This was the wee, the week which the group cemented their ideas and grew it in preparation of next week is the market! This week they were shadowing work by Austin Valar Business model canvas.
This will get the students to develop on the feasibility, viability and desirability of their idea. The main concept of this week was for them to operate as if they are start-up. To think about the next steps of development therefore their homework this week was a SWOT analysis (Strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) and a business concept statement.
This team was one down, but they didn’t let that stop them from developing their project.
They have a fantastic long-term vision but struggled to ground it in the first steps, but by the end of the evening they had a clear first few baby steps. To help them do this they worked through this, they used the SWOT analysis to evaluate their future idea and see how they could counter out this idea in the development.
Their idea is to use a system like google cardboard around North Wales, when you scale back this idea to the first steps they have the great initiative to use it alongside the aspect in north wales, to have dragons at points in the environment that people cross. People will download the app when they visit one of the attractions in zip word and rib ride.
This will initially be an app with augmented reality and then to further with the progression to go into google cardboard. They want to one fix the problem of people but aware of a lot of attractions around North wales so choose not to stay there. This app will add value to both companies as it will enhance the experience of say traveling from ziplines to zipline or wait for the rib ride.
The problems to work out was narrowing down their great ideas and focusing on a problem. But their ideas were rich and unique, and I saw a lot of passion from this group. They also had a good idea and experiance in the way they want to present, ( which i wont give away) so i cant wait to see what they can getthere hands on in the market.
Six weeks ago, the Enterprise by Design process began for 2018. Now, there is only one week left until the main presentations! Time flies when you are innovating.
Everyone has been wearing their creative caps for the most part of the process, but now it is time for direction and focus. This week is all about being decisive and to have a consensus as a team for one idea and really push down with it, shape and mould it and present it for next week. And what a selection of choices that Team Fortnite have!
Innovation as a concept relies on the possibility for constant developing progress and staying away from any ceiling effects. With this in mind, there can never be a perfect idea or product, but only ideas that have potential by being highly feasible to create, desirable within the market and viable regarding a healthy investment return. Without these attributes, there would be no innovation but only another idea. That is why it is critical for every team to highlight and clearly communicate these attributes in their final presentations in the next few weeks, and why it was notably important this week to have the opportunity to spend extra time conducting action research and discussing as a group on their own ideas. This session time is so useful to truly understand beyond the face value of the idea and to dwell into the nooks and crannies of how the idea or even prototype is going to thrive and survive amongst the mess of every other team.
It is also important to acknowledge that Enterprise by Design is a vulnerable process and is significantly useful to anyone with their future if it is done with maximal intent and effort. This process is the first real step into how many real-world problems are and should be solved; through the perspective and cooperation of multiple fields and experts. Within academia, there is a reductionist approach towards focusing on the technicalities of ones own field that we tend to forget there is more to a situation than one single angle. Having the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience within the teams, it allows the opportunity for everyone to be highly critical and have valuable insight of how successful their idea can be and what they need to do to achieve that success. This brings on to next week’s session, as each team over the process has collected their own account of creative currency, which will be used as spending money for an array of resources and expertise; to build upon and receive constructive feedback on their current ideas or to help communicate and sell these precious ideas in the final presentations.
Lastly, one really critical piece of advice would be that “a complex problem doesn’t always need a complex solution, and sometimes the simplest prevails amongst the clutter”
Now we are nearing the end of EnterprisebyDesign it is worth thinking about the benefits of the process. As an interdisciplinary project, with a vague brief compared to most academic modules EbD can add substantial value to academic courses.
Even as post graduate students, taking masters and PhDs we are very much focussed on one discipline which does not reflect how a real business operates. In order to solve a real business problem a solution has to come from multiple different angles, and consider many different aspects. The team in EbD are designed to broadly to provide a scientific, engineering, creative and business perspective to every solution. This not only shows the value of working in a team, but also adds value to each individuals skill set. When working in one discipline it is assumed everyone speaks the same ‘language’ however in a real business setting this is not the case, and the ability to not only explain the core concepts of your discipline to others but also understand theirs is vital to effective cross-discipline teamwork.
The problems of miss communication in businesses are well known and widespread, and this stems from academic silos and reductionism. Whilst every discipline will have aspects of the process that they can contribute to more than others- for example business students will be the most familiar with a SWOT analysis, and engineering students will be able to provide insight into technology enhancement for their solutions, and the psychologists will understand how to use the principals of their disciple to make an effective presentation of ideas to the panel in the final week the value comes from all of the these skills working together. This is what EbD is about- adding value through bringing the best of four academic worlds together, and providing students with invaluable skills. For individual students this will hopefully result in a more critical outlook and a ‘what about…’ ‘did we think of…’ ‘how will…’ approach to problems even within their own discipline.
Another source of value is responding to the new style of brief, as this is a completely new experience for most students. Learning to work on what are essentially, shifting sands is giving students a new outlook, as well as increasing skills in flexibility and real world application. From my own experience in EbD I know that it is a jump in the deep end, especially since I like the academic environment, however I can also speak for the eye opening experience and skills the process provides.
Well folks, time has absolutely flown by here at Enterprise by Design!
We are officially on the home stretch of our 8 week challenge, with only two weeks left to go. Last week was Idea Innovation week for the teams, so it’s now time to nail down exactly what direction the students are all going in.
While the last couple of weeks have been about helping the teams brainstorm tourist profiles, tourism assets in North Wales, technologies, and ways they can create viable products for Rib Ride and Zip World; this week, the focus was on how to win the judges over.
While obviously the goal is for the teams to create innovative and unique ideas for the company, with only two weeks left the students were reminded that this is a competition, one with a £5000 prize at the end of it!
Learning about System One and System Two in branding and advertising…
Dr Gareth Harvey from the Pyschology department led the discussion this week. He gave a presentation on how best the groups could communicate their winning ideas and what it takes to persuade an audience to buy their product or choose their business plan. He laid out two different types of decision making when it came to persuading an audience, called system one and system two respectively.
System one focuses on selling the facts of the plan you are presenting and why your plan would be a profitable and useful choice for the judges.
System two encourages the students to appeal to their audience with an emotional strategy, a plan that not only had facts and figures, but one that was personalized, and had an element of humanity in it.
By balancing the two strategies, the teams can tell a convincing story all the way through their presentations that are not only informative, but hopefully getting the audience to believe in something that is useful for the community.
Students were then shown the difference between two adverts from Sony Bravia and Coca-Cola. While one was visually beautiful, creative and fun, audiences had a hard time understanding just what they were being sold. The other, while still being humorous and engaging, did a fairly reasonable job at branding the product they were selling.
Can you remember the adverts? Here they are again to jog your memory.
After some yummy chicken tikka masala and flapjack, the first challenge of the night was to come up with key reasons why people would buy into the ideas the teams had created, and to think about the best ways to structure their ideas. Students were encouraged to identify what their strongest arguments were, and which were their weakest.
Teams were also told to start thinking about how they were going to present their arguments when they talked one on one with the judges two weeks from now. They can either have a one-sided argument that they present with well informed information, or present a two-sided argument that presents the counter argument as well as their own, so they can tackle both sides of the argument head on.
Lastly, teams have to consider how they will present themselves on the day of the presentation. How they speak, how they dress, how they communicate with the audience and how they are selling their brand by the way they come across to the judges.
As the night came to a close, teams were told to start conducting basic market research to look into what has been done before, possibly who has similar ideas to their own, and what the market size is for their plan. Other things they are going to have to think about during their chats with the judges, is what the cost of their ideas are going to cost, how the clients are going to get the money for it, and how many units need to sell before the companies get their money back.
There is so much for these teams to research and think about in the coming weeks, and on top of that they still have to create a video and a presentation for the final.
Good luck to all of our teams, it’s going to be a challenging couple of weeks, but the hope of £5000 should spur our students into action!
For Homework this week:
For the last regular meeting of Enterprise by Design, teams are expected to write a business concept statement, and be ready to use “Creative Currency” that they’ve been earning since the beginning of the challenge in order to bid on useful tools that could be used on their final presentation.
Last week pre-meeting we discussed about action research related to EBD. Action research is a scientific approach to assist the “action” in improving or refining his/her actor. The most important is, action research is always relevant to the participants. “Relevance” must be guaranteed, as it ensures that a specific solution would be figured out to the problem. Linking to EBD, even though this project is centred on designing a product or experience that smooths the Velocity releasing into market in May, however, it is not a real focus that should be defined by the researchers. Zip World and RibRide are hunting for the potential solutions to increase extra values on their cooperation and products, while they are not sure what exactly they are looking for. So the knowledge building and delivering in each workshop is at general level, while not well-targeted. Second, feedback, i.e. collecting the data regarding participants’ actions is an essential process that enables researchers and academics to adjust and improve participants’ actions in future. Currently, there is no this particular process. Therefore, this spiral process is cut off without this feedback process. For participants, build their knowledge as the block is quite challenging, as they rarely did the reflection by themselves neither given by the outside. They developed their own communication styles and social constructions, which might not be the most efficient way to create idea then form the product in the end.
From the side of researchers and academics, introduce the context is necessary, but how to deliver the most specific and relevant information about it is also important. As if participants not well understanding the context, then their actions will not relevant for the purpose of the research and consequently no specific solutions to the problem. Considering EBD, all participants are undergraduates with few working experience and business thinking. When academics deliver and introduce the knowledge at the beginning of each workshop, should think about if these participants digest the information and knowledge properly and efficiently. Based on what I saw among group performance, they are not managing very well. Unsurprisingly, their actions are far from the requirements of the tasks, sometimes even give up playing their roles on it. This kind of learning-analyzing-improving process is destructed.
So it is consultancy week next week and slowly we are getting to the end of EBD where all teams will have to present their big ideas to the judges.
These days the three magical words are:
Judge’s decisions can often be emotional; therefore one has to do some work to convince the judges about how their innovative idea is viable. This can be done in showing utility and in the appraisal of the estimation. A business concept statement is also very useful is putting an innovative idea forward.
The teams have been asked to select their big idea and do a SWOT analysis. This is expected to inform the decision on how creative currencies will be spent next week.
One big question that Andy asked during the facilitator’s meeting is how the current EBD program is related to action research.
While we agreed that there is some form of action research going on, we also acknowledged the constraints which primarily include limited access to the organisation and limited autonomy on what is to be done and how it is to be done. It is not likely that undergraduate students can carry out a full action research but it is interesting to see them engaging in some form of action research which is a good way to learn above and beyond simply being told what to do.
This week I floated in between different teams as there was one facilitator too many. Whilst I didn’t get the chance to focus exclusively on one team, this provided me with the opportunity to see and compare how different teams were progressing.
This week teams were asked to bring their estimations with them. This gave them a good opportunity to discuss, review and critically evaluate their estimations with the facilitators. Unfortunately, 2 teams that I spoke with were lacking team members so as a result I couldn’t discuss estimations of market size with these teams. I strongly recommend that these teams have a meeting soon in order to calculate these estimations as this will prove to be a valuable asset in the final pitch.
Teams were also asked to critically review their final 4 ideas and choose one which they believe to be the strongest. Whilst some teams were very clear about their final choice, there were other teams that struggled to do this. My advice to these teams that are struggling to choose a final idea would be to have another meeting and score each idea out of 10. Once you have done this you need to consider 3 further key elements to your idea. That being, desirability, viability and feasibility.
With only 2 weeks to go it’s vital that all teams imagine themselves presenting in front of the judges. It’s time to produce, plan and commit to this presentation.
For Enterprise by Design this week, the main focus has been on location, location and location, except with Andy Goodman hosting the episode. Specifically, this session was about identifying broad numbers of location-based technology that are currently used within society, i.e. Bluetooth, iBeacon, GPS, Near Field Communication and many more, and combine these technologies with previous week’s work, the four user personas, adventure asset map and wellness tourism, to create 24 different and introspective scenarios per team through 2 rounds. Fortunately, Liquid Slate managed to do over 36, respectively.
These scenarios created are essentially randomly assigned components that may have some degree of congruence between them all or not, but ultimately are acting as constraints to really focus down and create potential ideas for each niche scenario. This activity was all about quantity over quality, to think outside and beyond the mundanity of normative thinking and perspectives. After each team have come up with all of their scenarios, they were asked to narrow down and select four potential ideas and evaluate how feasible, viable and desirable these ideas could be – with the latter being worked out using estimation.
The power of estimation and approximation is of vital importance within modern times for many fields and careers. The basic premise for estimation is to guide towards an answer through a rational series of questions. For this session, estimation was used to understand the target market for each of four potential product/service that they have now narrowed down to. By doing so, this will help the team to reflect upon their ideas and understand more about how viable – is there a potential market gap – or desirable – is there currently a need to be fulfilled? – their ideas are.
Regarding Liquid Slate, it was clear that the team had a lot of creativity and innovation still at bay. There was so many ideas flowing on the table, no matter how random the constraints seemed to be. However, the only criticism or point that I could say is that the unison of all four components of the scenarios was not always fully considered. Nevertheless, with 36 potential ideas, there would be at least one or two hidden golden nuggets amongst the pay dirt.
In sum, I was very happy with the team’s progress within this session and their completed homework. It seems that each team member knew what was expected of them and managed to utilise much of their creativity this week.
It’s week 6, so you’d hope that the teams have indeed by now reached a point where they could point directly at something and say, “We’re doing this, and this is how we’re going to present it to the judges in two weeks’ time”.
But before I get into the undergraduates and how they’re getting on, a note about the pre-event meeting.
In the post-graduate meeting, Andy posed a question to the business PhDs, asking whether what Enterprise by Design is doing is ‘Action Research’.
Action Research, whilst not quite a methodology, is more of an approach to research which solves problems through active inquiry, balancing problem solving with data-driven collaborative analysis or research.
Whilst I hadn’t come across this term before, it’s an interesting idea and something that we do touch on in Creative Studies. It focuses on having multi-disciplinary teams solve problems, rather than coming at them with a single mind set.
Enterprise by Design definitely gives these teams a focus, and a problem to solve. One of the business PhDs said she thought the students here didn’t have enough of a say in the process in order to call it Action Research; but what it does do if give them the idea that multiple disciplines are even necessary.
If the undergraduate teams take anything away from this process, and I think that they probably will, I hope it’s the idea that their sole area of expertise isn’t the be-all-end-all.
I was working with And The Winner Is… today, and I must say that I do like their team name. Positive reinforcement is always good. Straight out of the gate, the team had already narrowed down their four ideas from last week into one.
Alongside narrowing that idea down, they had a good idea of what they needed to do to solve the problems the SWOT analysis might show (having a head-start on getting their homework done by starting during our time).
Not only did the team have a great handle on what they were doing, they were so focused and asking great questions, I forgot to take a picture for this week to accompany the post.
As long as they keep focusing on bringing everything they’ve already done together to create the final presentation, it seems like they’re going to be fine.
In Week five, teams were first asked to think about eight location-based technologies and discuss with each other regarding the implications of that technology such as GPS, GIS, WIFI, Bluetooth, etc. Then they were asked to understand the seven wellness dimensions including emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial and spiritual dimensions.
The next and the most exciting step was to creating 24 ideas in two rounds (3ideas for each team member per round) based on the identified technologies and the wellness dimensions. And they were also supposed to give each idea a unique name to make it memorable.
I found this session so interesting, as I saw team members were actively generating different ideas and quickly discussing these ideas together. As Linus Pauling says: “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas”
Then they needed to review all the ideas and choose the top four. Because of the time limitation, teams decided to meet during the week to decide on their top four ideas and they also needed to estimate the market size for these four ideas as a homework.
I suggested them to discuss more their ideas and be more specific in identifying the technology, the wellness dimensions and their story, as they are going to introduce specific and unique products or services for Zip World and Rib Ride. “It is not about ideas, it is about making ideas happen”.