The MBA Innovation Week continues with research around Lausanne to help find the best solution for the Aquatis Challenge.

As we head out on our 2nd day of the innovation week, we’ve started with a session on leadership and empathy. We formed our ‘tribes’ for this week’s challenge yesterday at the Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium (see Anthony’s blog https://blogs.imd.org/2020/09/01/forming-our-innovation-tribe/) and are now planning our research.

In order to maximize the cooperation within the tribes, we learnt the importance of checking in on each other’s mental status before diving into the task. Especially since the past two weeks of classes (including weekends) and job-hunting into the late hours, mean our energy levels might drop, so it’s important to set the stage and keep each other energized.

The main challenge of the week is to find innovative solutions to improve the customer experience and trigger recurring visits to the Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium.

Today we are in phase two which is exploration phase! All of us are encouraged to visit relevant places in and around Lausanne and to engage with customers. Backed-up with surveys, interview questions and cameras, participants were heading to Musée Olympique in Ouchy, Plateforme 10 close to the train station, Chaplin’s world in Vevey, the Servion Zoo and many more. Definitely engaging experiences and a great opportunity to explore some cultural hot spots in Lausanne for which we haven’t had much time yet this year.

We all made the best out of every moment as the pictures may reveal!

After some in depth research on customers’ journeys in Lausanne’s most visited cultural institutions, we were expected for a session of ‘meeting the experts’, back in the aquarium. Several guest speakers, but especially a panel with 4 target customers, explained to us their insights on how to improve the overall experience.

As a result, we’ve been submerged today with insights from as many angles as possible, to form a broad spectrum of ideas when finalizing this exploration phase.

In the next step, we have to capture our learnings of the day in the Diagnose Phase. The goal is to define Who-What-Why and set up the main aspect we will try to improve.

In order to bounce back ideas and verify some early conclusions, we closed the interactive day by sharing our findings with classmates and the staff of the aquarium, while having a glass of wine and a lovely dinner between the fishes. Herewith, I send a big thank you to the people at Aquatis who did an amazing job in hosting 90 MBAs in a wonderful setting!

After another 12h+ day in the innovation lab, we are heading home with a triggered right brain, ready for the next stage.

Nick Geldhof

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