Dynamics to define business opportunities

Why do innovation projects fail?

Why do innovation projects fail?

Often, we think creativity is the maximum spread to success in an innovation project. While it is true that creativity is a key component, it is not the only one. We know from our experience in different sectors, that the biggest challenge of any innovation project is the Focus.

The key factor to let flow creativity in a project is to align the team and divide the initial challenge into specific dares. In other words, in opportunity areas.

Which challenges will we face working on transversal projects?

When working as a team and developing a work session we will find a large number of physical and psychological factors that will hinder its development.

Among them, we find the negativity of some members who, in addition to hindering work, may block the creativity of other colleagues due to their predominant attitude.

This usually happens due to a lower willingness to change, habit to routine or mechanical attitudes and a lack of confidence that will complicate the alignment between teams.

To avoid these setbacks, the facilitator shows up. Far from being a boss, he is in charge of ensuring that the dynamic is developed as planned to get the best results.

How do we create dynamics to detect and shape opportunities?
First of all, it must be clear that the main goal of the dynamic will be to turn the proposed challenges into dares. And the facilitator will have to guide the group to get it. How?:


It sounds simple but how can we get the team involved and working to achieve the expected results?

As a facilitator we recommend you follow the next steps in order to define and position the objective, break the ice to motivate the participants and analyze the available tools, thus being able to select the most appropriate ones for your needs.

First of all, we may know the challenge we will face. Analyze it to know and name every handicap we’ll face in order to fix our goals and set the way to forward.

Before facing the challenge, we may define its characteristics. To make it easy, we will draw a quadrant in which we will position the challenge according to whether the focus provided by the sponsor is more or less closed and the team’s alignment.

Depending on whether the teams are aligned or not and the focus, you will find different dynamics to shape opportunities.

This visual representation will help all members understand what they need to do before getting the ball rolling. Understand the challenge, specify the dare, explore or define frameworks.

tool output dynamics define business opportunities

Once we know the challenge, it is time to get to know each other.

Breaking the ice and interacting with the team will be key to improve the relationship between members and the creation of the ideas.

For this you can find a multitude of dynamics adapted to your needs, we bring you 3:

    • Self-portrait
      This challenge is for each of the members to make a self-portrait in a maximum time of 10 minutes. When the time is over, ask them to share their drawings, introducing themselves one by one.

      If it’s a virtual dynamic, there are tools such as a Mural that can be very useful to you.

    • Guess who?
      This dynamic is divided into two steps. First, each participant must briefly describe himself by providing information such as his name, city or favorite color.

      At the end of the presentation round, all members will anonymously upload a picture of a personal object to Teams, in face-to-face sessions pictures can be replaced by drawings. As the facilitator, assign them randomly among the participants so they can guess who it belongs to.

  • Meet the others
    Participants will have to choose 4 or 6 images which represent them to create a personal board in a maximum time of 10 minutes. Once the time is up, each member will present himself using the board as a support and explaining the reason why he chose the images.

    When everyone has been introduced, ask them to quickly think about their expectations of the project, what they are afraid of and what they hope to achieve.

As we already know the challenge and we built an atmosphere of trust… Let’s get to work!

According to the characteristics of the challenge, we propose a modular process and tools. These visual tools will let us speak a common language to all the members during the generation of ideas and to choose the necessary ones in the convergence. Among all these tools you can choose the ones that best fit your needs, some of them common regardless of the quadrant in which you have positioned the challenge and others more specific to each one.

Common tools are:

  • Brainwall, post open-ended questions about what worries us or the problems of the challenge and classify the answers.
  • With 5 whys we are able to go deeper and decide what we are most interested in solving.
  • Stakeholders map will allow us to select the users we want to help and see who is around our project, positioning them by influence or importance.
  • Persona tool, we will use it to specify our user and identify their needs.
  • Point of view we will try to understand the origin of the needs.
  • Bringing together the needs and the whys we will meet the design challenges or opportunity areas.

Regarding the specific tools we find:

  • If your goal is UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGE, where the focus is closed and the team is not aligned, <strong will help you differentiate what you do want and not from the challenge.</strong
  • To SPECIFY THE CHALLENGE, with a closed focus and well-aligned team, the point of view will make you get into the skin of the person to help.
  • In FRAMEWORK RESEARCH, as the focus is open and the team is not aligned as well as in understanding the challenge,in/out will be your tool. In addition, SWOT analysis will help all members to share the same photo of the challenge we are dealing with.
  • Finally, to DEFINE FRAMEWORKS whose focus is open and the team aligned, we found the analogous / antilogues tool that will allow us to define the focus and visualize what each team member has in mind, in addition to the empathy map

Finally, we recommend you to create a summary sheet where you can capture the details of the dynamics. This way, if you need to refresh any of the discussed topics, you could easily find it.

In addition to that, you can deliver it to the sponsor as an exercise of concretion. Including sections such as name, type of dynamics, description, initial challenge, next steps and challenges and opportunities detected.

Which is my ultimate goal?
The final success of a project largely depends on the basis settlement and, most importantly, the team alignment. These work dynamics should answer the following questions:

  • What do I know about my company?
  • Who is my client?
  • What do I think I know about my client?
  • What does my client need?
  • What is the challenge redefinition?

It is important to first assess what degree of knowledge the team has about the challenge it faces. What do you think you know and also what is the best way to increase your knowledge about it.

    • What do I know about my company?
      Knowing both strengths, weaknesses, opportunities as well as the main threats that exist in our company in order to carry out the challenge that we want to investigate.
    • Who is my client?
      The identification of the client or end-user is essential for a suitable optimal starting point. We must know for whom we want to provide solutions and to whom we must solve a problem that matters.
    • What do I think I know about my client?
      It is necessary to establish starting hypotheses about my client/user, based on what we already know or think we know. These are our presuppositions which we will use as a starting point, pending to be validated in future research.
    • What does my client need?
      The construction of any solution (service/product) must have as its ultimate goal to satisfy a need that is worth solving.

      Life is too short to build something that nobody wants – Ash Maurya

  • What is the challenge redefinition?
    Once we’ve summarized what has been explored, it is time to define the true design challenge. At this stage, we focus on and rethink the initial starting point. The key question is “How could we [redefined challenge ]?” At this point, the team must come out alienated on what is the accurate starting point in order to continue with the ideation phase and reopen the focus to different models of the possible solution.

At Thinkers Co. we are specialists in creating working dynamics to align your team and achieve greater fluency in your projects, generating ideas with a high impact on the client. If you want more info you can check our services to know in depth how we will help you.

Published at 17/04/2020

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