Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ideation and Business Storytelling with Warrick Harniess, Scandinavia Stories

What should a company do to defend a slim market lead in a fast-changing industry against a powerful incumbent with significantly greater financial resources and brand recognition?

MBA students got to grips with this wicked issue in an interactive workshop, working in groups on a tricky innovation challenge for fictional music-streaming company Zounds.

 The winning team !

The winning team!

The groups debated the present day issues that Zounds face and the greatest uncertainties, before creating four future scenarios to test whether the company’s service has long-term viability.

The four scenarios

Students were encouraged to take a subjective view of the situation and to debate their different perspectives, using a SITU analysis – an environment-scanning framework developed by Warrick.

The groups’ SITU analysis notes

Students took a vote to determine which of the uncertainties listed were the most potentially impactful for Zounds.

Voting for the most impactful uncertainties

They created consumer personas for Zounds’ service, who served as protagonists in their scenario narratives.

Raoul Raj Naka Mura, a composite customer persona

After designing proposals to help Zounds innovate further, the groups used a storytelling toolkit, borrowed from tried and tested Hollywood screenwriting techniques, to create stories that explained Zounds’ predicament and persuasively articulated why their innovation proposals should be taken forwards.

Scenes from a scenario narrative

Finally, the groups voted for the idea they thought was most powerful.

The workshop gave students an opportunity to put their creative- and critical-thinking abilities to the test, and challenged them to take the initiative in a situation in which there is no obvious right answer. As all good MBAs should, they responded to the challenge, devising a range of innovation ideas and choosing a variety of different ways to tell their engaging stories!