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  • Writer's pictureR. A. T. Lab

Presenting the #RATLab Innovation Journey #TourGuide!

The Making of #RATLabTourGuide

1. Where the hell am I 😫😫😫?

Three lectures into the innovation process, I could tell the students were befuddled. Early stage innovation - market discovery is confusing. Having Prof. Dr. Sabine Rathmayer was an additional beacon of light for the batch of Master's at Hochschule der Bayerischen Wirtschaft (HDBW) gGmbH, as they set out to build a digital platform for artists. They were fired about working on a real project, for a real market. It was challenging, they were driven…and they were also...kind of lost!

We’ve seen this before at R.A.T. Lab. In the early conceptual stage of our product, the process was tested rigorously. A mid-size consultancy company had hired us to re-skill senior consultants for innovation. The insights on orientation and their struggles with it, were great!

Innovation can be messy and overwhelming ❓❓. That’s how uncertainty feels. There is a structure to the chaos though. That anchor to sense is imperative.

We had started working on solutions to address the orientation challenge. In the days of in-person collaboration, on white board maps with large ‘you are here!’ 📍 markings.

Physical flag posts have to be transported differently into the virtual world. We built them into the virtual plenary overviews as well as the virtual collaboration canvas.

With Sonia Chopra-Sohanpall's corporate lab team supported by innovation management experts like Karoline Lampe, we tested a further iteration of orientation - #Playbook 'lite' as digital hand-outs.

Surely, everyone was now better oriented right ✅?


The larger the group👥👥👥, the greater the challenge for orientation😰 - as we found out, with a group of 16 of innovators collaborating in a virtual space.

Careful thought, repeated iteration and more focused testing was required. A process of co-creation between our some of our customers Andrew Copland-Cale, Dino Roth, Hans Van Lent and us, Bernhard Hobel, Mrinalini D'Costa began.

2. Didn't we just do that 😕? We're walking in circles ⭕ 😖?

Its easier navigating 🗺️the unknown, with trusted guides by your sides. When it feels like you’re walking around in circles, a good compass with get you back on track🧭.

The team re-calibrated the problem assumption, reframing it.

From: “A predictive platform would provide the customers… ‘’,

To: ‘’The challenge customers are facing at deal closing is…"

Separating the problem from the solution is about the hardest part. Objectives and outcomes of this step are to identify the challenges. Experiments suitable here are different from those later in the journey. Knowing when there is enough evidence to move on to a solution hypothesis, and the experiments that apply to this phase gives clarity to the confusion.

Teams need to keep sight of where they are, to know they’re not, in fact, moving around in circles.

When the student's retorted, “Hadn’t we just done that? Why can’t we move on and build the solution? We know what we want to build!”, it was clear that there was a lack of orientation.

Innovators have to be able to trace what led them here ▶️, and what will come next ⏭️. Not just for this trip but similar ventures in the future.

Good guides, Bernhard Hobel Mrinalini D'Costa even provide mechanisms for future journeys - even when they are not around. The compass concept way born!

3. Pave your own road 🛣️ to Rome 🏰.

Different roads lead to Rome. Travellers on our innovation journey, put together a route 🗺️ , flagging 🚩 milestones for future travellers. Everyone got to work, creating a path finder for their innovation colleagues to follow. At the same time, we at R.A.T. Lab pulled together all our learnings ✍🏼, while incorporating those of our customers 🧐.

We knocked all our heads together, spilt the beans on each other’s ideas, compared, stole and built off of them. There is no greater innovation joy that co-creating with your customers!

Building yet another digital tool, for digital innovation seemed like the most natural choice, at first. In a virtual work-world, virtual tools of computers 💻 and mobile phones 📱 are already overloaded with tasks. How about a non-digital medium instead? – an old school paper bound 📔, page flipping 📖 experience! Ergonomically designed to sit right in front of the keyboard for easy reference. A complimentary, analogous extension of the digital world into the physical, real world.

*AND* it is always charged and it never rings!

So, Bernhard Hobel snipped ✂️ and glued 🖇️, prototyping the idea for early testing, customer use and feedback!

The result: It was unexpected😮. It was surprising😲.🤩🤩🤩!

To learn more, or get a copy get in touch with us!

Call us/Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram: +491728936446


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