07 Oct The Best Approaches to Successful Innovation Workshops
An important part of business success is learning how to stay ahead of the curve.
But you can’t just simply innovate on command without having insight, clear objectives along with a repeatable framework to bring your new ideas to life.
Innovation workshops, however, can help you address pressing business challenges and spark creativity in any entrepreneurial challenge.
It is a common practice to bring different stakeholders together and initiate collaboration for innovation.
Due to the complex and multi-layered processes in such collaboration workshops, not only the toolkits but also the facilitation of the process needs to be considered.
Of course, there is no one cookie-cutter approach to innovation workshops.
At Design Sprints Studio, we don’t use one set of activities or methods in our work. We like to leverage all types of methods to design innovation workshops that match exactly what our clients need.
However, we are also big believers in workshop formats like the Design Sprint or Design Thinking.
Both are proven frameworks for successful business innovation.
It allows you to articulate potential areas for innovation or problem solving and ensures you are putting the user at the center of the solution you develop.
Please read on to learn more about these topics and how you can benefit from innovation workshops.
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is an innovation process that makes use of the empathetic approaches to user experience optimization that professional designers typically use to produce solutions.
In a very simplistic way, it is a method built on repeated repetitions of analyzing users’ experiences and quickly prototyping solution ideas, which are tested by users and then used to inform the business and development of improved solution ideas.
The objective is to provide useful, user-centered solutions.
Here is a typical 5-stage Design Thinking model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school).
Although it was first initiated by designers, Design Thinking can be used by anyone in any industry.
Many businesses use this strategy nowadays, but Apple and Philips are two examples that come to mind.
Let’s take Apple, for example. Whenever you hear about Steve Jobs, you immediately think of Apple’s consumer experience, and how well thought out it is. He concentrated on creating high-quality products and services while emphasizing design simplicity and user-friendliness.
Design Thinking enables Apple to achieve new heights in the market and dominate the world of technology in all aspects, including usability, design, and user interface.
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think the design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. — Steve Jobs (former CEO of Apple)
The reason why this approach is well used is due to the successes experienced.
If you want to learn more, please read our detailed Design Thinking beginner’s guide, and discover what it means to be a design thinker.
Design Sprints as a Rapid Version of the Design Thinking Method
Design Sprint is one recipe that applies the Design Thinking methodology.
The Design Sprint takes techniques from Design Thinking and condenses them into a powerful methodology that a team can complete in just one week.
It is one of the most popular innovation and Design Thinking approaches. It is now used to designate a particular form of innovation method.
Through design, prototyping, and user testing, the Design Sprint is a time-bound method that aids in addressing important business questions.
Using Design Sprints as your go-to method for innovation can completely transform how your team addresses important business questions, kickstarts initiatives, and establishes marketing and growth strategies.
To learn more, please check out our article on five reasons why you need to adopt Design Sprints as an effective way to innovate and turn your agile culture around.
How Innovation Can Boost Sales and Productivity
Innovation is regarded as the most important leadership competency in any industry.
Innovation workshops will enable participants to perform in a radical mindset, push boundaries for themselves and their organization, be agile and adaptive to conditions and outcomes.
Here are ways in which Innovation can boost sales and productivity:
1 – Strengthen customer relations and sales
If you don’t make improvements to your products and services, you risk losing clients to more creative rivals.
If you put time and money into innovation, your customers will recognize and value the added value you are providing. More sales and customer satisfaction would result from that.
2- Improve your market standing
You can avoid having to respond to changes by using innovation to anticipate market changes better and seize opportunities.
Additionally, it might assist you in setting yourself apart from the competition.
3 – Strengthen employee relationships
Employees thrive in a creative workplace culture.
Building pride in your products and a drive for your business to lead its sector will build better relationships with your employees, reduce work turnover and boost productivity.
Because employees are frequently the best source of ideas for a firm, this will result in even more innovation success.
When Should an Innovation Workshop be Considered?
There are several occasions to gather a group for a workshop. The following situations require that businesses look for the value and clarity that an innovation workshop might offer.
When an innovation workshop should be considered, include:
💡 If a project or initiative is only getting started: By ensuring that all the important participants share the same aim and vision, an innovation workshop should be considered to ensure that the project gets off to a solid start.
💡 Whenever a project needs to be restarted after running into trouble: Maybe you got off to a terrific start, but now your team is struggling, fighting, or isn’t sure what to do. You can redirect your efforts by conducting innovation workshops or taking innovation courses.
💡 When you need to enhance or modify your current products and services: If you know you need to do something different but are unsure what it is, an innovation workshop can help you determine a course of action by revealing all of the possible next steps or future routes that are alright for you to take.
Innovation as a process in a healthy business is a never-ending process.
If something is innovative today, it’s not tomorrow.
We always have to adapt to the current situation if we want to move ahead.
But it’s especially hard if you don’t have a tangible framework for doing it.
Every company needs a repeatable process for turning new ideas into profitable businesses.
Luckily, we have repeatable methods to tackle innovation which helps your team be ready for changes that may not be seen, whether they occur internally due to changes in location, management, or the economy.
We use such frameworks daily to help the best companies in the world build amazing innovative groundbreaking products, services, and features.
Regardless of your current level of accomplishment, we believe it could help you, too.
Are you looking for a knowledgeable and skilled facilitator to plan and execute your next innovation workshop?
Then you might need to check out why an external facilitator is critical to the success and quality of the outcome and experience of any innovation workshop.
Get in Touch
As explained earlier, we don’t use one set of workshop activities or methods. Our well-planned innovation workshops are tailored to your challenge and problem space.
So if you have any questions or are wondering which innovation framework is the right one for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance.