EL Innovation Workshop: Pivot, Persevere or Kill. Applying the methodologies and building the skills for innovation
Building the skills for innovation
In today’s world, every company faces the challenge of acting innovatively. This means not only imagining new products and services, but remembering to develop and test these ideas with potential customers. The EL Innovation working group organised a two-day methodology workshop from 5-6 December 2016 in London, where 40 participants from a number of EL member lotteries across Europe gathered together at Decoded offices, a leading tech education company. The workshop focused on three key areas: identifying customer problems, rapidly prototyping their solutions, and practising test-and-learn mindsets.
While acting as “start-ups” in small groups, participants were introduced to processes to help them think creatively to solve problems and evaluate ideas through rapid experimentation. Each group had to work through and present back an idea to answer the brief: “Create a product or service that in the coming years will disrupt the Lottery sector.”
With representatives from a wide variety of countries, the experience also presented an opportunity to network and share ideas from all over the world.
Introduction to methodologies
The workshop began with context-setting for the day and some case studies of disruptive innovators across different industries, such as Uber, AirBnB and Raffler. These were useful to highlight the benefits of lean ways of working, and using experiments to validate ideas. The morning also introduced an overview of industry frameworks, like the Lean Startup and Google Sprint, to help the participants expand their ideas quickly and efficiently. Albion then presented the audience with an overview of Agile and Design Thinking – two innovation frameworks which can be used to focus a team on working efficiently.
Applying the skills
The groups were then given free rein to apply these ideas. By allowing participants to act as startups working towards a brief, they were given the opportunity to test out the new methodologies they had been introduced to. Participants could then understand the relevance of concepts like personas and customer journeys, and begin imagining how to apply them in their day-to-day work. They used these personas to identify assumptions within their ideas – attendees found this stage very helpful in clarifying what questions to ask customers. Using data and insights from real customer interviews, attendees then re-evaluated assumptions. Many noted how interesting and valuable it was to question real potential customers on the street. This helped them to focus on keeping their ideas customer-centric – and identify correct assumptions and problems that they could develop.
Rapid prototyping & testing
Attendees were then taken through online tools and resources to rapidly prototype their ideas. Some of these tools included landing pages, Facebook adverts and concept videos. This opportunity to practise with the tools showed them how quick and easy it can be to test their ideas without committing days or weeks of development. “We learned how easy it is to test out potentially new concepts. It was also very useful to get at starting point of all the good tools out there which can be used for customer testing. At last it was very inspiring and interesting to work with different lotteries / personalities and mix that together to reach a common goal.”
Pivot, Persevere or Kill
Speakers from The Bakery helped to bring real world case studies to life, by describing their experiences as startups. The explanation of how to bring startups and brands together was very engaging. Finally the groups had to decide whether to “pivot, persevere or kill” their ideas. It is important to realise that deciding to pivot, or kill, an idea is not a failure; you can always learn from the experience, and take it into future projects. Presentations at the end of the two days were very interesting – attendees were able to get honest feedback on their own ideas. Often, while identifying how they could improve it, attendees noticed that they had shifted away from their original idea, but had ended up with something better.
Everyone enjoyed the hands-on nature of the experience – leaving the session feeling enthusiastic to try out the new ideas. A participant described the two day event as “insightful, inspiring and all enthusiastically delivered with pace and genuine gravitas. Made me sit up, listen and I am already thinking differently!”
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