• TransOrbital Dynamics Logo - Transform your innovation trajectory!

    Innovation that is Bigger. Faster. More Successful. Fueled by Rigor. Accelerated with Creativity.



    • Ventoriumtm Studio, 10 Weeks to Fundable New Ventures! Then, spin out a Hybrid Startuptm, develop internally with coaching, or dig deeper with Studio2.0.

    • FastStart Behavioral Research Experience - Learn & deploy radically better, scalable research methods! We work with you through design, execution, analysis & taking action with results.

    • FastStart Innovation Framework Experience - Quickly master the principles of rigorous, human centered design & innovation: Aplha Innovation Hypothesestm, Lean Design Thinkingtm and Living Business Modeltm Innovation, then apply them successfully with on-going coaching.


    Transform your innovation trajectory!

  • How to Engage


    Ask yourself

    what is my biggest innovation challenge? A challenge I know must be solved, but one for which a solution has so far proven elusive?


    Now challenge us!

    with your toughest questions! If you could have anything in terms of assistance to help you succeed with your big innovation challenge, what would that be? Chances are we can help you get it! If the initial exchange results in mutual interest, we'll then quickly move to step 3.


    Robustly explore the possibilities, together

    We'll reframe the issues in multiple ways, addressing your biggest challenges, combining the best of what you know and do with the best of what we have to offer. Compelling new insights and innovation strategies will emerge.



    to work together on big, bold solutions or part ways with a respectful tip of the hat.


    for that first step? Great (i.e., click here)! Or read on for more stimulus and ways we can help...


    Unleash latent innovation potential.

    Extract value for everyone.

    Improve the world.

  • Pick your payload...

    Load up one or more of these launch Payloads to transform your innovation trajectory!


    Ventoriumtm Studio: 10 Weeks of fast cycle, state-of-the-art, human-centered innovation leading to fundable new ventures! The output is then taken to market internally with the sponsor, spun out into a Hybrid Startup, or further developed during a Ventoriumtm Studio 2.0.


    Hybrid Startuptm : Combines the agility of startups with the deep domain expertise and resources of successful enterprises to create transformational and disruptive innovation that is bigger and better than either alone.


    TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy - A robust new human-centered innovation strategy that will produce more growth, faster.


    HighGtm Innovation Sprints - Fundable, holistic new product and service propositions and business models in 8-12 weeks.


    MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace - Transformative growth opportunities from existing IP at the speed of startups.


    Gimbaltm Behavioral Science for Innovation - Dramatically better ways to discover, guide, measure and deliver big innovation.


    ideitm Integrated Design & Innovation Framework - An modern innovation paradigm upon which to build a more effective innovation organization.


    We'll move your innovation capability and output into the new and better orbit you desire.

  • The Details...

    What we do and how we do it

    We unleash latent innovation potential - potential that would otherwise go untapped or under-delivered - by addressing common challenges to big innovation.

      We do this by developing robust innovation strategy, creating fundable innovation propositions on very fast cycles, and facilitating path-to-market decision-making that helps you bring bigger, more daring innovation to market. We are both creative and rigorous across the domains required for innovation - human behavior and motivation, organizational dynamics, be they industry, academia, government or NGOs, and enabling science and technology. We help make everything we touch bigger, faster and more successful.


      What you get from each of our innovation services:


      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy - A robust new human-centered innovation strategy that will produce more growth, faster.

      Ventoriumtm New Venture Creation - New products, services & communities, sharply defined target audiences and prime prospects, wrapped in compelling value propositions, with clear evidence of adoption, and testable paths to market, profit and scale.

      Hybrid Startuptm Marketplace - Transformative growth opportunities from existing IP at the speed of startups.

      Gimbaltm Behavioral Science for Innovation - Dramatically better ways to discover, guide, measure and deliver big innovation.

      ideitm Integrated Design & Innovation Framework - An modern innovation paradigm upon which to build a more effective innovation organization.


      Common big or disruptive innovation barriers that we help address:

      • Slow, multi-layered decision-making.
      • Great technical depth that does not generate the commensurate degree of successful innovation in market.
      • Game-changing innovation domains outside the core business that, if worked, activate internal antibodies.
      • Big ideas that are not a fit with current strategy.
      • Constant stream of smaller, incremental innovations no matter how you try to organize for big breakthroughs.
      • Reacting to competitors instead of leading.
      • Optimizing current offerings instead of changing the game or creating new categories.
      Human-centered Innovation Strategy, mission critical for astronauts and those who wish to succeed over long periods of time

      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy

      Strategy grounded in humans, organizations and science/technology

      We help you discover vs. declare innovation strategies by formulating strategic hypotheses across the domains of humans, organizational fundamentals, and science/technology, then rapidly test these hypotheses so that strategic choices such as purpose, where to play, and how to win are grounded in today's realities and tomorrow's possibilities. Being grounded in the realities of your strategic challenges, the tensions and trends in user experiences, and the possibilities of enabling science and technology platforms helps you successfully set your sights on the right stars!


      Supporting evidence: Developed and delivered successful Innovation Strategies for both multi-$B Categories and new technical platforms.

      HighG Innovation Sprints, like the RP-1 and LOX propelling a Falcon 9 in this picture,  unleash tremendous, purposeful energy.

      HighGtm Innovation Sprints

      10 weeks to fundable propositions!

      Extract new value from existing innovation assets.

      Rapidly evaluate new innovation domains.

      Based on the highly successful "Intersect CPG - Transformative Product and Business Model Innovation" graduate course created by Founder Robb Olsen at Northwestern University, HighG is applicable to industry, government, academia or NGOs. HighG moves stake holders and team members from hypotheses to initial business models and product/service prototypes, supporting data and evidence of adoption among the target audience in just 10 weeks. HighG propositions are then ready to be funded and scaled from prototypes to first purchases/adopters, with a much stronger right to succeed in market! HighG Teams and Enterprise Decision-makers get expert, catalytic coaching and guidance along the way, combining the best of the sponsoring organization with TransOrbital's state of the art innovation expertise.


      Supporting Evidence: Numerous successful sprints taking innovations from initial ideas to fundable propositions with $100'sM to $Bs in market potential.

      Hybrid Startup Marketplace helps ensure a high probability of your new innovation venture catching fire in the market.

      MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace

      The agility of a startup combined with the deep domain knowledge and resources of the enterprise.

      The MaxQ Hybrid Startup Marketplace includes three flexible funding options for the go-to-market phase of an innovation: internal to the sponsoring enterprise, VC with buy-back rights for the enterprise, and licensing. The Hybrid Startup Marketplace helps sponsoring organizations get bigger, more daring innovations to market that are outside the current core, with the option to grow the Hybrid Startup externally until such time as market success warrants integration with the sponsoring enterprise. HighG Innovation Sprints can be structured as Hybrid Startups as well, providing maximum speed and likelihood of success in market.


      Supporting Evidence: Experience with many variations on hybrid startups illuminates best practices and pitfalls, vetted approach with thought leaders from Enterprises, Startups and Venture Capital.

      Hybrid Startup Marketplace helps ensure a high probability of your new innovation venture catching fire in the market.

      Gimbaltm Behavioral Science for Innovation

      Unlock the drivers of choice.

      Just as a gimbaled motor points a rocket in the desired direction, we employ a robust set of modern behavioral research techniques and measures to guide innovation much more effectively and efficiently than traditional market or design research techniques. The Gimbal paradigm and portfolio of research methods is synthesized from the fields of neuroscience, biometrics, psychology, sociology, anthropology and behavioral economics, and tested in the crucible of the global marketplace.

      Understanding and utilizing behavior and motivation are crucial to the success of anything new. TransOrbital brings a robust behavioral paradigm along with simple and effective behavioral research techniques to all of our work, developed by world class experts over decades of experimentation and application. Each innovation endeavor is framed with a model of current behavior, and insights into associated motivations, aspirations and tensions in the current experience. Then, prototypes are introduced as stimuli and the impact on behavior measured. The ultimate goal of any of our innovation collaborations is adoption of the innovation, a behavioral outcome measured with behavioral metrics. While existing market research data may be of use in understanding the context of the current innovation challenge, in general we do not use market research approaches as they are terribly inefficient and potentially misleading when it comes to innovation.


      Supporting Evidence: Led successful pivot from primarily attitudinal to primarily behavioral paradigm for front end innovation work globally at P&G, including development and deployment of new qualitative and quantitative behavioral methods scaled to thousands of repetitions, and integration into the global innovation work process, leading to bigger, faster and more successful front end innovation output. Maintain a vibrant global network of thought leaders in this space.

      Hybrid Startup Marketplace helps ensure a high probability of your new innovation venture catching fire in the market.

      ideitm Integrative Design & Innovation

      Building Winning Innovation Organizations that Last

      We help clients build thoroughly modern innovation organizations that combine the best of their current capabilities with our state of the art Integrative Design and Innovation model. Services include organization strategy and design, multi-gen implementation plans and assistance, creating appropriate rewards structure, building and delivering experiential training curriculum, building and sustaining community, role definition and integration with existing innovation roles, crafting recruiting strategies, identifying hiring sources, and building a pipeline of skilled idei innovators that will successfully deliver winning innovation and have the ability to advance to senior leadership positions.


      The idei paradigm combines the best of Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile Innovation, Behavioral Science for Innovation, and the richest of the Products Research methods and learning from the 100 year history of rigorous, human centered design and innovation in P&G. This combination is dramatically more powerful, effective, and efficient, produces much bigger innovations and moves them to market transactions more quickly, and is frankly a lot more fun as a result!


      Please read the Introduction to Products Research article on our blog for more background on Products Research and Integrated Design & Innovation.


      Supporting Evidence: Tested the idei approach successfully in both academia and industry. Taught and practiced each of the underlying paradigms at the highest levels in industry and academia, providing deep knowledge and insight upon which to build idei. Co-led the global Products Research community of practice for 6 years at P&G, mastering the organizational dynamics of a large, global, rigorous human-centered design and innovation discipline.

    • Select Publications

      A bit more about our point of view

      Innovation City has 3 districts - Strategize, Create and Scale, each with multiple neighborhoods

      Big Ideas in less than 1300 Characters!

      My best LinkedIn posts!

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      Startup Agility + BigCo Deep Domain Expertise & Resources

      A Hybrid Startup is one that combines the deep knowledge, expertise and resources of BigCo's with the agility and fast-cycle decision-making of startups, while chucking the crap that gets in the way 😉. Doing a single such partnership creates a Hybrid Startup, while doing multiple such partnerships creates a Marketplace of Hybrid Startups. Both are good, but the latter is the way create a pipeline of big transformative or disruptive innovation that benefits the BigCo and Startup partners directly and sustainably over time.

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      Brand Experiences Must Be Crafted and Integrated Across Four Domains

      The BX framework groups the brand stimuli into four buckets: Physical, Narrative, Community and Service. Done well, the brand stimuli are tightly integrated across these domains, synergistic with one another, positive at every touch point, and designed in total to drive choice over competitive offerings.

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      Why this is so for large organizations and one way out.

      Big, disruptive innovation inside big, successful organizations (BSOs), especially those with a long history, generally does not work, not for lack of robust propositions that really could change the world, but rather because BSOs by their nature cannot disrupt themselves. This is simply because of the ways humans are wired, combined with the primary activity and reward systems of BSOs, which is to do and support more of what they've already done.

    • The Blog

      Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

      Click here to view or download my CV and Portfolio as a PDF 😎. Experiences and skills described are a varied lot! The purpose is to answer questions and stimulate ideas for creative connections and collaborations! Drop me a line with any ideas. Email is free, ya know 😏👍👌. All the best, Robb
      July 2, 2019 · Prof Emeritus PR,LeanInnovation,DesignThinking,Products Research,idei
      Let's dig deeper into the evolution of innovation paradigms, and my contribution to this field, Integrative Design & Innovation. idei strengthens innovation as a both a process and, obviously most importantly, as an output. In my previous blog post An Introduction to Products Research and...
      June 9, 2019 · PR,Products Research,History,Procter Gamble,Prof Emeritus PR
      Robb Olsen, P&G Global Products Research Community of Practice co-leader 2005-2010, Founder TransOrbital Dynamics - robb@transorbitaldynamics What is Products Research (PR)? What if I told you that a consumer goods manufacturer with over 180 years of history actually pioneered rigorous, human...
    • FAQ

      Read on for more detail on each of our innovation programs. Reach out if you need more information!

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      What is normally included in each of the innovation programs?

      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy:

      Starting with the sponsor's current innovation strategy, an updated strategy is created that is designed to produce a desired set of outputs for the sponsoring organization.

      • This minimally includes Purpose, Where to Play and How to Win across the domains of humans served, organization competencies and dynamics, and enabling science and technology platforms.  
      • Critical hypotheses are created collaboratively with senior leaders of the sponsoring organization, tested, and supporting data generated to guide strategic choices.  
      • Strong emphasis is placed on converting implicit but critical assumptions about consumers, business and science/technology to testable hypotheses.


      HighGtm Innovation Sprints:

      HighG Sprints are designed to rapidly develop a fundable innovation program in an area of interest to the sponsoring organization, one that is strong enough to warrant further investment by the sponsoring organization, or, optionally, relevant venture capital.

      • We begin with a robust on-site brief and hypothesis generation session that we hold with sponsors and subject matter experts, covering the areas of humans served, organizational requirements and dynamics, and enabling science and technology.  
      • A blended and co-located team of TransOrbital Dynamics and sponsoring organization personnel then work through the HighG innovation framework over the next 10 weeks drawing on the deep domain expertise of the sponsoring organization, while moving with the speed and agility of a startup.  
      • A preliminary business model is created reflecting the current hypotheses.  
      • This is followed by rapid hypothesis testing of the most critical elements of the business model using virtual and physical prototypes, including a minimum of two rounds of target user testing using TransOrbital's state of the art behavioral research techniques.  
      • Target user groups are identified, user tensions understood and resolved, aspirations met, market sizes estimated, evidence of adoption generated, and paths to profit mapped.  
      • Pivots are included and encouraged within broad guidelines agreed with the sponsors.  
      • Once the team believes the business model and user proposition are strong enough to warrant funding the next phase. i.e., moving from prototypes to first sales/adoption, a pitch is made to the pre-identified key decision-makers in the sponsoring organization.  
      • The pitch includes concrete recommendations for initial offerings, branding, path to market, innovation pipeline, estimated sales and profit potential, and required resources for the next phase, all supported by data and analysis generated during the sprint.  
      • A decision is then reached on funding the next phase.  
      • Of course, after robust exploration, it is possible that the team will recommend abandoning an innovation area.  
      • Either way, the sponsoring organization is ready to move rapidly to what's next, with high confidence that the best decision has been made.

      MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace:

      MaxQ, or maximum dynamic pressure on a spacecraft, is a critical point in any launch, when all the work done to that point is tested by the realities of physics as certain maximum forces are experienced. In a similar way, first path to market decisions also stress test all the innovation work done up to that point. However, big, disruptive innovation often does not look appealing through the lens of historic product launch criteria, and many big or disruptive ideas therefore do not survive. Exploring a second launch option, the Hybrid Startup, with VC launch criteria, helps more big and disruptive ideas survive this period of maximum dynamic pressure.

      • In the MaxQ approach, we work with the sponsoring organization to create a pitch and supporting analysis that is worthy of both an internal launch, and a Hybrid Startup launch.  
      • This pitch is then presented to both sponsoring decision makers and carefully vetted VCs.  
      • The ability to compare the two launch options drives incredible clarity on the strategic risks and rewards of the proposed innovation and provides new insight into speed and paths to market, volume and profit growth.  
      • The sponsoring organization can choose to proceed with internal development or to participate in a Hybrid Startup with a VC.  
      • The Hybrid Startup offers several advantages, including:
        • Ability to create relevant disruptions in a way that is beneficial to and insightful for the sponsoring organization (vs. being surprised by them)!
        • Option to acquire the disruptor at pre-defined milestones and integrate it into the business.
        • Risk mitigation during high uncertainty in the early stages.
        • Low initial investment to move from phase one prototypes to first sales/first adoptors.
      • The benefit to the VCs is much higher success rates at moderate but still significant returns on a portion of their portfolio.  
      • Innovators are thrilled that more of the really worthy big ideas see the light of day and have their chance to improve the world.  
      • Select internal innovators have the option to be founders of the Hybrid Startup, generating tremendous motivation and learning potential for the individuals and the sponsoring organization.
      • The innovation that is the source for the pitch can come from work already done by the sponsoring organization, or from a HighG Innovation Sprint.  
      • In either case, TransOrbital Dynamics personnel will work with the sponsors and a small team of subject matter experts to craft a robust pitch and supporting data and analysis that meets the needs of internal and VC decision making.  
      • Additional testing, data generation and analysis may be required to create a VC-appropriate pitch from previous internal innovation work.

      Gimbaltm Behavioral Science for Innovation

      Our expertise in behavioral science as applied to innovation is both deep and broad. We can help you apply behavioral science in ways that improve innovation success rates as well as help you to build the right organization to apply behavioral science optimally given your organizations current structure, mission and expertise, and your willingness to adapt and change. Below are four examples of the ways in which we apply behavioral science to the innovation process.

      1. Innovation Strategy.  At the strategic level, we help you frame your current innovation strategy in behavioral terms, suss out the underlying assumptions, and generate data to support or refute the key assumptions.  This leads to insights into potential purpose, where-to-play and how-to-win strategic choices, which we combine with your organizations aspirations for growth and change.  This combined set of possible futures is further modeled and tested using a behavioral paradigm and techniques.  The insight, models and behavioral data all combine to help customers adopt more daring innovation strategy with higher growth potential, all with higher confidence in and probability of success.
      2. Direction Setting. Here we focus on uncovering the tensions and aspirations of hypothesized target audiences for a specific innovation domain using behavioral techniques that would typically translate to a single or small number of innovation projects.  Both the definition of the target audience and the tension and aspiration modeling are subject to hypotheses testing via behavior measurement, such that we together identify the best where-to-play and how-to-win choices at the project level.  Models of what's possible technically and commercially are then combined with the human tension/aspiration/target audience models to set overall direction and scope for the innovation program.  This is generally summarized in one or more phase one business models which are ready for further development and testing via an optimal  number of project teams.
      3. Fast-cycle Learning.  The scope here is within a specific innovation program and team.  Hypotheses within the human, science/technology and organizational domains are rapidly defined, prioritized and tested using prototypes as stimuli and behavioral methods to measure response.  These learning cycles take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks depending upon the degree of rigor required to prototype and test relevant human experience scenarios.
      4. Building Evidence of Adoption.  Adoption of something new is, after all, a change of behavior, and it makes sense that behavioral methods would be especially strong here.  We employ a wide range of choice exercises and research contexts when testing prototypes of all sorts to begin gauging the strength of the innovation very early in development, then scale these transactional experiments to increase confidence in adoption potential as development progresses.  The net result is much more insight into what drives choice, which in turn feeds stronger launch plans and path to market choices, as well as direct qualitative and quantitative evidence that the target audience will indeed change behaviors and adopt the new innovation over what they do today.
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      How much time does each program usually take?

      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy:

      • 3-5 days - initial innovation strategy challenge mapping.
      • 30-60 days - hypothesis testing, analysis and recommendations.

      HighGtm Innovation Sprints:

      • Two weeks - HighG brief and initial hypotheses creation.
      • Ten weeks - HighG sprint with fast protocyles and creation of final pitch.

      MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace:

      • 30 days.
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      How many people are typically involved in each program?

      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy:

      • 1-2 TransOrbital Dynamics personnel, 25-100% time.
      • 1 sponsor with innovation strategy authority, 10-25% time.
      • 2-4 stake holders named by the sponsor upon whom the sponsor relies for innovation strategy input and execution. ~25% time.
      • 3-5 senior subject matter experts from the sponsoring organization covering the domains of humans served, critical organization capabilities such as finance, human safety and regulatory, and enabling science and technology, 25-50% time.  These are the folks who will partner with the TransOrbital Dynamics personnel to design and conduct critical assumption hypothesis testing through either primary or secondary research.

      HighGtm Innovation Sprints:

      • 1-2 TransOrbital Dynamics personnel, typically 50% time over the course of the sprint.
      • 3-5 creative, motivated, collaborative, highly-connected, can-do subject matter experts from the sponsoring organization who will devote full time to the project for the duration of the sprint.  In partnership with the TransOrbital Dynamics personnel, this will be the core team that develops the initial business model and product or service offerings, identifies critical hypotheses, identifies tensions and aspirations in the current user experience and ensures they are resolved by the proposition, designs and conducts primary and secondary research to test the hypotheses and ultimately provide evidence for adoption of the innovation, builds or obtains prototypes to use as stimuli in user testing, builds and finally presents the pitch to the decision maker and enabling board.
      • 1 key decision maker with ability to obtain funding for the HighG sprint and the next phase.
      • 2-4 supporting stake holders named by the key decision maker.  These stake holders make up an enabling board for the team, ensuring the team can fully tap the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise in the sponsoring organization.

      MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace:

      • 2 TransOrbital Dynamics personnel, 50% time.
      • 1 key decision maker with the authority to decide and obtain funding for either internal development or a Hybrid Startup with VC partners.
      • 2-4 supporting stake holders named by the key decision maker upon whose council the key decision maker depends for a decision such as internal development vs. VC partnership.
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      What direct costs does each program typically involve?

      TransOrbitaltm Innovation Strategy:

      • TransOrbital Dynamics personnel time, travel and deliverables, contractually pre-determined.
      • Costs of primary or secondary research to test key hypotheses that enable innovation strategy choices.

      HighGtm Innovation Sprints:

      • TransOrbital Dynamics personnel time, travel and deliverables, contractually pre-determined.
      • Prototype creation as stimuli for hypothesis testing, including virtual and physical prototypes of products, service offerings, channel options, pricing and transactional learning/adoption.
      • Costs of primary or secondary research to test key hypotheses, including direct costs of research and travel for team members when required.

      MaxQtm Hybrid Startup Marketplace:

      • TransOrbital Dynamics personnel time, travel and deliverables, contractually pre-determined.
      • Costs of primary or secondary research required to create a VC-appropriate pitch from existing internal innovation work.
    • About

      TransOrbital Dynamics is small, selective, and highly skilled at what we do. Each of us embraces and practices a powerful combination of creativity and rigor, knowing both are required to accelerate big innovation to successful deployment. We call ourselves a "catalytic innovation consultancy" because, through direct contact, we enable the innovation transformation in the organization with whom we're partnering, like a catalytic substance enables a chemical reaction, but are separate from the end result, which belongs to you, our customers. Talk to us, and we'll see if there is a fit. Together we'll discover how to transform your innovation trajectory!

      Robb Olsen enjoying the view, contemplating the future.

      Founder & CEO

      My passion is working at the leading edge of innovation, combining the best of what I know and do with others from academia, industry, governments and NGOs who are ready to transform their innovation trajectory, create big, game changing innovation, and make the world just a bit better.


      I spent 35 years at Procter & Gamble doing leading edge innovation and developing innovation strategy and new innovation capability with a global network of world-class internal and external partners.


      Here is my lookback bio, covering my P&G work in more detail (2 page PDF). Be sure to check out LinkedIn for my latest publications!

    • Contact us to discuss possibilities...

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