Richer, deeper – faster

We recently wrote here about the power of collective intelligence.

A great concrete example of this was when a client approached us for help with a thorny, multi-faceted challenge: multiple topics, multiple objectives that several previous teams had tried unsuccessfully to address, a great deal riding on the outcomes and neither time nor budget to address each aspect of the project separately or consecutively.

We felt a collaborative approach would help us crack this and proposed a solution that involved working with multiple internal teams and their creative agencies to get the stimulus right, address the multiple needs from different sectors of the business and get the most from the process.  A big part of the project’s success was bringing this cross functional team into the room with groups of 12 consumers in workshops, enabling them to hear, see and feel their responses and reactions at first hand and actively engage in a hands-on way, exploring and working on the ideas with consumers. 

Viewing facilities can be great for clients and we run many projects very successfully this way, but being behind the glass can hold the clients at arm’s length and we are often struck by what gets lost or is simply not felt in the back room.  For complicated, multi-objective projects spanning different areas of the business nothing beats getting a cross-functional team in the room with consumers. 

In this instance, a creative digital consumer pre-task gave us a rich insight into how the products fit into people’s lives now, the rituals they have around them, their decision-drivers and sub-conscious behaviours.  Our clients say they found these pre-tasks a real source of inspiration and having them on the wall to allude to briefly in the workshops meant we could cut to the chase and focus on what could be in future.

Workshops were split between individual tasks, small sub-group work and plenary sessions, including using Lucid’s hallmark movement-based techniques to understand the hot and cold spots with plenty of opportunity for our clients not only to ask questions, but also to see and feel directly how consumers engaged with physical stimulus.  Each session was 3 hours long enabling us to cover a wide range of topics from sustainability, packaging and design to product and promotional opportunities, moving people from task to task with ease and energy throughout.

After a couple of workshops, we paused to reflect with a ‘hot feedback’ session to hear ‘killer thoughts’ from all involved.  Through their direct experience, everyone in the team had a deeper knowledge gained much more quickly and effectively, meaning the learnings, gaps and how best to tweak the guide and adjust the stimulus for the later sessions was quick to decide.  This process was repeated after the remaining workshops, and quickly followed by a short, impactful debrief focused on key insights and a clear set of recommendations.

The feedback from all concerned was incredibly positive. For the first time, they see a clear route forward.  Together we unlocked a whole raft of long-standing issues and questions in one single project and the results were richer, deeper and the process faster and more fulfilling. 

Collective intelligence at its best.