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Collaborative problem solving at C2MTL - By : Substance,

Collaborative problem solving at C2MTL


Collaboration

Header picture from Facebook 24h de l’innovation, source.

C2MTL is creativity, it’s business, it’s innovative ideas, it’s Montreal, it’s networking and it’s the profound desire to immerse yourself in a stimulating and inspiring environment. Held last week at Montreal’s Arsenal, C2MTL is also home to multiple co-creative workshops in which participants put their heads together to find solutions to common problems. In that sense, it’s not unlike the 24 Hours of Innovation or Tata Communications Design Challenge.

c2-550

Source [Img1]

f. & co and Substance were there, looking to get involved in the field in a more organic and unstructured way. We mingled among the throngs of creatives and business leaders to gain a better understanding of what motivates people to part with a considerable amount of money—and three days of their time—to attend C2. Were they looking for answers to specific questions, business development opportunities or just an inspiring change of scenery? My colleague Louis-Félix Binette from f. & co writes about his observations here. Check it out.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, we discovered that two concerns came up repeatedly: How can we improve our organization’s ability to retain creative talent? and How can we create a work environment that stimulates and encourages creativity while improving employee retention rates?

To help us find solutions, we turned to a business-model generation exercise. Along with several dozen other attendees, we used dry-erase markers and a giant laminated Business Model Canvas designed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. If you aren’t familiar with this tool, you can see it here.

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Source [Img2]

Here’s what the C2 community came up with:

Problem 1: Retaining creative talent

Value proposition

– Give the organization’s employees more power
– Make employees responsible for their projects, client relations, etc.
– Challenges
– Flexibility
– Incentives (financial or other?)

Key partners

External parties to discuss best practices

Key activities

– Creative Block: Recurring ideation session (weekly or monthly) to provide employees with creative tips on how to improve the performance of projects or the client relationships under their responsibility
– Recruiting
– Benchmarking – What is the best industry standard?
– Team-building activities

Key resources

– Human resources ? HR departments should implement creative and effective strategies to ensure that prospects are compatible with the culture of the organization and the team

– Human resources ? HR departments should implement creative and effective strategies to ensure that prospects are compatible with the culture of the organization and the team

– Human resources ? HR departments should implement creative and effective strategies to ensure that prospects are compatible with the culture of the organization and the team
– Human resources ? Managers should offer employees more challenges, more responsibilities and more coaching (mentoring)

Client relations

In this exercise, clients are employees and freelancers

– Sense of meaningfulness at work
– Appreciation
– Transparency
– Openness

Distribution channels

– Work environment
– Organizational culture

Consumer segments

– Employees
– Freelancers

Cost structure

– Mainly time (recurring ideation sessions, mentoring, etc.)
– Decreased recruitment costs thanks to increased employee retention

Revenue streams

By increasing productivity and employee engagement, both projects and client relationships become more effective and more profitable

Summary

How can we improve our organization’s ability to retain creative talent?

To address the issue of talent retention within organizations, the idea of making employees responsible for their projects and for client relations was tabled on a number of occasions and broadly supported.

However, greater autonomy means greater responsibilities. That’s why people suggested the idea of offering support from the team. This could be a recurring ideation session (such as a Weekly Creative Block) to provide employees with creative tips on how to improve the performance of the projects or client relationships under their responsibility. This would nourish the minds of the team members and significantly contribute to the value proposition made to employees.

Problem 2: Creating a work environment that fosters employee retention

Value proposition

– Establish an organizational culture that is based on openness, transparency and collaboration
– Continuous learning/training
– Knowledge sharing
– Freedom of expression
– Sense of “family”

Key partners

All employees and managers. It’s a family affair![/accordion]

Key activities

Recruiting ? Ensure that new employees and managers mesh well with the team

Key resources

Time: It’s very important to take the time to set up the various elements that make up the value proposition, such as knowledge sharing, continuous learning, etc.

Client relationship

– Listening actively
– Ensuring the availability of mentors, colleagues, internal collaborators

Distribution channels

– Offices
– Design of the work environment
– Internal communications
– Team-building activities
– Recurring ideation sessions

Consumer segments

– Employees
– Prospects
– Managers

Cost structure

– Time (brainstorming, etc.)
– Money (design of the work environment, etc.)

Revenue streams

Improving the company’s overall performance

Summary

How can we create a work environment that stimulates and encourages creativity while improving employee retention rates? 

At this workshop, the response from participants was unanimous. Three ideas came up time and again:

1.Establish a strong organizational culture based on openness, transparency and collaboration

2.Encourage continuous learning and training, even if it’s not directly linked with the employee’s tasks. C2 participants demonstrated a marked interest in learning new things and developing new skills

3.Promote knowledge sharing: This type of activity validates the knowledge of the person who is sharing their expertise and quenches other people’s thirst for knowledge

It is interesting to note that when this workshop began, the first people to write on the clean Business Model Canvas wanted to put “office environment” (interior design, office activities, etc.) within the value proposition. But throughout the day, this idea evolved and people concluded that these elements were actually distribution channels through which the value proposition was communicated to employees, managers and prospects (consumer segments).

In the end, the proposition value boiled down to the three above-mentioned points in addition to an emphasis on freedom of expression within an organization and developing a sense of “family.”

What about you? How would you approach these two problems? Leave a comment, join the discussion and help enrich these business models!

For more information on what went down at C2MTL, see what’s on Openbrain. This site includes quotes and summaries of the various conferences. If you’re curious to see the bustle of the event, have a look at this short video put together by our friends at Republik.

 


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