Élida Cruz
Claudia Gorelick
John Jones

Don’t Fail Fast: Rapid Innovation at Fast Company Innovation Festival

Last week, more than 5,000 people flooded New York City for the four-day Fast Company Innovation Festival. We opened our doors to 65 attendees for a Fast Track workshop entitled “Don’t Fail Fast: Fjord’s Approach to Rapid Innovation.” Led by Fjord’s John Jones (SVP Design Strategy), Claudia Gorelick (Head of US Business Design) and Eli Cruz (Design & Innovation, Principal Director), and co-hosted by Fast Company editor Bill Shapiro, the session could best be explained by the description itself:

Many discussions about innovation process focus on “failing fast,” but there is no need to fail if we look at each of the design explorations as a study. Fjord’s Design Studies method is a new way to look at innovation process, which focuses on continuous design rooted in strategic value. On this visit to the Fjord studio, explore the process and tools that can help organizations implement this new type of innovation process.

This interactive workshop explored continuous design through a series of activities focused on a very relatable setting, and one in which the experience is packed with pain points in every sense: the Emergency Room.

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We began by inviting volunteers up to role-play a typical ER scenario, which summarized and showcased the complicated processes and frustrations experienced. From there, we broke the crowd up into six groups for rapid brainstorming sessions, during which attendees were given a limited amount of data and a short period to ideate and iterate. Using the limited, but very specific, information made available to them, participants were tasked with designing a more streamlined and sensible emergency-room experience that took into account the specific needs and priorities of patients, while ensuring an effective and efficient workflow for the hospital and its employees as well.  Groups were then invited back to pitch their plan for a service redesign to the entire group.

The high expectations we had for the participant involvement were exceeded by the enthusiasm, collaboration and inspiring ideas put forth. It was a tremendous experience to share and discuss continuous strategic design with the involved and expert group and to continue the conversation about the way we can — in the context of Living Services — improve every facet of the human experience.

Oh, and the happy hour was pretty good, too.

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Élida Cruz
Claudia Gorelick
John Jones

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