← INTERSECTION17 Conference Barcelona, September 7-8, 2017

Remco Lenstra


Nice landing, wrong airport: lessons learnt the hard way in co‐creation

Thursday, September 7
11:45 – 12:30
Conference Room

Remco Lenstra
Academic Director Business Design & Innovation, Antwerp Management School

In this 45 min. presentation, Remco will introduce his findings from a career in researching and facilitating Co‐creation and design thinking processes. Rooted in the case‐based research project "adoption of co‐creation", executed in collaboration with the university of Antwerp, but mostly drawn from personal experience (and failure) Remco developed several strategies for keeping cocreation projects on track. An extentive tool‐kit was developed to draw form whenever confronted with an obstacle on the road towards shared stakeholder value. The double diamond (British design council), and design thinking approaches (Thomas Lockwood, Rachel Cooper,...) serve as a backbone for this toolkit.

Three strategies that he wishes to share :

1) It's not the process, but the INPUT that determines the OUTPUT : How to manage influence of shared ambition and vision in co‐creation processes.
In this topic, we focus on the "management of expectations" within the group, but also on the role of design as an agent for "problem setting" rather than solely problem solving. Two main area's in the double diamond are highlighted : the development of a shared vision on what the project entails (and therefore the consequences related to the conscious decision of discarding "irrelevant" input), and the opportunity for co‐creating shared vision and insights with stakeholders. We briefly touch on the importance of the function of design‐skills throughout the process.

2) Availability is not a competence : Managing team composition and competences throughout cocreation projects
In this topic, we focus on how to compose and (not) manage a "team on a mission". We look at how we can turn a top down generated project‐plan, into a self‐organising project with an engaged team, actively looking for changing roles and additional knowledge, based on assets and competences, rather than hierarchy and structure. We highlight the importance of having a mandate, when participating in co‐creation.

3) Nice landing, wrong airport : How to create ownership an continuity in shared projects
Ownership is a difficult topic in co‐creation. Depending on the composition of the team and the "setting of the problem" each project starts with different degrees of ownership and personal motivation. Nevertheless, you want ‐as a facilitator‐ to leave the room knowing that all the efforts will find continuity, even when you are no longer required or present. In essence there are two strategies that are important when it comes to playing with ownership : Taking ownership away, when it impedes or limits the process, and creating new or shared ownership, when participants are eager to join the process, but reluctant to take a role in the implementation (business model) of the results. Open design processes have an interesting way of creating "solutions for someone else". If the result of your efforts is a brilliant concept, that is irrelevant for the team.... you failed.

In demonstrating these strategies, Remco will introduce several tools and methods that have proven very valuable, and explain why and how these tools are conducive to reaching the goal of a coreation project. This doesn't mean this talk is solely about solutions and fail‐safe approaches to innovation. It is a roundup experience of a team that has tried to become better at co‐creating, so you don't make the same mistakes, or at least become able to understand the obstacles facing you in co‐creation processes, and pragmatic in addressing them. Demonstrator‐cases were executed in the food‐sector , chemical sector , ... but also within social economy and education.