Tag Archive | innovation

At the Footprints of Nobel Winners – Cambridge Venture Camp 2017

Hello,

We are three Master´s Degree students from Laurea Tikkurila where we are studying in a program called “Future Studies and Customer Oriented Services”. Last autumn we participated in a course ”Digitaalisen palvelun käyttäjäkeskeinen suunnittelu” and there we started to develop a business idea for a digital application called ”Big Steps for Little People”, and with that idea we won WeLive -designing competition early 2017. After that our teacher encouraged us to apply to Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 with our business idea. Cambridge Venture Camp is an international entrepreneurship boost camp by Laurea Entrepreneurship Society, LaureaES. We sent in our application and received invitation to be interviewed. We heard afterwards that LaureaES had received about 50 ideas/applications and only 8 of them were chosen to participate the camp. Guess what? We were one of them!

So that was a start of an interesting and motivating journey to learn about entrepreneurship and developing our business idea further. First there was a Finnish week at the end of March in Leppävaara campus which included lectures of pitching, team building, MVP (minimum viable product), external funding and finance. Week also included different kind of workshops for example regarding value proposition canvas. We also got to visit Microsoft Flux, where we had our first pitching competition. In our team it was Katri, who lost in lottery. Just kidding, Katri is a great speaker and for that reason she presented our idea.

The highlight of the Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 was the Cambridge week, that was organized during 9.-13.4.2017 in Cambridge. At the same time as we were there, Laurea´s BIB Bootcamp participants were also there. We had partly the same program with them. We stayed at Downing College in Cambridge University. Week included lectures from local professors and Finnish lecturers as well.

During the week we learned about Cambridge ecosystem, market research, marketing and business design, valuation, creating prototypes, funding possibilities for startups, lean business model canvas and also more about pitching skills. We had many workshops and we learned to use different kind of service design tools. During the whole week we developed our business idea further with help of all this. Days were very intensive and required 100 % attention the whole time. This was a great hands on way to learn basics about entrepreneurship and business idea development in a short time. All the lecturers were great and very professional. We also got realistic feedback about our business idea from lecturers and from other participants as well.

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Trinity College. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

But it was not just hard work and studying! On Tuesday evening we had a fine dining dinner at Trinity College (picture above) with all the LaureaEs and BIB participants and also some Cambridge professors joined us. Trinity College is a very rich and highly appreciated campus. They have 32 Nobel winners and for example Prince Charles has studied there. Dinner tasted excellent and we had many interesting conversations during the evening with other participants. After dinner we had an after party in Vodka Revolution Bar. On Wednesday we went all together punting on the River Cam (picture below). Luckily it was a great weather and we had some sparkling and strawberries with us. Yam! We also had some free time in the evening to see the beautiful city and do some shopping. It is easy just to walk around in the city because distances are short. We recommend Cambridge to all, it will make you feel very intelligent (or not).

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Punting on River Cam. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

During the whole Cambridge Venture Camp 2017, we had great atmosphere and team spirit. LaureaES did an excellent job organizing everything and making sure that we could focus on the essential – learning and development. Did you know that they do all this on their free time?

In overall this was a once in a lifetime experience. We encourage everyone to apply to next Cambridge Venture Camp with your own business ideas, in case you are interested in entrepreneurship or just learning more. As Isaac Newton, one of Cambridge University´s famous alumni said “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

Mervi Kleimola, Katri Rantanen and Niina Rinkinen

#CVC17 #WeLoveBusiness #LaureaES

http://www.laureaes.fi/en/home/

https://www.cam.ac.uk/

https://www.downing-conferences-cambridge.co.uk/

Building strong customer experience

Kirsi Heikel, the host crystallized the idea of the seminar: Strong customer experience- easier said than done. The seminar was held at Aalto University School of Business on the 16th of March. I was invited to the seminar as an alumni and speaker of the Service Design course organized by Aalto Pro –Aalto University of Professional Development. When listening to seminar’s prestigious group of speakers, I had my service designer lenses on and I compered these directors’ thoughts against design thinking. I was interested how these CEOs, investors, entrepreneurs and professional board of members discussed about importance of customer experience, how high a level do they place customer experience aspect of management and how they actually manage it.

Listen to your customers

Kenneth Strömsholm the CEO of Veho Oy described unambiguous aim of Veho’s experience world as follows: “None of the cars, service, spare parts or car hire cannot remain unsold because of a poor service experience.” Customer experience is one of the cornerstones of the Veho’s success. He gave an example. In the past, the car was always presented in the same way. There was actually specific manual how to give a presentation. Nowadays the most important is to listen to customer’s needs and viewpoints and give specific answers to questions in need. Veho have moved from strict quality manual way of operating to individual and flexible service. Mr. Strömsholm raised digitalization as another example of Veho’s customer experience thinking. He pointed out that digitalization strategy is the best way to separate digital services from all the other services. Services need to be designed as a whole.

Fail and Innovate

Jonas Kjellberg is a serial entrepreneur, investor and one of the founders of Skype-service. Nowadays he is leader of the BCG Digital Ventures. He is a specialist in creating new business models and commercializing new products and services. He started his presentation by saying that he is not going to talk about his successes. He is going to talk about his failures. Because through failures he has learned the most. Mr. Kjellberg discussed about changing the game in the business. He said that every organization spends time and money to efficiency and functionality. How about innovating something that delights your customers? First you need to figure out what is the friction free story you are selling. You need to go to fundamentals.

  • What customers love?
  • How to use new technology?
  • How to innovate in zeros? Remember: Innovate don’t imitate

Keep it simple

XXL

Toni Stigzelius is CEO of XXL Finland. He has been responsible for launching the XXL chain in Finland. In his presentation, he raised three rules to build good customer experience in XXL.

  • Keep it simple stupid. Simplicity in process and easiness to navigate.
  • Listen. 70 % of sales is interaction and emotion.
  • Attitude. Employees can learn all about the sports equipment, but attitude you can’t change.

After the presentations I took my designers lenses off and I still saw the same. Jihaa, we are talking the same language with these successful leaders: listening, designing as a whole, customer needs first, failure is for good, innovation not imitation, simplicity and magnificent attitude!

NBF16 – my takeaways

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Last year I attended Nordic Business Forum 2015 thru the live stream and it was an amazing experience. I was so stoked that had to buy a NBF16 seminar pass right away –  I wanted to experience it physically, to hear the keynote speakers live, meet people and be part of the buzz.

Now, after digesting the whole experience for 2 weeks, I’d like to share some of my learnings with you. The four things that are still on my mind are:

Do, do, do =  Only action makes inspiration come true, execution is everything

Choose to matter = Everyone of us is the change, don’t wait for it to happen

Attention on solutions = Solve a problem, don’t concentrate on egos

Values & Trust = Employees 1st, customers 2nd

The main themes at the Nordic Business Forum 2016 (NBF16) were marketing, digitalization and culture . Two days, almost 6,000 people, tens of nationalities – the event was bigger than ever. And well worth the investment in time and money. Full agenda can be found at NBF16.

On marketing and change

Marketing is a service, an emotion and about making a connection. Today mass anything is dead, even niche groups are big enough to target. Scott Galloway continues:

  1. The young and healthy have left the building (=tv). 74% would cancel Netflix if there were ads. The price of freedom – adfree world – is a couple dollars.
  2. Store is the number 1 factor influencing the purchase decision – next come search, CRM and social.
  3. Ratio, heart and genitals drive the decisions. Technology helps reduce pain when you’ve first identified the actual pain points.
  4. Car is a service, Google is a spiritual guide and FB’s for love, empathy and sharing.

His final words were that “lots of things are happening that are not good for us”. Privacy issues and tax evasion are threats if you’re not transparent.

Peter Diamantes asked which problem do you want to solve. Solve and share it – like Uber. Everybody has potential to become extraordinary problem solver with latest tools around like sensors, 3D printing, virtual & artificial reality, genetics etc. But how to the unlock passion to do this?  Unfortunately our governments are the slowest to change as they are the most linear organizations on the planet. But even they can’t regulate against change in the end. We – the people – are the change, in the past citizens have started the biggest changes. And what’s not possible today, will be possible tomorrow.

Gary Vaynerchuk started his keynote stating that we’re still grossly overspending on stuff that we’ve done before. For example by using tv ads to interrupt storytelling. Everything should be about creating value. Communication drives everything and you can only learn by doing. Only action creates results, not inspiration. Do, do, do – test, test, test – and do it again. Try out all the new stuff and think how this could help your business. Create a culture where your employees are better than the competition and figure out a firing policy as well.

This was the first time I heard the godfather of creativity, Seth Godin of the Purple Cow, live. For him marketing is all about creating experience. So are you’re creating something worth mentioning? He focused on the value of teamwork, building trust, co-creation and sharing ideas – a connection economy. Sounds familiar to a service designer.   A few phrases of his that resonated with me:

  • There no such thing as a writer’s block – just bad habits and reluctance to dance with fear.
  • It’s all about creating marketing together, being fully human. Sow ubana – I see you.
  • There are not enough bad ideas to find a few good ones.
  • Do you want to make art or be a copycat?
  • Will you to choose matter?

And of course I have to share his picture of bats having a cocktail party. Certainly made me think of these creatures in a different way.

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Vineet Nayar on culture

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Will Design Thinking disrupt Education?

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VIDEO Desktop walkthrough prototype

Chances are if you didn’t go to design school (or don’t have a career in design) you believe you have absolutely no clue what Design Thinking is.

But when one starts analysing how they create solutions, they are likely to recognise similarities with this now superpop method. Innovation by Design Thinking follows patterns similar to other traditional methods, however guided by human-centric principles rather than business & technology requirements. Katja Tschimmel (2015) describes it as a way of transforming and innovating through human-centric approach. In other words, creative thinking with people in mind that leads to actually meaningful solutions.

Doing is the new Teaching

During 2 intensive days we had guests from Portugal, Katja Tschimmel and Mariana Valença, lecture the Design Thinking masters course at Laurea SID. What stood out for me was their way of lecturing. They digested all those years of extensive research into easy-to-grasp exercises and a useful set of slides overviewing everything Design Thinking. It was interactive and inspiring rather than exhaustive. Quickly the lecture became practical with quizzes, ultimately becoming a workshop following one of the models presented, Evolution 6.

I’m more interested in observing how Design Thinking can change the way we teach/learn anything at schools in general. While performing the exercises myself I recognised at least 4 design thinking principles applied to the teaching&learning environment, described by Tschimmel in the latest Research Report D-Think.

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Can Design Thinking Provide the Breakthroughs We Need to Reduce Global Poverty and Domestic Violence?

 

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Woman cooking next to the port and market in Cotonou, Benin [Image (c) Jeffrey Allen]

By Jeffrey Allen

25 Sep, LONDON – For the past seven years, I’ve designed and managed projects to improve lives in developing countries, focusing on education, health, good governance, human rights, agriculture, employment, the environment… everything that impacts people’s quality of life. It’s a wildly complex field, where managers have to understand business, sociology, communications, technology, innovation, politics, psychology, and more if they’re going to be successful.

I spent the first several years just getting my head around the basics, learning on the job, by trial and error, and by soaking up what I could from those around me. Before starting the job, I had observed international development work – mostly from the outside – for more than six years as a journalist remixing stories published by organizations working in the field. Looking on through my outsider’s lens, I was consistently impressed by the work development practitioners did every day to make lives better and open opportunities for billions of people in difficult circumstances across the globe. Continue reading

Unleash Your Inner Beast

Be empathetic, gather courage and nurture creativity to make Breakthroughs.

I would like to Thank our energetic lecturer Katja Tschimmel for sharing her knowledge and experiences on Design Thinking. Thank to Virpi Kaartti for providing great support during the Study and Thank to all my fellow students for such an amazing ongoing experience. 

This blog is covering two parts. 1) My perspective and highlight on Design Thinking and Innovation 2) Learning during Laurea contact sessions.

 

My perspective and highlight on Design Thinking and Innovation

 

I have gained a little insight about the potential of Design Thinking and how design thinking approach can lead to create innovations to improve existing conditions and make impact.

I can already feel that Design Thinking is slowly transforming my approach towards solving problems and my realization that empathy is so much central towards design thinking.

Design Thinking is powerful, a great methodology which provides framework for understanding empathy, nurturing creativity and using early prototyping towards breakthrough innovations.

Also, keeping an open mindset to grow and learn at the same time paves the way to unleash our true unknown potential, including creativity hidden among all of us.

Here, I would like to emphasize and highlight on key aspects of Design Thinking.

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Feel the Energy of Shaking Minds

We had pleasure to participate on two day design thinking (DT) study module. These days were full of innovative thinking instructed by two lovely ladies from Portugal; Dr. Katja Tschimmel (Design Professor, ESAD Portugal, developer of DT model EVOLUTION 6² ) and Mariana Valenca (Lecturer in Design thinking, ESAD Portugal). They started with introducing some of the most popular design thinking modules. (Presented below)
We got to know their company Mindshake (http://mindshake.pt/design_thinking) and the Design Model that they have developed, called EVOLUTION 6². We got to do some hands-on training as Mariana Valenca kindly familiarized us through their DT model step by step. This was very interesting, challenging and made our minds more innovative. We work in groups leading by Mariana and here are few pictures from those days and what we made.

 

 EVOLUTION 6²       –Mindshake Design Thinking model

 Phases:  Emergence, Emphathy, Experimentation, Elaboration, Exposition, Extension

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First phase Emergence we experienced the model by doing ‘intent statement’ and  ‘opportunity  mind map’. In this first phase the goal is to identificate of an opportunity.

 

 

 

 

On Experimentation phase we had a lot of fun with legos! In this phase you generate ideas and develop concepts.

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On Elaboration phase we worked with ‘service blueprint’. Phases meaning is to work on material and semantic solutions.

 

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On Exposition phase we made ‘a visual business model’. Meaning of this phase is communicating the new concept and solutions.

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Design Thinking Models

Here are briefly presented few of the most applied Design Thinking tools that are created. These model are presented widely on Katja Tschimmels research article. (Tschimmel, K. (2012). Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation)

 

Picture 1)
IDEO’s 3 I model (Created in 2001)
Inspiration
At this phase designers needs to identificate context by observing and completing design research.

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Ideation
Phases meaning is to brainstorming process and encourage visual concepts so that complex ideas could be understood.
Implementation
The core of this stage is prototyping. After creating the final product/service there is a need to develop a communication strategy to help communication inside and outside the organization.

 

Picture 2)
IDEO has also launched HCD model which has double meaning as:
Human Centered Design

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and
Hear
Design team will collect data from people and prepare and conduct field research.
Create
Thinking change from concrete to more abstract identifying themes and opportunities and then back to concrete thinking with solutions and prototypes.
Deliver
Realize the solutions and launch them in to the world.
https://www.ideo.com/work/human-centered-design-toolkit/

 

Picture 3)
Hasso-Plattner Institutes Design Thinking model:

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 http://www.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/d_school/design_thinking/components.html?L=
This model is based on IDEO’s process experience and part of it is very similar with IDEO’s 3 I model
The DT process is visualized in six steps, connected by curved lines indicating that each step is performed in iterative loops. First phase Understand is about gathering information through secondary research. Second phase Observe includes collecting insights about the users’ needs. The insights are shared and synthesized visually in the third, Point of view, phase. Fourth phase, Ideate corresponds with IDEO 3 I stage ideation (picture 1). Last two phases, Prototype and Test contains same frames as IDEOs 3 I stage implementation (picture 1).

 

Picture 4)
British Council has developed a design process model in 2005 called The 4 D or Double Diamond.

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On discover phase designer searches new insights and opportunities. The second phase, define, works as a filter for the first phase where insights are selected and discarded. In third, develop,stage designed solutions are developed and tested using Design Thinking tools, like brainstorming, sketches and prototypes. In the last, deliver, stage the final concept undergo final testing, producing and finally launching.
http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/
Katja Tschimmel writes in her ‘Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation’ research article that there is not exactly best DT process model, innovation managers should choose their model depending their disciplinary background and their personal taste. In this same research article Katja Tschimmel finds that IDEO’s 3 I model (picture 1) would exclude essential moments of the design process, even though it is easy memorable name and the first model on the market. Double diamond model (picture 4) is the most complete one and reason for that could be that it is designed for designers’ use. Other models which are presented here are produced for business and management in focus.
This research article is very important from my point of view. It tells us main points of the most important DT models and a bit of history of developing these models. This kind of information in a nutshell brings us closer to understand how new models are build up and how important these phases for example in EVOLUTION 6² model are. In my opinion Katja Tschimmel writes about design thinking in the way that we all could develop our creative processes trough DT model.

 

Design Thinking by Nigel Cross

I can recommend Nigel Cross’ book Design Thinking (2011). Book includes a lot of examples how designers works in different fields. Trough researches we can familiarize ourselves in designers way of thinking and their motivation for design work. Cross has taken designers interviews part of his research. One main relevance arising from interviews among designers is that successful designers are sensitive to nuances in their environments and their awareness is higher than average people have.
Cross writes about different case studies from teamwork and what kind of possibilities and problems arises from it comparing to work independently. With these case studies reader can really understand designers way of thinking and working. Cross gives examples between novice and expert designer and more importantly how we all can improve our creativity.
To all of us, remember Design thinking is a mindset which can be developed.
Written by Pinja Suonpää

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Sources:
Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an Effective Toolkit for Innovation in Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation from Experience.
Cross, Nigel 2011. Design thinking: understanding how designers think and work. Oxford: Berg Publishers.