Innovation workshops? Just do it!

The last two days I have participated in an innovation workshop around health. Located in the middle of a huge hospital center, which offered the opportunity to talk to patients and to find out quickly whether a idea developed during the workshop could work or not. So, sometimes teams in middle of their work just went out and asked to those who should become their future customers – they came back with a lot of feedback and could integrate it immediately in their planning.

How all started?
Invitations were sent out some weeks ago and who was interested could subscribe not just for the event, but also as idea giver.
After s short ice breaking session these ideas were presented in two minutes pitches. Great fun and interesting ideas. Then, all participants selected their favorite ones. Five winning ideas were the results: these were the topics to work on during the innovation workshop, means the following 50 hours. Cross functional teams were built , often with students, medical professionals, marketing people, designers, IT professionals in one group.. The team work started immediately. With a lot of energy, passion and fun.

I left the teams soon during the first day after the pitch, just because my role here was predefined in a different way. And they started immediately to develop their business…

So, I was very curios coming back after the first 20 hours to see the progress and talk to the teams. It was impressive to watch what they had been able to develop in the past hours. Some of them had worked still up to late night before they had enjoyed some hours of sleep. At 8.30 hrs am today they have started again.
The ideas partly were developed at a really high level. A level that in our business as usual would have taken much more time. Why? Probably simply because the mixture of skills and different industries is not foreseen . Also the time pressure might have contributed and the expectation and engagement level was high…

The expectation setting is high, too
By end of the workshop – just one day left now – the ideas will be presented to a judging panel consisting of representatives of several businesses and experts. The winners will get funding and further network support, so that a real enterprise can be started according to the believe that starting now is the best approach to make it happen.

Do you want to know more about these ideas?
They covered many topics, starting on medical exam issues and ending with a supportive aid for grandma’s world.
Sorry, I cannot share it in details – because these are not mine and who knows maybe one day some of the participants will remember this innovation workshop as the starting point of their entrepreneurial careers

However, whenever you get a chance to participate at similar events or even better to organize one in your surroundings, just go for it.

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