“The most innovative ideas seem to emerge from those unusual gaps where companies, people, and sectors collide. But various obstacles often make trying to work together a headache, if not downright impossible. Our big question: what can we do to make collaboration become the norm rather than the exception to the rule?” Mitch Sava – Director, Creative Industries iNet
iNets are a new networking-for-innovation initiative and also a product within the UK government-funded portfolio of solutions for business, which provides support across the South West region of the UK. iNets benefits their clients by providing the connectivity necessary to glue the current portfolio of business support products together.
Problem | The iNets directors had an imminent launch event and their UK Government and Regional Development Agency stakeholders would all be attending. They wanted to show their University stakeholders that iNets is part of a network of new innovation programmes that also embody what the Universities are trying to do; link academia with business. The iNets directors needed a visceral way to demonstrate the value of the iNets concept. They also wanted their strategic audience to see what the iNets programme is all about and what made it different.
Response | A one day, cross-sector workshop to introduce a design-led approach to innovation for people from companies in all industry sectors in the iNets South West network: Environmental, Biomedical, Microelectronics, Creative Industries, Aerospace and Advanced Engineering. The workshop would be an opportunity for participants to work together; firstly to understand, then generate ideas to break down the barriers to innovation between different industry sectors, by building a shared understanding of how each company manages innovation and what challenges typically arise in each sector.
I also introduced filmmaking as a engaging way of capturing the energy of the workshop and sharing the experience with the iNets strategic audience.
Result | A team of servicejunkie associates co-designed and facilitated a tightly-scheduled Discovery Day workshop, to focus the minds of participants on the innovation challenge. People were split into mixed teams and each team was facilitated by a servicejunkie associate.
Affinity mapping was used to manage the large number of creative ideas generated in the morning workshop. In the afternoon, the challenge set for the teams was to select, refine, develop and communicate a new service proposal, which would meet iNets development support criteria.
Value | The iNets launch event at the University of West England was considered a huge success as the stakeholder audience were able to experience the Discovery Day workshop, by watching the short film (shown above) and the iNets directors presented four outcomes from the workshop that they were willing to fund for further development.
Endorsements | “Richard delivered a high quality event for the iNets program on a tight timescale and budget. Furthermore, and to be commended, the results exceeded our expectations and were due, in large part, to the skills and creativity of Richard and his team.” Rick Chapman (client) June 14, 2011
“Richard and his servicejunkie facilitated the development of a Discovery Day innovation workshop for the South West Innovation Networks. He was rigorous and effective in undertaking research, preparation and planning. He produced thorough plans, based on input from and interpretation of the needs of our diverse group of stakeholders. The servicejunkie team were good to work with, and agile in their approach, including on the day. The event was surprisingly successful for the stakeholders, who were effusive in their praise.” Nico Macdonald (client) June 23, 2011