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Think tank report 7-19-13

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Think Tank discussions went on in 2013 to promote an internal look at IIR's shortcomings from the employee culture. These discussions were carefully crafted to be constructive and informational. They were deemed a great success by internal teams and there was ongoing attendance at the optional meetings.
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  • 1. Think Tank Report An account of the findings from IIR’s internal initiative to drive lucritive ideation presented by Dan Madinabeitia, Creative Director Institute for International Researchupdated July 17, 2013
  • 2. Goal: The Think Tanks held periodically since January, 2013 were set in motion to initiate discussion and to generate ideas within IIR’s internal culture of employees. The fundamental goal of the discus- sions is to generate ideas through a series of exercises that were designed to result in what can best be described as ‘rapidly constructed conceptual prototypes’. The ‘prototypes’ that resulted could also be refered to as sketches or brainstorms. There were five parameters set to maintain a focus within the process: 1 - Keep efforts low cost and adaptable 2 - Align with present business approach as much as possible (Rely on the proven strength of IIR’s business) 3 - Utilize existing resources as much as possible 4 - Inject, sustain and create as much value as possible at every step of development 5 - Always keep in mind the fundamental goal is to MAKE and/or SAVE money. An important note here is that the focus of the dicussions remained around creating a digital ap- proach or product but participants were not discouraged to discuss ideas that fell outside of this restriction. Structure and Times of Sessions: An outline of the Think Tank process can be found on page 8 of the “Pocket Conference pt 1” docu- ment that was originally presented to Roxanne John in February of 2013. After this proposal, a more general “Pocket Conference” outline was presented to Debra Chipman on March 22, 2013. Shortly after this meeting, approval to move forward with the think tank process came from Rox- anne John with the understanding that we wanted to see tangible results. This report is designed to deliver up-to-date information on the ongoing results. As of this report there have been a total of six think tanks. The original was held on January 10 with riCardo Crespo. There was then five more held on April 12, June 3, June 17, July 1 and July 17. Think Tank sessions one and two were exercizes in identifying “value conflicts” that IIR inadver- tantly presents to its customers. The third and fourth sessions were designed to create a fictitious product that would directly compete with IIR exploiting her weaknesses. And sessions five and six looked back at the findings and attempted a deeper dive. The Think Tank process has been open-ended. It encourages divergent thinking and collaboration. That said, each think tank discussion is opened by stating two ground rules: 1) Leave your job titles at the door 2) There are no bad ideas and participants are encouraged to play off the ideas of one another to try to come up with unexpected results This open-endedness is fundamental to the discussions.
  • 3. “To Date”- July, 18, 2013 1 - No Shortage of Ideas - Results Immediately Produced The exercizes created for the think tank sessions are proving to be successful because they are iden- tifying many process gaps and inefficient behavioral trends that were not previously considered. They were also designed to generate tangible results per each and every meeting. The philosphy that “there are no bad ideas” was maintained. This allowed all participants to speak freely and without restriction. Also each excer- cize was fundamentally solution-oriented which proved to pave the way for direction and focus. A progression has emerged which is accounted for in this document. 2 - Unity and Efficiency -A Look at Recurring Trends in Internal Thinking In July, 2013 participants in the think tanks were asked to look back at previous discussions and to identify trends in the thinking that they saw. Several points were repeatedly raised. On July 1 we listed what we felt were the top 4: • Breaking silos • Connection is key • “Bandwidth” and resources ‘seem’ to be an ongoing obstacle internally • We (IIR) repeat mistakes too often and could learn from each other more than we do * Its worth noting that the terms used in these “trends” show a strong overlap between tech and human. This ‘overlap’ could be the cause of a lot of unintentional confusion. There is a concensus that the think tank discussions are an example of how we can internally break silos together. The divisional segments are effective in creating the business focus needed to drive revenue at the event level. However while they provide this critical focus to run the business, the resultant infrastructure inadvertantly creates an ongoing decentralized affect on the internal culture. To push this point further, par- ticipants repeatedly felt that this ‘disconnection’ negatively affected IIR’s customers. Most of the discussions revolved around innovative ideas for our customers but we often found ourselves returning to these ‘trends’. Sharing ideas and collaboration are most definitely trendy topics in today’s world as we all find our- selves persistantly adjusting to the next technological innovation. In an ever-growing, fast paced and com- plex world, we now find ourselves turning to each other and to group intelligence to achieve tasks. Hope- fully these sessions can aid in facilitating a constructive offset to the shortcomings that result from our own efforts to drive revenue generation. 3 - Positive Feedback Although no formal survey has been taken to date regarding feedback on the think tank sessions most verbal feedback has been positive. Multiple participants who repeat attendance have asked what the eventual aim for the meetings are. The idea of this ongoing report was very well received and participants requested that we make it a “living document” that accounts for what happens in real time at each session. The group also wanted to have access to the document at all times. 4 -Where is this Going? The initial purpose of the Think Tank sessions are described on page 2 of this document. However, the open-endedness of the discussions has raised many side points that could be worth presenting to the executive team members of IIR. On June 28, 2013 Dan Madinabeitia and Roxanne John had their first monthly “Think Tank Review”. Roxanne looked over some of the ideas presented in the first iteration of this report. Roxanne and Dan then agreed to have monthly meetings to review the concepts and discussion points and to push toward any viable opportunites that may be worth presenting to Debra Chipman and the Divisional Managers. Roxanne asked Dan to pull a presentation together by October in the event that the business would want to invest in an endeavor prior to budgets being submitted for 2014.
  • 4. Think Tank Model A: Create a Digital Product that addresses and resolves a “habitual value conflict” Sessions held on January 10 and April 12, 2013 1 - Identify Tools Participants were first asked to list out as many digital “tools” as they could. A digital “tool” was loosly defined as literally anything related to the online experience that would benefit a user’s experience whether it be a platform, an app, a website and so forth... 2 - Identify“habitual value conflicts” Participants were then asked to look at IIR’s 5 pillars and to give examples from their own internal experience of how we habitually come up short on our promise to our customers to live the experience, take away value, get connected, build community and/ or become enlightened. 3 - Create a Digital Solution Finally, once the tools and the conflicts were openly discussed each group created its own digital product and/or process to propose a resolution to the “habitual value conflict.”
  • 5. Digital “Tool Box” created during Think Tank Sessions 1 and 2 A Amazon Android Annotary ______________________ B Behance Blogger Bump (business cd app) ______________________ C Chat 1 Messengers Cloud Connection 4G Cozi Shared grocery App Crowdvine ______________________ D Data base Delicious Deviant Art Diaspora Disqus ______________________ E Email (gmail, yahoo, aol, etc) Evernote ______________________ F Facebook Facetime Flickr Fused180 ______________________ G Gchat/Ychat Global Meet Mobile Apps Goodreads Google Analytics Google + Google Search ______________________ H Hoot Suite Houzze ______________________ I Instagram Instant Messaging iPad iPhone iPod J Jujama ______________________ K Kickstarter Kindle Klout ______________________ L Last FM LinkedIn ______________________ M Microsoft Link Mog Myspace ______________________ N 9Slides ______________________ P Pandora Partnering One Pinterest Plancast Podcast ______________________ R Reddit ______________________ S Sales Force Chatter Skype Slideshare Snaps! Snap Chat Soundcloud Spotify Stack Overflow Stumble Upon ______________________ T Task Rabbit Texting Tumblr Twitter ______________________ V Virtual Assistant Visually W Webinar What’s Up App! WOBI WordPress ______________________ Y Ychat/ Gchat Yorn YouTube ______________________ Z Zerista
  • 6. Habitual Value Conflicts Identified During Think Tank Sessions 1 and 2 Live the Experience • Not connecting dots for the customer • Many internal employees don’t experience IIR events. How then do we empathize with our customer? • Product life cycle hits a ‘down time’- breaks - could generate value year round Take Away Value • Transactional/generic communication with customers • We become deadline oriented, not value oriented • Frequent cost disputes • Online groups don’t reflect IIR’s history (constantly starting from scratch) • Products tend to be re-invented every year - need more evolution - consider analytics more • Post event - we don’t have bandwidth to follow up like we could Build Community • Procedural/inauthentic engagement • Inactive communities online • Short lived community engagement • Internal culture is decentralized - no “brand” • Access to online community is limited or non-existent • Silos prevent collaboration and/or networking • Internal teams don’t take advantage of social networks/communication channels - missed opportunity • We tend to focus much more on selling than building community Get Connected • One-sided communication • Internal disconnected with customer • IIR employees are siloed from one another - this can affect customer engagement • Minimal intimacy with direct market Be Enlightened • Defaulting/regurgitating content • We repeat mistakes alot • Don’t have any real curistics • We have many resources but we constrain ourselves • Could share thought leaders but don’t • Content is limited to event only
  • 7. Value Conflict: “Procedural Engagement Not Authentic” Resolution: The Social Media Brand Ambassador Idea: create an internal “ambassador” facilitates brand communication internally/externally (needs training with social media) Step 1: Write blog post Original sketch: 1/10/13 Valerie Russo Misha Shah Richie Adomako Step 2: Feed to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. Step 3: Brand Ambassador retweets amplifies the message to their network They ARE the face Think Tank Session 1: January 10, 2013
  • 8. Value Conflict: “Not connecting dots for customers” Resolution: The Social “ABC” (always be closing) registration IIR platform website/app SYNC Twitter LinkedIn Google + IIR ad content WP, market, etc, Delegates 1 on 1 meeting SKYPE Full engagement across entire community Original sketch: 1/10/13 Alex Siegel Matt Middleton Maggie Kacicka Think Tank Session 1: January 10, 2013
  • 9. Value Conflict: Short-lived engagement Resolution: The peer to peer maintainence - piece to piece with Jujama • We Deliver Content (facilitate) video, audio, written, whatever Original concept: 1/10/13 Joe Librizzi Elisa Laureano Katie Coates • Maintain peer to peer conversation video, audio, written, whatever • Talk about it on Jujama - facilitate endoresement we will be more exclusive and ‘picky’ Think Tank Session 1: January 10, 2013
  • 10. Value Conflict: General Community Issues (inactivity/poor engagement/inauthentic) Resolution: The Permanent Community • Establish a PERMANENT home for community create one platform enabling access to digital “tools” • Figure out how ALL tools can function there accept many, broadcast to many • PERMANENT fosters community engagement • Establish Community more conducive to new members social proofing Original sketch: 1/10/13 Tony Primavera Jon Saxe Lauren DeFalco Think Tank 1: January 10, 2013
  • 11. Think Tank Session 2: April 12, 2013 Value Conflict: Get Connected • Currently segmented solely for the event vs. keeping people connected all the time • Current platform isn’t promoted - Database of millions (IIR’s lists over time) to a USER BASE Resolution: The Year Round Influencer App IIR Year Round App • for delegates and attendees • integrated into the IIR corporate site Videos for onsite keynotes year round • promotion through APP • goal is to make the online experience a lifestyle - connections/ratings/endorsements • IIR influencers and professional repoire - white papers - videos - event based APPS
  • 12. Think Tank Session 2: April 12, 2013 Value Conflict: Get Connected/build community/take away value • not a very robust digital strategy - results in multiple missed opportunities Resolution: self sustaining mobile/online strategy Original sketch Valerie Russo Karina Pena Garcia ????? - refer to video This prototype presents a strategic approach to IIR’s overall marketing ecosystem - full consideration is recommended - inclusive of the ‘advocacy’ area (or the ‘non-event’ attendees) outside of our usual target markets for which we have not to date developed a comprehensive strategy for a number of reasons. Mobile websites Central - IIR brand Event Customer Journey Breakdown Audit - define the ideal - satisfy 80% of population on ALL TOUCHPOINTS - Use best practices Implement time money tech ppl Need neutral unbiased outlook PRESENT SPECIFICS Feedback Loop Internal/External
  • 13. Think Tank Session 2: April 12, 2013 Original sketch Greg LaRosa ????? - refer to video Value Conflict: Get Connected/build community - internally at IIR missed internal opportunity creates missed opportunity with customers Resolution: break down internal silos with quick touchpoint meetings intergrated with Microsoft Linc online chat and board posting that is readily available (FREE right NOW!) Simple, Effective and Constructive Breakdown of Silos • set up 30 minute meetings every 2 weeks (open to all employees) • discuss what is and isn’t working in each division • could be continued/facilitated online as internal chat board
  • 14. Think Tank Session 2: April 12, 2013 Some Side Takeaways from session 2: Session 2 inspired some more exploratory discussion which included the following topics: • a suggested look at Gartner’s approach - apparently an article was written on $1 billion in revenue com- ing from white paper downloads - what if we facilitated a discussion with some of our sister companies that resulted in the pro- motion and sale of white papers? Is this worth exploring? - Richie Adomako/Corey Dixon/Matt Middleton • Microsift Lync - a readily available resource that is not used - with proper communication and education internal efficiencies could be tapped - broader relationships could be created with Informa allowing us to utilize their larger resource pool - Dan M., Greg L. and Karina P.G. to test - resulted in meeting about improved Creative Teams’ PM system • The “Phish” model - The rock band Phish has ingeniously reinvented music marketing by fully embracing digital. No show is ever the same but all shows are recorded and re-sold. This band capitalizes on simple digital principles, syndicating, rapid iteration, repackaging and re-selling every piece of content that they create. Side Discussions...
  • 15. Think Tank Model B: Create a Disruptive Digital Product that puts IIR out of business Sessions held on June 3 and June 17, 2013 1 -Ask the top level question... How can we disrupt the competitive landscape of the conference industry by providing an unexpected solution? 2 - Define what a disruptive product looks like During the session there was a breif description of what disruptive products look like. The following examples were given: • Swiffer Jet - disrupted the idea of the mop by asking,“what if there were a mop that didn’t use water?’” • Red Bull - disrupted the cola industry by asking “what if we promoted a cola with twice the caffine, twice the sugar and a quick burst of energy?” • Geek Squad - disrupted the idea of tech help by asking,“what if we embraced the idea of tech’s being “geeks” and made it playful instead of alienating?” Case Study: Kodak invented the digital camera in 1976. This product eventually came back and put its inventor into bankruptcy. How and why did this happen? We discussed how a company can go under by listening to its loyal customers and briefly correllated it to the conference industry. This idea was inspired by “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christiansen. 3 - Identify“cliches” and then ask“what if?” Participants were given three sheets representing the three buckets of “cliches” that occur according to the book “Disrupt” by Luke Williams (price, interaction and product). Each sheet had examples of cliches. Participants were then asked to come up with their own cliche and then to follow up with a “what if?” question. sample: cliche type: interaction cliche: conferences last three days to a week “What if” a conference lasted one minute or one year?
  • 16. Think Tank Session 3: June 3, 2013 Product “Choose your own adventure” sessions throughout the city within speakers’ environments around a centralized “hub” “72 hour-athon” Cirriculum; Immersive Challenges; INTERACTION • app to lead attendees on their path • organic, based on choices • live interaction be- tween attedees • real-time commenting through a feed No physical presence required - informal meetings optional Speakers = facilitators; roommates for full immersion... or experts COME TO YOU! PRICING • all inclusive travel + hotel + travel within city • depends on city - lots of sponsorship yearly membership DISRUPTIVE PRODUCT BOARDROOM BLITZ network in an organic environment Choose your own experience (within a city) KnowledgeQuest How can we disrupt the competitive landscape of the conference/events industry by providing an unexpected solution? The solutions... GROUP 1 GROUP 2
  • 17. Think Tank Session 4: June 17, 2013 Cliche Only 1 experi- ence - the event itself Standard Mail Brochure What if?... ...we offered a membership model and live experience create your own brochure online How it works... program: as a member, choose a la carte options throughout the year 1-stream event 2-smaller meetings in remote board rooms/movie theaters (sponsored) 3-go to event - offer incentives - reward program (yr rnd) Model after: • Shutterfly • ESAVE • Photobook - have brochure covers and footers standard - drag and drop your photos and sessions DISRUPTIVE PRODUCT “I LIKE IT” membership program ‘Business Safari’ -Walk About How can we disrupt the competitive landscape of the conference/events industry by providing an unexpected solution? The solutions... GROUP 1 GROUP 2 Attendees Greg LaRosa Wayne Davis Liz Hinkis Krista Lentini Areti Fonseca Kelly Schram Kacey Anderson Amanda Ciccatelli Greg LaRosa Wayne Davis Liz Hinkis Krista Lentini Areti Fonseca Kelly Schram Kacey Anderson Amanda Ciccatelli
  • 18. Think Tank Model C: Think Tank Review Sessions held on July 1, 2013 1 - Review Think Tank prototypes The newly created “Think Tank Report” was presented to participants. The group reviewed the ideas from past meetings and selected one to develop further. 2 - Deeper Dive A “deeper dive” ensued furthering the discussion and building on the initial concept.
  • 19. Think Tank Session 5: July 1, 2013 First Think Tank Review Talk: The group reviewed previous think tank notes, selec
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