2nd March 2020, a rainy, wintery morning saw 90 MBA participants and 20 ECAL students gather at IMD, Lausanne for an interesting forenoon to unleash their creativity.
The agenda – The Innovation Challenge
The task – To use 1 balloon, 2 sheets of paper, a small piece of string, some adhesive tape and a plastic ruler to cushion an egg in a way that it doesn’t break when dropped from a height of 12 meters.
The energy in the air – Indescribable
What ensued was a flurry of maniacal excitement, with ludicrous options being explored, and discarded, then re-explored until a consensus was reached on the best course of action.
Our team, which consisted of one ECAL student and 6 MBAs from backgrounds ranging from marketing to medicine, from finance to business to manufacturing to real estate, worked like a well-oiled machine despite, or maybe because of, our diversity, allowing us to explore a wide assortment of ideas. Our final deliverable had snippets of everyone’s ideas and looked something like a Mars Rover from NASA. Only instead of being able to move on uneven terrain…we needed for it to float down and bring our egg safely back to terra firma. Other teams had creations that resembled parachutes, suspended cages and hot air balloons.
30 minutes later, undeterred by the rain, all of us proceeded to the battlefield to test the validity of our creative geniuses.
And what a hard-fought battle it was. Some teams aced the test while others crashed and burned. Amidst all that, our little innovation did not disappoint…what a glorious flight trajectory it had, landing just as it was supposed to. The judges and support teams analyzed the end results, cutting through our creations to ensure the eggs were intact.
Back in the relative warmth and comfort of our auditorium, Professor Alyson Meister debriefed the teams and declared the winner…. any guesses? Yes….We Won!!
The champagne remains unopened – a testament to our team spirit and a source of inspiration as we proceed to innovation week with the same confidence we had 5 months ago…. IN IT TO WIN IT! And we shall celebrate next Friday, with this bottle and the next one we win!
Watch this space for more updates from my colleagues as the week progresses…. It’s the battle for the best innovation – let the creative juices flow!