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Simon Potts, a senior leader within Boots UK, was delighted. He quietly extended the idea to eight more stores. The evidence was now overwhelming; on average a considerable sales uplift in the pharmacy area and all for very little on-cost. Within a few weeks the idea spread to all stores nationally. The more life at work revolves around page presentations, the more distant we feel fromcustomers.

Intentional Serendipity: Corey Ford at TEDxUNC

Sounds to me like a tacitacknowledgement that their world is genuinely unreal. It means that we come close to the uninhibited and unconscious reactions that consumers have. Service organisations that deal with intangible products,online businesses, business to business organisations and consumer goods companies can all make things real. Making ideas real plays a critical role at every stage of the innovation lifecycle.

Co-creating ideas with consumers at these early stages speeds innovation. Later on we can make a product idea real through a rough sketch, or make a service idea real through simpleplay-acting. Now you can iterate the idea and get yet more feedback from a wider community. Many organi-sations are seeing this as just one stage of the innovation process with further development loops planned in soonafter launch. Say youare having a conversation with a colleague at the bar, in a taxi or over the phone. Your colleague has the seed of anidea: You can suck your teeth and raise your eyebrows.

You can interrogate the idea What revenue will it make? What return on investment will it deliver? Making things real gives us the opportunity to change the script and fundamentally improve the chances ofinnovation. What would they say to a friend about it? Can you draw it for me? What are we going to say and do? It encourages us to dig deeperinto the customer experience.

Realness is a fabulous early stage activity. It can be a conversation, a simulation or abasic mock-up. There is no end to the value of making things real! Its unique pricing structure and gritty advertising has been a massive hit. The recruitment of the creative teens took longer than they thought.

They were looking for 18 to 22 yearolds who were smart, cool and engaged with life. Above all, these guys had to be able to work together in a room for a week. The brief given to the creative teens was tocreate a shockwave of an idea that would surge across Ireland and grab market share fast — 18 to 22 yearolds must love it and their parents most likely would hate it. The newly recruited creative team spent a week of organised chaos in their own space in Dublin. Therewas a skeleton plan, a couple of skilled facilitators acting as ringmasters, lots of wall space to put ideasup, lots of music, lots of laughter and lots of coffee.

Ideas for every aspect of the new concepts weretossed around: communication ideas, name ideas, media strategy ideas, pricing structure ideas, callcentre script ideas and distribution ideas were drawn, acted out, written down. Within minutes theywere redrawn, reacted and rewritten. Older and more seniormembers of the team popped in every now and then, but mindful of their veteran vibe potentiallyinfecting the group they quickly disappeared. Within a week the entire marketing mix had been made real. Telefonica hired some of the participants to act as creative guardians of the brand.

They were given twoweeks to write TV scripts, radio ads and outdoor communications that would strike a chord with theirpeers fellow 18 to 22 year olds. There was notraditional brand or operational thinking, just engagement with a carefully selected group of customers. The project took four months, from a completely blanksheet to launch. Co-creation is the joint development of an idea with its ultimate users or operators.

It was for a discrete age group and was to have a pricing structure below the nearest competitor. The big difference between the 48 approach and an open-source approach is the handpicked quality of the participants. The recruitment process took about three times as long as that of the co-creation period itself. | The Science of Serendipity, Matt Kingdon | | Boeken

A One minute the 48 team was working on the name and the distribution model the next. The 48 team was deliberately limited to the ability to visualise ideas. This was all the group could cope with in the time allotted; anything more would have been a distraction. On a practical note, the 48 co-creator customers were only available for a short time over the summer.

They were achieved by having trained myself to be analytical and to endure and tolerate hard work. We can create functioning websitesthat simulate a new business overnight. And we can measure whether customers like our prototypes in manycountries, simultaneously and in real time. Wrong thinking creates right results Realness stories are the ripping yarns of the business world.

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The innovation story zigzags as unexpected outcomes block the path only for another opportunity to open up. These journeys of experimentation are real adventures — full of heartache, elation and heated conversations long into the night. This is a story of constant experimentation and determination — Edison would have approved. His iterative approach helped him drive the initial idea to a test market, explore different sales channels and scale the business.

Matt Kingdon

James Dyson, now Sir James,is estimated to be worth a cool billion pounds. The story starts in the late s. Dyson was frustrated at how poorly his Hoover Junior was cleaningthe house. A design student by training, he took the offending cleaner apart to reveal how the graduallythickening layer of dirt reduced suction and ultimately clogged the contraption.

I had spent all this money on themost powerful vacuum cleaner ever produced, and it was essentially just as useless as the old one I hadalways had, which was permanently and irrecoverably clogged. Withthis in mind and still angry about the vacuum cleaner, he grabbed what was to hand in his kitchenat home: cereal boxes, kitchen scissors and sticky tape. When attached to the guts of the original vacuum cleaner, centrifugal force swirled thedirt upwards towards an exit hole but ultimately it collected in the base of the cone.

Dyson cleaned thehouse twice to prove to himself that the thing actually worked. The Dyson DC01 and its subsequent models marched acrossEurope, then Japan, Australasia and the US to become the best-selling vacuum cleaner everywhere. Themarket incumbents initially refused to believe the weird looking contraption built in a shed and twice theprice of their cleaners was a threat.

But eventually, when faced with plummeting shares, they respondedwith similar looking devices. When Dyson came up with the idea of the clear bin that collects the dust and detritus, everyone around him rubbished the idea. But Dyson believed in it. When he made it real, it became a big hit and now the clear bin is a much-copied feature. Design and engineering are one function. This is a business built on passion, tenacity and making ideas real as fast and as cheaply as possible. Dyson went to amazing lengths to develop his idea, generating over prototypes.

With each prototype heimproved on the last. Will anyone buyit? Customers can often articulate why something is so great, better than most executives or their advertising agencies. If they do, its bad news. There is no reason for someone to change his or her purchasing habits for a parity value product or service. Plan for multiple rounds of experimentation — not just one long experiment. Because this is an experiment you can afford to go against the grain. Let yourself go, and get radical. Look each other in the eye and anticipate that not everything is going to work well.

The name of the game is to explore alternatives.

Recognise that you may need to kill your favourite prototype. Get over it. Start fast. Start quietly. Start low cost and stripped down.

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The science of serendipity : how to unlock the promise of innovation in large organisations, Matt Kingdon. The Resource The science of serendipity : how to unlock the promise of innovation in large organisations, Matt Kingdon. The science of serendipity : how to unlock the promise of innovation in large organisations, Matt Kingdon Resource Information. This item is available to borrow from 1 library branch. Creator Kingdon, Matt. Summary Innovation. The word might make you think of Silicon Valley. But innovation isn't the sole province of start-ups.

They didn't invent it, and they're not always the ones from which we can best learn. As Matt Kingdon argues in The Science of Serendipity, it's corporate innovators battling within large, established organisations who are the field's real heroes. Tapping into 20 years of experience on the front lines of innovation-bringing new products and services to market and helping organisations become more creative-Kingdon dissects the ways in which corporation. Kingdon argues that, in fact, through careful study and observation of a workforce, practical steps can be taken to increase the chances of that spark of ignition, the 'moment of serendipity' as he puts it.

Yes, ideas certainly cannot be cultivated through scientific process, but the environment in which they are bred can be altered to nurture and provoke innovation. Kingdon separates the journey into five distinguishable parts: the protagonist; the quest for inspiration; reality through development; physical space to encourage innovation; and organisational barriers and scepticism that come with large-scale corporations.


Barclays' Pingit is an obvious, yet fantastic, example of innovation within a global powerhouse. The company was bold enough to invest in mobile technology years ahead of competitors and brave enough to offer the service to non-Barclays customers, without prompting a larger commitment. In a sector often characterised by its lack of speed and advancement, with online upstarts swiping customers, Barclays have continued to innovate by constantly refining and updating Pingit — allowing the customers to essentially beta test.

In order to break through into the market targeting 18 to 22 year-olds, what better way than to bring in a clutch of super-creative teens with appropriate skillsets acting, copywriting etc to co-create the campaign. Innovation should be viewed as a business discipline, rather than mere aspiration. The benefit of this is that it can then be broken down into component parts like any other part of business.

However, an understanding of why there is a need to innovate is essential before moving forward. Throughout the journey of the book, innovation challenges in big corporations are repeatedly referenced and explored, as it builds to a crescendo. Big businesses have the tools and resources to innovate on a global scale; it's up to those working within those organisations to have the ambition and drive to create a disruptive, energetic philosophy.

Ultimately, innovation is never non-existent, merely dormant. Innovation Partners.