On June 22, Everblue and Wildfire co-hosted an Innovation Thinking Bootcamp for an exclusive group of Wildfire clients, as well as internal staff.
Wildfire is a full-service marketing, strategy, and branding digital agency based in Winston-Salem, NC. Its team of graphic designers, social media specialists, account managers, and marketing professionals are experienced with using creativity to solve problems for their clients. But the Wildfire leadership team wanted to take this approach further…
Our “new normal” is full of distraction, uncertainty, remote/hybrid work, etc. How can we meet people where they are in their lives and continue to build relationships? How can we reduce burnout, improve resilience, and find inspiration and energy in these chaotic and uncertain times?
Innovation Thinking is a great starting point to answering those questions. By empowering people from all walks of life to generate creative solutions, we can inherently work toward big, world-changing ideas.
Together, we decided that an Innovation Thinking Bootcamp would be the perfect jumping-off point to:
During the planning of the event, we all agreed that we had to break through the Zoom fatigue and find a more exciting and interactive platform. We ultimately hosted the session over Airmeet, a virtual conferencing software that allows for breakout groups and main stage presentations. We also introduced participants to a collaborative software called Mural, which allows multiple users to contribute to a visual brainstorming workspace.
Just prior to the live virtual event, we provided participants with a pre-reading document about our changing world and asked them to add to our list of ways that the world is changing. Our original list included ideas like warmer weather, electric vehicles, geo-politics, hybrid work, and telemedicine. The list grew to include cryptocurrency, diversity, supply chain resiliency, travel uncertainty, distributed schooling, and universal basic income, to name a few.
BUILDING EMPATHY TO UNDERSTAND OUR CUSTOMERS
We used these ideas to explore our feelings and then to think about how our feelings were impacting our work, our lives, and our happiness. When we organized the participants into groups and asked them to share their emotions, we were able to establish empathy, which in turn better helps us solve a customer’s problems.
The leaders of tomorrow are those who use empathy to envision and create solutions that delight customers by solving their unmet and unvoiced needs. Creative teams need to be able to recognize stakeholders and their problems, and they need to open their minds to all sorts of tools, technologies, and approaches in order to generate wild and effective ideas.
One of our main goals was to help establish and grow relationships between Wildfire employees and clients who don’t commonly work together, or those who typically only connect on certain projects. We also wanted to empower participants to break away from the day-to-day monotony of work and find new ways to get energized in spite of these chaotic and uncertain times. Innovation is meant to be a repeatable process, and anyone can do it any time they’re tasked with making a decision – big or small.
By the end of the 3-hour immersive event, we wanted to emphasize that, now more than ever before, innovation thinking is the key to driving strategy and solving problems. Disruptive challenges often lead to innovation, adaptation, evolution, and growth. By becoming familiar with the basic principles of innovation thinking, you equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to confidently and gracefully embrace change.
We had such a blast planning this event with Katherine & Tory and hope to deliver additional Innovation Thinking Bootcamps and Ideathons with Wildfire in the future!
Here are a few images from the event: