advises brand-led, fast-moving organisations on
innovation and marketing capability solutions that ensure a
consistent competitive edge, while offering services that help
create exceptional practitioners with smart processes to back
them up. Fx1 believes it takes speed, creativity and consistent
delivery to stay ahead of the rapidly changing economic
landscape. Consulting Director Suzanne Trew explains how
companies that implement the changes required to execute
their business with excellence become top performers and are
realising the benefits. Success rates for such companies are
2.5 times higher than poor performers, so Fx1 offers profitable
solutions to meet this demand.
With stratospheric growth of disruptive players have come changing consumer
demands, as well as new barriers and opportunities created by regulation change.
Businesses must therefore be able to execute their innovation strategies quickly,
effectively, sustainably and at scale. Great companies release innovation with
aplomb, wowing their customers in the process.
Since founding, our mission has been to help companies create a smooth and
high-performing pipeline of new product introductions. We advise brand-led, fast-
moving organisations on innovation and marketing capability solutions that ensure
a consistent competitive edge.
»Consulting Director:
»Established in 2015
»Based in Edinburgh, Scotland
»Services: Innovation capability
consulting and teaching
»No. of employees: Three
»Suzanne Trew is an expert
practitioner trainer with Stage-
Gate International
Highlighting best practice
2| FX1
Our services transform innovation
project teams’ capabilities, creating
exceptional practitioners with smart
processes to back them up.
We make innovation strategies real by
turning companies’ attention to what
really matters: the speed, agility and
precision with which ideas become
Though most have a defined way of
releasing new products, it’s rare to
find companies who realise their full
Where to focus
The issues are common across all
markets and sectors. The great news
is that there are just six essential
capabilities needed to successfully
execute a new product strategy:
1. A best practice innovation process
2. Optimisation and allocation of
resources to maximise portfolio
value via portfolio management
3. Agile decision-making via a strong
governance structure
4. Accountable cross-functional
project teams
5. Strategic planning and execution
6. A process manager to drive and
Commonly, at least three of the above
are not mastered, as they fall between
departmental responsibilities or are not
well understood.
Delivering results
The aim of Fx1 is to facilitate
collaboration at all levels and across
the organisation. Our toolset is a
collection of methods, guides, forms
and templates ready to be quickly
tailored to suit the needs of any
business, and it is designed to support
these six capabilities. It’s worth noting,
too, that our tools are multipurpose.
For example, the Fx1 3P Tracker –
portfolio, project and process – is an
innovation support solution that not
only provides executive dashboards to
enable effective portfolio management
but also services the needs of
process managers. We also provide
unique training programmes tailored
specifically for the needs of innovation
project teams and process managers.
These courses are available publicly via
Stage-Gate International or for in-
house delivery.
Though a small organisation, we have
a huge passion to help organisations
and their teams succeed. Our
global success to date is due to
our understanding of what it takes
to deliver real-world results. We
collaborate with leadership teams and
assess their functions to apply proven
practices, efficiently and creatively.
We’ve become trusted advisers to
CEOs and process administrators, as
well as subject matter experts across
all functions. This breadth and depth
of understanding has helped us offer
sustainable value – be this in the form
of optimising just one performance
driver, for example, project team
performance or delivering end-to-end
capability transformation.
Consequently, our projects have
been delivered in over 25 countries,
Fx1 work with
organisations to make
innovation strategies
successfully come to life
We advise
on innovation
and marketing
solutions that
ensure a
3FX1 |
and we have worked with market-
leading organisations across diverse
sectors including food, drink and
optic industries, as well as training
practitioners from all sectors via our
public training programmes.
Six essential capabilities
1. Implement a best practice innovation
process: Design and improve idea-
to-launch models that truly work
for the organisation. According to
research by Nielsen, companies that
have gated innovation processes
average 130 per cent more revenue
on new products than companies with
informal processes. A gated process
is a business process used by cross-
functional teams and decision-makers
to quickly and profitably transform
an organisation’s best new ideas into
successful new products.
2. Portfolio management: Optimise and
allocate resources to maximise portfolio
value. Top-performing companies boast
portfolio management methods to help
the leadership team effectively focus
their resources on the right strategic
areas and on a shortlist of high-value
projects. This involves both strategic
portfolio management and tactical
portfolio management.
3. Agile decision-making via strong
governance structure: Too many
projects, not enough resources,
pipeline moving too slowly, needless
ongoing projects – these are all
common symptoms of an innovation
governance system that is not working
properly. Top performers ensure they
have in place clear go or no-go decision
gates and clearly identified decision-
makers. Decisions are made at their
gate meetings, in the understanding
that effective gate meetings are critical
to enabling the entire process.
4. Accountable empowered cross-
functional teams: Innovation projects
are complex and affect or require input
from many parts of an organisation.
Therefore, the way project teams
are organised and how their team
members work together will impact
both time-to-market and project
success rates. Eighty per cent of
project teams are led by managers
from a function such as marketing or
R&D rather than professional project
managers. The impact of high-
performing cross-functional teams,
who are accountable for their projects
and are led by trained project leaders,
cannot be underestimated. It isn’t
enough to train project managers
in the process: companies must also
train their project leaders on how to
manage teams and schedules.
5. Create operational linkage between
strategic planning and execution:
Organisations can often stumble in
their integration of strategic planning,
budget cycles and innovation
development. Businesses therefore
should create an operational link
between planning and execution.
Instead of creating strategies that no
longer apply, we recommend using
iterative and dynamic processes while
keeping the pulse of the market at the
forefront of decisions.
6. Process manager to make it happen:
No system, no matter how good, ever
implemented itself. It needs someone
to make it happen. That’s the role of
the process manager and it is often
undervalued and misunderstood. Think
of the role as lubricant for the whole
system. This is not an administration
role, rather an essential, highly
influential position that’s necessary for
co-operation to occur across all levels
of the organisation, developing and
facilitating the process as a whole.
Our services
project teams’
with smart
processes to
back them up


This article was sponsored by FX1. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister