The excitement peaked when Ekta Sahasi, our Vice President, got ready to announce the winners’ names. Imagine four teams leveraging creativity and innovation for 2 hours interactively to find the next big idea in business application of Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality, by creating awesome experiences rapidly. Let’s rewind to a couple hours before on this inspiring day.
Intrapreneurship: changing companies from the inside
Most of us are aware of the concept of entrepreneurship and how it has helped shape our future and give life to valuable services and products onto the market. Intrapreneurs bring the same dedication and passion for innovation into large industrial corporations. They increase competitive strength and market sustainability of their organization. At the Konica Minolta’s Business Innovation Center, intrapreneurs leverage Konica Minolta’s assets, identify future opportunities and build new business lines.
Part of this community of intrapreneurs, we recently staged an ideation boot camp at Intrapreneurship World Silicon Valley, where we gathered thought leaders and innovation leaders from major brands globally, to explore creative methods to innovate and get stakeholder buy-in with an agility of a startup on a shoestring budget.
We first shared our learnings and how important it is to create great experiences and reach proof of concept in short amounts of time especially in big corporations. Rather than emphasizing extensive planning, we wanted teams to discover the power of building fast and finding new ways to vet their customers’ needs to better serve them.
“Innovation should never be confined to labs – it should exist in the boardroom as well.” said Kamlesh Keswani.
At the BIC, we believe that ideation and prototyping are the foundations of innovation. Because they are accessible to anyone in any corporation, they are the perfect way to develop new ideas and – most importantly – to help them take shape.
Bringing concepts to reality – building engagement and inspiring champion
We designed a 20-person half-day boot camp where participants were challenged as innovators and communicators. They needed to discover how to push their creativity to new levels within their current corporate environments, and worked together to reach successful outcomes.
In team of four, they explored potential business applications of augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – new technologies that have the attention of both our team and many people in Silicon Valley. The goals were simple: each team needed to create an idea for a new business in VR or AR, then pitch that business on foam boards (no Powerpoint allowed!) with a prototype in a “Shark Tank” style presentation. The shoestring budget constraint became real when we gave them pens, plastic strings, paper, and a small handful of other tools and toys. They were quickly off to work, loud and very imaginative.
BIC Vice Present Ekta Sahasi, Entrepreneur and BIC Associate Jennifer Wu, and Invaluable Inventions founder Kemaal Esmail judged the presentations for uniqueness and innovation, creative storytelling, and the quality of their value proposition.
Philips Morris’s team won with a very creative idea of “Timely Accurate Feedback” headset could read into your brain after being exposed to ads. It would capture your emotions in real-time and translate them into data. This way marketers and brands would have direct access to their customers and their reactions to learn what resonates best for them. Above all, they presented the concept creatively with headset and colorful “tentacles” – A strange animal that surprised everyone in the room!
Everyday design – the road to ideation
“Planning is not the only way to innovation. We have to build things and do it as much as we can,” said Julia, the leader of our winning team.
Here are three ways to make ideation and design thinking part of your day:
- Innovate and experiment in every work environment.
Put as much of yourself as you can into the creative process. Take a closer look at ordinary situations, adjust your mindset, and see if there are ways to innovate, develop, and find transformative experiences.
- Engage your peers and your professional community.
Look for hidden insights, share and test your ideas, and always be on the lookout for ways to improve them. Diverse teams with many different skills have always helped designers and creators of all backgrounds.
- Think visually.
Even though 3D prototyping isn’t always easy, you should always have a pen and paper in front of you – remember that you can always create a visual representation of your idea, even if you aren’t a designer by trade. If an idea is truly great, when the time comes, the tools and the talent you need will be available to you.
This year and into the future, Konica Minolta BIC will be hosting more boot camps like this one. We’ll be working with teams like yours to help bring startup-like thinking into corporate workplaces and create transformative experiences that can lead to amazing new products, projects, and companies.
If you’re interested in participating, attending, or have any additional questions, we’d love to hear from you.
Kamlesh Keswani serves as Principal Program Manager at the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Center