1. How would you characterize IDEO’s human-centered innovation culture, process, and philosophy? What are the core elements?
For more than 40 years, the design firm IDEO has been pioneering human-centered innovation. The company’s core pillars include curiosity, curiosity-driven by stakeholder value, empathy, and being open to change.
One of the ways that IDEO achieves its human-centered approach is through its “Creative Problem Solving” process. This process involves three stages: Ideation (brainstorming), Investigation (testing hypotheses), and Experimentation (further testing). It can be characterized as novel, creative and groundbreaking. Also, the number of products and associations with so many organizations of repute state the success of the human-centered innovation process at Ideo.
The Human Centered Approach to Innovation Culture is pivoted across the following pillars:
Flat Organization Hierarchy: The Flat hierarchy ensures superior agility in getting the work done more seamlessly. It also means breaking the organization’s silos and performing the actions to deliver superior results. It also ensures accountability of outcome.
Intuitive Workplace: The Intuitive workplace ensures greater cohesion. The workplace is often surrounded by artisanal and creative objects which imbibe the spirit of learning and curiosity within its employees. It also gives the need for “private time” for the employees to think and dive deep inside a problem. Also, it fosters imagination and thinking within the team
Focus on Design as a Process: IDEO’s philosophy is founded on the belief that a designer’s role is to understand the full system of which they are a part and work to improve it. This holistic perspective drives IDEO’s efforts in areas such as product design, user experience design, engineering, marketing, and finance. They also believe in rapid prototyping and iterative process development so that customer feedback can be captured in successive phases.
Accessible and Leadership of Experts: Accessible leadership ensures proper alignment and availability of resources. It also helps to get expert help. As narrated in the video case, the employees are encouraged to mail directly for help to other peers, and peers take and respond to these emails very seriously. It ensures quick capturing of knowledge and sharing experiences. Also, a flat hierarchy ensures approachability to various issues
Passionate Workforce: The workforce are themselves very creative and they take pride in that creativity. The selection itself is very arduous and ensures only the right candidates who can fit into the culture are selected. Employees are made valued by hearing their ideas and it ensures a conducive environment for the exchange of ideas
Diverse Workforce: Diversity forms a key element in the culture at IDEO. It is substantiated by employees from various walks of life who bring real-life perspectives to the project they do. It also ensures diverse ideas which are specifically needed in generating solutions to a problem
Holistic Approach to Problem Solving: The holistic approach to problem-solving helps them analyze and actually interact with the customer in the areas of actual issues. This ensures that there are customized, customer-oriented solutions rather than churning out general solutions to the problem. It also means they do not jump to solutions without a thorough knowledge of the problems
Free Time Between Projects: Employees are encouraged to take free time between projects and volunteer in their projects of choice if required. It helps in the rejuvenation of employees and reduces burnout. Even in everyday life cases, they take sufficient breaks and enough employee engagement initiatives which reduces the stress of working long hours specifically
Customer Centric Approach: Solutions at Ideo are customer-centric. Hence they are termed pioneers of the customer-centric design process. They interact frequently and sufficiently with customers to understand their needs and requirements and provide solutions for them
Synergy: By collaborating they believe the output will be larger than the sum of its associations. Synergy also helps in refining the process and building sufficient knowledge to deploy their learnings of one field to the other.
2. As you watch the customer interview video use the case’s exhibit 7 to guide your thinking about the following questions. What do you learn from this customer that the team might use as it reimagines the movie-going experience? What are the most important features of the way the team interacts with him during the interview?
The following learning from the interview could be used while re-designing the movie-going experience. They can be categorized into broadly three categories
1. Physical: Involves the physical aspect of going to a movie.
2. Virtual: Involves the aspects of making a decision of going to a movie and enjoying the same
3. Interactive: It involves interaction between a customer and Cineplanet exactly during the delivery of service.
Physical elements may include the following:
4. During the interview process it was specifically mentioned that the rush is very high on release dates. Hence optimizing the number of screens or extending the time of operations could be critical
5. Also the timing of friends and family is critical as Peruvians see movie-going as a social experience
6. Radical Ideas like the Miniaturization of the Movie experience can add new dimensions to the business model
7. For very busy individuals some alternatives (as was the case of the video case) like late-night shows or shows in free hours can also give added impetus
Virtual Elements May include the Following
8. The current Apps don’t show trailers of upcoming movies which can be integrated
9. The apps must recommend movies to the consumers and make it a seamless one-click process like booking a cab to directly going to the home
10. As the customer describes, he also would like some ways he could interact with the app
11. Premium features that will help them overrun queues could be used
12. Personalization features like if someone likes Romantic Comedies, they should be able to publish a calendar based on the preference
13. Virtual interactions could be made immersive, the journey of the customer could start much before they travel to the cinema hall, and engagement, when they are not going, should be ensured via the app
14. A social way to discuss about movies and review them can be integrated. It also will be an extension of the general movie-going experience
Interactive Elements May include the following:
15. Sitting Should be made contemporary and they should cater to the taste and preferences of all types of moviegoers and suit different types of budgets
16. The Digitization of screens is a very welcome initiative as it will improve visual and sound quality significantly
17. Variety of food should increase and customers can pre-book meals from various restaurants and can enjoy them during the movie
18. Smaller compartments (miniaturization of experience) can be provided specifically for moviegoers who want to enjoy privacy and also a great companion time
19. For catering to a larger audience they could use open theatres for larger screenings. It can help a larger audience, lesser costs, and better scale of services
The Biggest feature of the interviewing process is they are trying to understand the customer’s needs in specific detail. For Cineplanet’s case as exhibited in the exhibit and video Case, the following can be the key takeaways
20. They are trying to understand the customer’s daily life and how he treats movie-going as an experience
21. They also try to question alternatives like subscribing to online videos or enjoying movies in a home theater
22. They are also trying to gauge alternatives to entertainment like dancing or social drinking in place of going to a theater
23. The documentation of learning forms a key process of how they approach to the solution of the problem
24. From Exhibit 7, it is also clear that they are trying to capture the verbatim rather than coming up with their own version of what customers speak out. It is specifically important for deriving a solution
25. They also try to capture the socio, cultural and economic profile of the customer
26. They also are aware that disruptions can happen at many levels and hence for a future-ready product they have to develop the strategy from a much more holistic approach
27. They are also great at summarizing the conversations so that they can be used for future reference
28. The Body language of the interviewers is also important. Both the interviewers are relaxed and make sufficient eye contact to make the customer comfortable.
29. Their analysis is from various aspects and is solely not confined to enjoying a movie. They asked about many myths of movie-going like buying popcorn and realized that not all customers buy popcorn in movies. They also discussed enhancing the digital experience of movie-going.
Samrat is a Delhi-based MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He is a Strategy, AI, and Marketing Enthusiast and passionately writes about core and emerging topics in Management studies. Reach out to his LinkedIn for a discussion or follow his Quora Page