Author Archives: John Mahon

Action Research and Made in Wales – Week 6

From the meeting to the innovations workroom:

Synthesizing their 4 estimations, 4 creative currency credits, nothing ludicrous. Uses, Environment, Technology. Teams should commit to the presentations, less discussion in this session. Now is the time to shape/ mould and create. Commit to the idea you have been working on.
Ask questions; “How might?” and evaluate your explained reasoning.
The challenge here was the team I was working was had only one member there.

The Homework; Startup simulations, Business Concept Statement, SWOT analysis of the idea to inform allocation of creative currency.

We were told to Critique the desirability of the team’s ideas, push them to find an enthusiastic response to your proposal from end users, which will provide statistics to quantify the desirability of your product. Viability will provide estimates, what’s the purpose/value provided in your proposal?
Feasibility was the biggest challenge for the team here, because they lacked the prior work, only one girl had turned up out of her 4 members. She had not been there the previous week. Rather than giving up, we persisted on to generate somne of the 24 ideas which were to be created. This proved a challenge, but together we came up with the final idea for her team to continue with.

Multidisciplinary Action Research. Kurt Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term “action research” in 1944. In his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”
What is the added value of this kind of work/research? It was the process of a changing organization to be tested and assisted by external professional researchers to improve overall organizational strategy. Elope verged on action research, it had external professionals involved, but it wasn’t a changing a company, and the same can be said for Enterprise by Design. If the students were involved directly with the company, they could be action researchers, but it is early days for many of them, including us supervisor graduates.

A mood point which resonated with me deeply was the idea brought up by Andy Goodman that education is too focused on giving education to students, helping them to understand work, but not build upon it. I figured out how to do exams in first year because they didn’t want our original thought, they wanted us to prove we understood, and nothing more. As I progressed in my Electronics Degree, especially Masters year, I noticed that the questions in assignments was more tending towards original thought, which is why it is more enjoyable. This is only possible once understanding is shown though.
Educare (latin)- To extract knowledge, as opposed to inserting knowledge into students. “bring out, lead forth.”

Week 1 – Liquid Slate

Blog for Enterprise by Design 06/02/18
First day of EBD was exciting atmosphere. I recognised my head of department’s enthusiasm for the project and knew that what I was getting into would be worthy of his excitement. When the supervisors were told to challenge teams forming to make sure only the best teams, I was ready. ELOP had prepared me well.

The teams seemed to attract a balance of character types when it comes to naturally selecting potential members in a large room. The general trend, you would have a very outgoing extravert team up with an introvert (electronic engineering student in my team’s case.) I noticed that when I approached the team I sought to join, after introducing myself the fellow Alex introduced himself promptly which was welcoming. He does a product design course in his 3rd year, and had apparent high confidence in this group work environment. The engineer Christopher was last to introduce himself, reserved on his Tablet refusing my gaze initially but when telling him my course of Masters Electronics he was less optically evasive and engaged in the group effort very well. The other two, Psychology student Vicky and another student Sam worked well. After the brief given to the room, Alex began allocating roles for solving the issue, but I noted that he had jumped to conclusions onto the aim of the project, as it was an exercise in profiling the potential customer. He began splitting tasks within the profiling of the customer of everyone, which I intervened as it was overly complicated solution for a new team’s first task. I gave a pointer and suggested that each member tackle a different persona. The team would have done his previous suggestion unquestioned, and this is the dynamic of extroverts in a group. They quickly made a Facebook chat group for sorting the work. I look forward to seeing how the team develops from here on out.

P.S It is now 20th February and the teams video was one of my favourites of the those given today, with a video specifically through stop motion and hand drawings. short but to the point, about creating a valuable journey to the surrounding area, using a Cardiff Student as a vessel to explain the story. They are looking promising

John Mahon

Week 4 – TREX (February 20th)

I noticed that the team had well prepared slides, so there was lack of engagement for the first team to present (usually the one to remember) as a result.
My feedback to the team
My suggestions would be not to read from the notes as much if possible, speak slower, putting emphasis on keywords. Their video portrayed the Snowdonia national park as an adventure haven, with mountain biking (damn near the best place in the world to do it, as there are so many excellent trails.) Consideration for demographic is good and the main team to tackle the concept of a multi package holiday.

They pointed out that there was lack of transportation links between all these sites in Snowdonia, exclaiming to “Create North Wales as an experience, rather than a series of attractions.” This got me thinking throughout the other team’s contributions to see if they had done the same idea, and this was a trend many had followed. An application was many team’s solutions to connectivity, but with experience from Elope, this would prove costly, and may not work so I encourage the team to pursue the transportation idea.
Panel feedback was as given to Trex, as was most groups received feedback bar a far; “What product are you trying to deliver?” more specifity needed as the problem solution being proposed, clarity was not the issue yet. What is the experience you are offering? From my experience in ELOP I was excited as the scope for exploration was large, but was overwhelming one member of the team, Corey. This was surprising many more teams have not questioned the process, it shows he wanted to achieve well, but the competition element was his main focused.
Each team was told to focus down on what is experienced and how it adds value in unique ways.
For Treks I proposed a shuttle bus adventure tour of the area, which could include rib ride and zip world as a package weekend getaway. One member of the team Corey was in objection as he wanted to make sure that we deliver a physical product, but I assured him that this service is a product which would mutually benefit both potential investors. Overall the team have a clearer idea of what is to be delivered over the coming weeks.