This fall, LiquidHub became a sponsor of CreativeXchange, the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia’s (ABC) executive education program to bring creativity and innovation into the workplace.

This four course training sequence culminates in a challenge for participants to apply the lessons they learned when solving real-world problems within their own organizations. ABC’s Executive Director, Karin Copeland, says, “We know from looking at global trends that the world’s top companies and most exciting startups are using design to radically transform their understanding of customer needs and disrupt the market…We are excited to work with our partners at LiquidHub and North Highland, as well as artists leading the region’s Creative Economy, to help local organizations compete on a global scale.”

On November 18th, I led a working session to help participants, including teams from Independence Blue Cross, North Highland, PwC, SAP, PIDC, Philadelphia Gas Works and others, launch their individual efforts.

The difficulty faced by many in the group is how to transition from an exercise in an instructional setting to meaningful actions in the office. Starting a project is often the hardest part. To help them, I walked through some of the methodologies we use during projects for our clients’. Here are some tips to getting started:

  1. Identify a business challenge you need to solve.
  2. Build a team. Include a diverse group of people with complementary talents and a drive to solve problems (knowledge about the problem is helpful but not necessary).
  3. Begin with a 2-hour working session to define the problem and map out a high-level visual representation of the people involved, what they are doing and the technology and tools they are using.
    • Invite key stakeholders and subject matter experts to participate
    • Share information about the problem
    • Make the conversation physical by drawing through the problem so everyone can see it
    • Identify a project focus
  4. Research the situation AS IS. Each team member should:
    • Gather existing documentation
    • Interview at least 3 people
    • Observe who/what/where/when/how work is being done
    • Take at least 20 photos/3 videos

After the session, the attendees showed excitement around the opportunity to immediately apply lessons learned. “All of the groups had very good dialogue going on during the meeting,” remarked John McClung, Vice President, Advertising & Creative Services at Independence Blue Cross. “Each group walked away with a clear sense of the project they’d like to tackle and the tools with which to do it.” Next steps – analyze the information gathered and synthesize the research findings into meaningful insights.

We will regroup in a few weeks for a working session to transition from researching the problem to designing solutions.

Does this sound interesting? The next cohort of leaders and teams begin their CreativeXchange journey April 11, 2017. Join us!