Front End of Innovation Part 4

17 Jun 2016 by

With a cup of tea, day 2 started with a lot of gusto and great speakers. Juhee and I again split up for the breakout sessions to capture as much as we can of the FEI conference.

Better & faster by Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy’s enthusiasm and energy can disrupt even the calmest of souls! Jeremy is the CEO of Trend Hunter, a web platform and magazine known to deliver latest trends in tech industry. He is also the author of Get Better & Faster and Exploiting Chaos. With over 100,000 interviews with Fortune 500 companies and CEOs on innovation and trend hunting, his knowledge on the subject is a repository of resources which he tried to condense in a short presentation. He spoke about why it is essential for companies to keep evolving and adapting to changes, companies can’t afford to stagnate and large companies are often afraid of failing and therefore resistant to change.

His keynote presentation included stories of Zara, Red Bull, Smith Corona, Blackberry, Origami and his father. Jeremy, through these examples showed how to hunt and capture opportunities and ideas that are easy to dismiss.

For Studio 5B: We have been promised a copy of his 2015-16 Trend Report with future forecasts and whats the latest in different industry verticals, we will upload this in the dropbox.

Tethering the void between Moonshot Innovations and customer connections by Doanna Sturgess

Donna is an executive in residence at Carnegie Mellon University she started her session with an interesting view point:

“I spend a lot of my time in future, CMU is known for funding big, breakthrough, exponential ideas”  Technology usually runs miles ahead of customer learning curve-and the sweet spot is relevance and impact of technology.

She gave two examples in her talk:

Self driving cars: the concept of autonomous vehicles began in 1939 but the earliest known concept to customers was a prototype built in 1984.

She showed an example of a prototype care CMU built that they took for a test ride from Pittsburg to Seattle. “The humans were only needed to fill gas and change oil"

The technology to build these cars is already here but the policies will perhaps keep them off road for a while. When they took the car to Washington they faced problem with traffic patterns. Donna said that understanding the context helps design the experience, yet people have to see the future to believe in it. 

Big Data: The technology is shrinking sensors and there a silent war between usefulness of big data versus little data. Data and its specificity is more helpful than our enormous hunger for data. She cited an example of a project from CMU which has embedded sensors in devices for elderly people that can detect fall and predict it based on their gait.

Donna suggested that in order to create moonshot ideas we must be willing to abandon our world view, only then can we see new mental models. The gulf between the earth and the moonshot ideas in where the true opportunities for business lies.

Serious Play by Lego

This was a workshop session with lots of lego blocks, every designers dream come true!

Lego Serious Play is a methodology that Lego developed to enhance innovation and business performance through hands-on and minds-on thinking. The element of building cuts down focus on individuals and helps team focus on end result. 

By using a tangible medium to convey ideas, the meeting rooms become a productive space. Lego Serious Play is a medium to improve group problem solving. In this session the facilitator split us into groups of 5-6 people and we used lego to build onto each question that he presented, the kinaesthetic nature of the activity kept us all focused onto the problem at hand rather than deviating the discussion else where. The activity also helps to think of more far to reach and out of ordinary solutions as it allows imagination and creativity to flow more easily.


Innovation from Inside Out by Karen Hershenson

Karen runs a project called as Clay Street at P&G. Clay Street is an unique employment engagement program that allows super potent immersion of people from different business units. She gave a very visually immersive presentation where she split her learning from clay street into a framework.

  1. SEEING the human underneath: “an object is emblematic from where it came” our work is reflection of what we are… Making employees embrace uncertainty and encourage living with questions will allow diversified thinking. This is usually disorienting for certain people, there are a few tricks that can help people come on the same page:
    • Display Thinking
    • Slow Down
    • Name it
  2. FEELING let the love in: innovation is about connections of ideas and people. Often people give too much importance to data templates and less to self discovery and their gut feeling about an idea. Getting rid of our daily distractions and giving time for inspiration to sink in is key.
  3. BEING create the conditions in you: the fear of failure makes you want to control & blame.  We must equip ourselves as an organisation to help employees deal with conflict, help when someone feels unsafe, scared or uncomfortable.

Intervention is not a session, place or approach: it is a practise.

When people know their triggers for REACTIONS they know how to RESPOND.