Customised Innovation Workshops
``Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It's the only insurance against irrelevance. It's the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It's the only strategy for out-performing a dismal economy.`` - Gary Hamel
Prepare to Innovate
We start by agreeing who should attend. We have run groups with 70 people and groups with 2. Anything is possible. We design for each situation. Often, we suggest there is pre-work (if time allows). This can include some reading, some thinking or some “finding”.
Here are some examples:
◼ Looking across multiple product types, find five examples of customer journeys that you love. Mystery shop two of them and bring your findings in the shape of recordings, screenshots or photos and a 10-minute key points presentation.
◼ Thinking back to when you were a kid, think of the Titles of 5 “Books I wished I’d been given (but didn’t exist)”.
◼ Between you, gather a Pinterest wall about “Important Trends concerning Financial Consumers”. Favour brevity and pictures. If you find interesting articles, please deposit them in the shared folder provided.
◼ At the workshop, we often need to shake things up a bit. Perhaps we need to find a different venue. A particular highlight was lounging in a Bedouin tent with a retail mogul sharing inspiring ideas that were coming thick and fast. But you can innovate anywhere – the mental space is as important as the physical space.
Getting into the Creative Space
We often start with a fast and energetic creative task to get everyone loosened up. Art is a particular favourite. We’ve had artists working with groups to draw portraits, abstract group-works … anything that gets people out of their head and into their creativity.
We often ask people to bring to mind creative things they’ve done before. We have some stories – the sober banker who used his ingenuity to escape a Libyan prison...
Assumption Busting = Idea Finding
Some of the best products and services exist because someone challenged the prevailing assumptions. You can’t be a supermarket and a bank. You can’t serve meals as a drive through. Vinyl records are finished. When it comes to hotel bedrooms, bigger is better. You could never afford to send a limo to every passenger. We get the group to brainstorm the assumptions that prevail in your markets, curtailing your thinking. We encourage contrarian thinking.
Focal and Strategic Questions
At some point, we need to focus the innovation into some commercial and strategic targets. These can be things like.
◼ Generate ideas for a new product range that will become our biggest sellers within 3 years
◼ Find a way to smash the competition when it comes to the customer experience
◼ Create an OMG online auction experience.
There are things you can do to kill innovation that may be conscious or unconscious. We help the group to discover and articulate ground rules in a fun and creative way.
One of the reasons the room is important is that we need space to work. Creativity is often visual. It involves a lot of trial and error, missteps and building block mistakes. So we like to have places for people to work large. There are a ton of ways to do idea generation. Through experience, we’ve known for a long time that idea generation often happens best alone. Now, it seems, science is bearing us out. Individuals working side by side produce more and better quality ideas than a group trying to be collaborative.
Nurturing Innovative Ideas
All ideas need to be nurtured. We remind people of the ideas that never passed first base but went on to become blockbusters. It’s premature to reject anything. We often rotate people and small groups to take each other’s ideas and work them up or use them as a springboard to something better. We have a range of tools and techniques to enrich ideas. They often involve injecting ideas with unexpected twists.
◼ What if you cross-fertilised this idea with a consumer electronics gadget?
◼ What if you were doing this for the top 50 richest people in the world? What would you add, take away or change?
◼ How would you redesign this to double the speed?
◼ Here are 10 photos. How could you adapt what you see here to enrich this product?
Filtering: Finding the Golden Nuggets
We use the world’s best methodology for filtering ideas. It’s evidence-based and is used by over 50% of the world’s most innovative companies. Plus common and uncommon sense.
Where an idea meets the criteria and where useful, we model the ideas out. We bring suitable materials to do this. If it’s a process, we can create storyboards using photographs or drawings or flow charts using pre-prepared large sticky materials. We have a range of people we can call on as visualisers if you need one – artists, graphic or product designers. Maybe you want to create a product or service brochure or web page to see how easy it is to communicate your idea or see how strong/appealing it is.
Depending on the circumstances, we encourage rapid testing of ideas. We’ve been known to tee potential clients up for a pitchfest through webinars to get feedback.
We sometimes get sub-groups to rotate and “challenge with questions” the ideas before us. Another rotation will see the next sub-group pick those questions up and use them to strengthen the proposition.
We have a range of tools to help us analyse the strength of a proposition using a logical methodology.
We facilitate you to develop a commercial strategy for your chosen products/services.
As experienced business people, we help you to work on:
◼ product/service positioning
◼ routes and channels to marketselling methods
◼ selling methods
◼ growth planning
◼ We then help you to agree your development projects to put flesh on the bones.
Most of our customers have us back to do further sessions as they head towards launch.