IMD's MBA Innovation Week is entering into the final stage and the MBAs are working at full throttle.

We have just finished the fourth day of the Innovation Lab. The teams started working on the presentations they will give to the jury tomorrow and continue improving their concepts, designs and business plans.

As we have learned throughout this year, to communicate an innovative, disruptive idea, the focus should not be on the figures, since in the very early stage of a project the forecast of our financial model can be so far from reality that it would be in vain to analyze it in detail. The only thing that matters at that point is understanding if we could afford the losses in the event that the project fails. However, to convince a board to embark on an adventure requires much more than risk mitigation. As screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said: the most powerful delivery system ever invented for an idea… is a story.

For this reason, since Thursday morning, with the help of the Dramatic Resources coaches, each team has been working on creating their storylines for their presentations. Tomorrow will be a day of rehearsals and of polishing how we communicate our message and how we manage to engage the audience with our stories.

What has this week been about? We have a formal goal of developing original ideas likely to enhance the spectator’s experience at the museum and inspire them to return. To achieve this goal, we must articulate proposals that satisfy three criteria: Desirability (Do customers want it?), Viability (can we be sustainable / profitable?) and Feasibility (Build, borrow, buy).

Although there are countless options to try, time is one of our greatest constraints and it has been putting the capacity of the equipment to the test. We want to create a value proposition, be efficient, contribute, learn and have fun in the process, and it is not always easy to achieve a balance between all this. If two people in a business always agree, then one is unnecessary. As always in these cases, the key for our teams to perform with high impact comes more from our soft skills than from our technical capabilities. Those teams that are more emotionally mature, that carry out empathic listening, that always have all their members on board and whose members continually give each other feedback will surely show better results tomorrow.

Javier Valy

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