The first two weeks of August we had the pleasure to hold the EIT Summer School together with the Technical University Munich. We have been excited to welcome 32 students with various backgrounds from all over the world and turning their summer vacation into an experience of the future way of working using Lean Service Creation methodology.
Future way of working in the sense of, how is it to work on real business cases, but more importantly: Which way of working is required from us in dealing with a high level of uncertainty in a global cultural-diverse playing field?
What was this experience like? See what the students say:
“Especially when you are just used to hear teachers speak, this was something really different and it gave me a lot of energy.”
“It didn’t even feel like working but more like an interactive, creative game.”
“I got very inspired by their way of explaining things and how they were teaching us”
Yes, if you wanna teach a new way of working, you also need a new way of teaching! While frontal teaching might help to gain knowledge, you need coaching and creative interaction to provide an experience.
What was it about?
The theme of the Munich summer school was “Decentralised production” focussing on how latest technologies like 3D-Printing, Drones and NFC can be leveraged to optimise production workflows.
The student teams were either working for the startups ProGlove and Veridian Labs or for the established companies Airbus and EOS. They were facing real business challenges and asked to come up with digitally enabled business model innovations.
How to approach such a challenge?
Of course: Lean Service Creation (LSC) 😃 - Our methodology combining lean startup, design thinking and agile development. It is a systematic and adjustable way for multidisciplinary teams to create new services by minimizing waste and maximizing the value for both customers as well as businesses.
At first LSC seems to be a set of canvas guiding you through the relevant phases in a successful service creation process. But in fact LSC is much more than this: it is a mindset which is required to succeed in the future.
Find a problem worth solving and love this problem and not it`s solution!
Interviews with potential customers and industry experts provided the teams with lots of insights. Lectures by experts from TU Munich and a visit to the market leader in industrial 3D printing EOS broadened the students` domain knowledge further.
As soon as the teams could identify their sweet spot - the intersection of the business and people problem - they started ideating solutions. We used the IoT- Service Kit to detail the user journey and get a common understanding of the required devices, technologies and data. The students loved our session on storytelling and video creation and as a result created amazing videos showcasing their solutions.
The second week continued to be about the definition of the business model and experimenting to validate the underlying assumptions. On the last day all teams presented their solution to a jury of field experts. I was happy to not be part of the jury, since it was really tough to decide on a winner.
What skills do I gain from this?
LSC is about the skill to ask the right questions at the right time and the art of switching your perspective from the strategic to the nitty-gritty detail view. And above all it is about learning the most important entrepreneurial skills: reflection and team work. Throughout the whole programme we encouraged all participants to reflect on their learnings and share these among each other. Not surprisingly the biggest learnings for the participants had to do with team dynamics, leadership and cultural differences.
One evening we invited everyone over to our Futurice office, where the students could hear and see how we apply LSC in our cases and get a glimpse of the Futurice working culture.