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Free Taster: How to Innovate in Two Days

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 22, 2017 2:42:55 PM / by Ibeth Ramos, Head of Innovation Delivery

Ibeth Ramos, Head of Innovation Delivery

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Take a moment to reflect on the last problem you wanted to solve, issue you wanted to change or great idea you wanted to implement in your professional environment. Were you able to solve the problem? Change the issue? Implement the idea? Or did execution fail because you didn’t have time to get around to it.

This can often happen when organizations approach innovation. The concept seems like this ‘big, scary, time prolonged’ project that no one has time for. BUT it doesn’t have to be. And our recent 2-day innovation sprint in Munich, Germany can prove it.

Cookhouse Lab ventured to Munich last month to invite local innovators to test our concept of open innovation and co-creation during a 2-day innovation sprint. Think of it as a ‘free taster’ to get a sense of the speedy innovation that takes place at Cookhouse Lab. 

The team was tasked with developing a solution for insurance loyalty and rewards in just 2 days. After reading this blog, I think you’ll be surprised to see just how much can be accomplished in a short but focused time frame.

Discover how the team used Cookhouse Lab’s design thinking methodology to successfully innovate in two days!


Taster Day 1 Edited.pngDay 1

Learning the Cookhouse Lab Methodology & Understanding the Customer

The day began with two goals:

  1. Learning about the Cookhouse Lab methodology - At Cookhouse Lab, our projects start with a Lean Startup exercise, followed by the phases of Design Thinking as supported by a variety tools. The ultimate goal is to develop a high-level set of business processes and use cases.
  2. Getting more insights on the project’s problem statement - Creating an insurance loyalty & reward program to retain and strengthen consumer relationship and mitigate risks. 

Identifying and understanding the problem statement are critical in design thinking to ensure your solution is actually solving for a real problem. For this project, it was to fix the problem of insurers not knowing how to show customers that they care about their life, wellness and behavioral changes, and thus how to retain them. 

Armed with this information, the team went on to define what they wanted to learn about current customers, their behavior, interests, fears, etc. Working together as a team, they selected the most impactful questions they could ask the average consumer to gain the right data. 

Interviewing real people to gain real insights

Breaking out into pairs, the team interviewed people from around our Pop-up lab in Munich in the Werksviertel-Mitte and at the Ostbahnhof (East train station) areas. Through these interviews, the team gained true insights and were able to pick up on key elements that consumers value and that could be improved upon when it comes to insurance products and services.


Reserve your spot for our next Free Taster:

Do We Need A Micro-Annuities Product?


Interviewing real people allows you to empathize with customers to understand their wants, needs and current views on insurance. This is essential to design thinking so that you can truly understand their pain points instead of making assumptions.

The day ended with the team reflecting on their learnings and highlighting key ingredients that would help them create a persona, ideate on possible solutions and test concepts on day two.


Taster Day 2 Edited.pngDay 2

Morning - Defining the Solution

After a good night's sleep, the team kicked off day two by working on a persona and iterating through the problem statement using actual feedback from potential end users. Iteration is another key ingredient of design thinking. It involves a continuous cycle of concept creation, testing, failing quickly and concept reiteration.

Next, it was time to define the solution for our topic. The team went through a timeline exercise where they quickly brainstormed 10 ideas that could be implemented in the different time frames of: next week, 3 years, 10 years, and 50 years. The team did an amazing job at staying committed, energized and continued to push themselves out of their comfort zone. After this activity, the team shared all of their ideas and voted on the top four concepts they wanted to take to market to test.

Afternoon - Testing & Results

The final half of the day was used to elaborate on the four final concepts and determine which questions they would ask their test market to determine the winning solution.

Once defined, the team had one hour to go back to the market to test their concepts. They managed to interview more than 25 people! Not bad for an hours' work. The purpose of this testing round was to define which of the four concepts would be the chosen one, based on customer feedback.

The testing round was a highlight for the team as their test market was engaged with and curious about all four concepts. Several customers even went on to tell the team what else each concept should have to make it even more useful, transparent and engaging.

Taking the time to test concepts with the end user helps you confirm if there is indeed a market for your solution. The good news is, if there is no interest, you can go back an reiterate! This process reduces the risk of finding out there is no market for your solution after a large monetary or time investment has been made.


Taster 5.pngPrototype Creation

The final phase of this innovation sprint was prototype creation. Since the team received positive feedback on all four concepts, they went on to design the following low fidelity prototypes using arts and crafts material:

  • Alexa for insurance – Alexa now manages insurance claims and policies with support of user. Example, if you have an accident Alexa would detect it and would start contacting insurance company and helping you collect vital information on the spot like taking photos of the damages, exchanging insurance details, etc.
  • Insurance watch – a smart insurance watch. When it comes to P&C, you can control settings that will help you secure your insured items i.e. locking home, vehicle, receive notifications in case of fire or flooding, can offer accident prevention based on forecast. Life – it can capture activity, exercises, pulse, etc. and keep this is part of your profile. All this information can help you make better choices for your upcoming policy renewals.
  • Dr. Mirror – a mirror that insurance companies give to their clients that is used to help customers have a better understanding of their health and send necessary information to insurance companies for initiating claims and maintaining them up to date. For example, if a customer wakes up not feeling well and stands in front of mirror, the mirror will do a full scan and give a diagnosis and suggestion for next steps. If this is a serious illness, the customer will be then be scheduled with a doctor or an ambulance will be called. This triggers the start of claim process and updates the client’s medical history. The client then has easy and clear access to what is recorded and how to proceed with any insurance related matters.
  • Insurance app – have it all done in an app, including news related to your policies, current policies, expiration reminders, integrated chatbot (which Cookhouse Lab is working on soon!

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The power of speed innovation

In less than two days, the Munich team proved the power and speed of innovation. They went from being a group of curious strangers to a collaborative team with four tangible prototypes.

During the two day taster the team learned how to:

  • Empathize with customers to understand their wants, needs and current views on insurance
  • Iterate through problem statement to define solution
  • Test concepts on customers
  • Create low fidelity prototypes

Reserve your spot for our next Free Taster: Do We Need A Micro-Annuities Product?

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Topics: innovation, Pop-Up Lab

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