We kicked off Innovation Week forming our innovation tribe, giving it a goal, forming its character and moulding into a mean innovation machine. We are team Innovationarium and our motto is: “There is no I in Innovation -)”
As we boarded our buses and headed up the mountain to Aquatis, the biggest freshwater aquarium in Western Europe, there were mixed feelings; it has been a long three weeks of work including weekends so we are tired, but this is also potentially our last IMD experiential learning segment (not including our ICP module), which brings in a bit of nostalgia and excitement.
We were welcomed with some much needed coffee and croissants and briefed by IMD, the innovation experts and the aquarium management. The event was smoothly planned as always and we were then sent off into the depths of Aquatis to start gathering our bearings with our mission cemented like jelly in our heads: How do we use innovation to improve the customer experience at the aquarium?
The aquarium has a wide range of exhibits with a “trip” around the world for you to journey along, picking up all the information as you go. We were sent out with a more inquisitive eye, looking at what we liked and where the problems lay with the current customer experience. They had yet to have guests like us… Probably harsher than most, but extremely inquisitive and ready to try help where we can.
Once we congregated back with our educators, we were given extremely insightful lectures about innovation from Professor Cyril Bouquet and a leadership discussion guided by Professor Alyson Meister. These were the first “learning nuggets” that will be thrown to us during the week. The last session before lunch involved forming our tribe and finding our common purpose, and enemy in some cases.
IMD is known for its immersive learning guided by experienced coaches and leaders. After lunch we were once again sent to our work rooms to first focus on who we are, what we wanted from this experience and how we can work together to form a high-performance team. This has shown to always be the first step before we even look at solving the problem and has led us well in the previous tasks we have been assigned this year. Our coach led us through some frameworks where we honestly “lay the fish on the table” bringing our strengths and weaknesses to the surface and empathising with one another from the start.
With our goals secured and tribes formed, we are ready, we think ;-D, to take on the week ahead.