Human-Centered Discovery, Strategy & Innovation

We help our clients understand customers, experiment nimbly, align teams & deliver impact

Action is needed

The Problem

77% of CEOs struggle to find creativity and innovation skills
70% of innovation & Intrapreneurship efforts fail
90% of startups fail
99% of App's lose money
95% of new consumer products fail
72% of executives say they're not out-innovating their competitors

The Opportunity

52% of employees feel encouraged to think about new ways of doing things
Only 25% of employees feel they are living up to their creative potential
65% of executives are disappointed with their ability to stimulate innovation
84% of companies integrate just 1.8 types of innovation (out of possible 10)
97% of Irish CEOs want their own business to be the ‘disruptor'
10% of time devoted to 'Blue Sky' initiatives results in long-term ROI up to 70%

Our approach

Project success often pivots on how we frame and understand the problem to be solved. Most innovation failures happen when the innovator begins the project assuming they have the answers. We refer to this as starting in a solution space’. Successful projects on the other hand, are most often born in the complex and fuzzy ‘problem space’. It is here where unmet customer needs and behaviors are uncovered, insights identified and successful projects conceived.

The Actionable approach ensures that projects begin deep in the ‘problem space’, and only when sufficient understanding is gained, can they move into the ‘solution space’ towards an output that balances consumer, business and technical requirements. Einstein once famously said, “If I were given an hour in which to solve a problem upon which my life depended, I would spend 40 minutes studying it, 15 minutes reviewing it and 5 minutes solving it”.  At Actionable we work to a similar formula – and it works.


We begin with a challenge or barrier to growth facing your organisation. We then seek to understand impacting market trends and stakeholder behaviour

Discover needs

Based on this, we carefully identify stakeholders to interview & observe. We don’t require large numbers to gather extremely rich data

Define issue

That data is synthesis and we look for patterns, helping us to define and reframe the problem and uncover actionable insight.

Develop choices

Once the problem is defined, we can carry out focused creative ideation sessions. A number of concepts are created

Deliver Validation

A direction is chosen, implicit assumptions are identified, and lightweight experiments are designed to test and validate the proposal

Actionable by name and nature

Partner / CoFounder
Trevor Vaugh

Trevor’s expertise are in human-centered innovation, design strategy and design thinking. Prior to entering academia Trevor headed design at Advanced surgical concepts where he helped develop new strategy, products and concepts for international clients such as Olympus, Johnson & Johnson, Covidien and Davol. Trevor has accumulated a portfolio of over 50 patents, invented new product categories and helped disrupt surgical markets. His groundbreaking work on single site surgery saw it named in the Cleveland clinic’s top 10 innovations of 2009.
In 2013 Trevor joined the faculty at the Department of Design Innovation at Maynooth University, where he is the programme director of the award-winning MSc in design innovation.

Partner / CoFounder
Martin Ryan

Martin is a multi-award winning designer and entrepreneur. He is a member of faculty at the Department of Design Innovation at Maynooth University and programme director for the BSc. in Product Design. In 2012 Martin founded BUA saddles – A revolutionary equestrian saddle which he conceived and developed to improve performance and comfort for horse and rider. Bua saddles launched its first product to market in 2015, quickly establishing a customer base in 15 countries.
Martin has held a number of design consultant roles across various industries including homeware, industrial and consumer electronics. Martin’s is co-editor of Iterations design journal, actively researches and advises on early stage innovation processes and design thinking across a variety of organisational sectors.

Why Actionable exist?

“No great strategy has ever been proven analytically in advance. Strategy is first and foremost a creative exercise.”
– Roger L. Martin

Each year 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 95 percent of them fail – Clayton Christensen

The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic – Peter Drucker

The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science – Albert Einstein

Designers have both a moral obligation and a unique ability to take on the great challenges of our time – Steve Vassallo

There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering – Elon Musk

The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some sceptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap” – Tom Kelley

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