How to Stick or Twist?
What do you do when things don’t go according to plan? You’re confronted with two options: “stick” to the original plan and keep trying, or “twist” your way forward so that you’ll reach your objective, even if you take a different road.
A few years ago, we were faced with exactly such a situation, for a Vaseline project. Vaseline had a particular product range, for which they needed to revamp their Innovation pipeline and they (in their words) very much felt like they had “already tried everything”. So this particular project was already challenging from this perspective. We interviewed the stakeholders and one individual in particular had been with the brand for more than decade… an asset, as much as a potential “block” to seeing things differently.
The key sticking point, however, came when we had to agree a date for the Co-Creation session… Covid was just starting, so they were monitoring how things were evolving – this was pre-lock downs.
So while it was key to have a cross functional team from across South East Asia & South Asia, the plan to run a regular (face to face) workshop was quickly threatened by the spread of Covid and a newly issued company policy saying that people shouldn’t travel out of Singapore. So, what to do next?
Step 1: Stick. We decided to continue to plan a face to face, but with a slight adjustment: we offered to run the central team in Singapore with a core team and have two “satellite events” each with a Flying Fish Lab facilitator, one in Bangkok and one in Jakarta. This was starting to shape up like a good option, but the client took some time to decide and… by then Governments started to lock down. So, what to do next?
Step 2: Twist. We then decided to quickly pivot to a fully virtual solution. The client was apprehensive, as these were early days of Covid and virtual was still new. So while we showed the tools and tried to reassure them, we added more critical item: the ability to measure the change of perspective from the team. We offered to do a pre and post session survey.
The result: a reassured client, a fantastic co-creation piece and knock-out results from the survey, showing a complete conversion of the team to the output of the work done.
Utter success, from a project perspective, only possible because we knew when to “Stick” and when to “Twist”.
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