Solving key problems – fast

A masterclass in problem-solving for senior executives

On the evening of 16th January, more than thirty senior executives, from a wide range of organisations, joined us at the Institute of Engineering and Technology for a master class in problem-solving.

Robert Baldock, Clustre Managing Director, welcomed this diverse group of people, drawn from many different industries, who had come together for a practical demonstration of the art of rapid problem-solving. As Robert explained, our goal was to “learn-by-doing” under the expert guidance of one of the UK’s leading innovation consulting firms.

Design Thinking emerged as a way to solve what came to be known as Wicked Problems, i.e. problems that are difficult to solve because the data is incomplete, contradictory or rapidly changing.

Our audience had been asked to submit their own Wicked Problems prior to the event and three were selected to tackle.

The three Real-World Wicked Problems we addressed:

One: How do we match innovation metrics and processes to the requirements of the company Board to get the support needed? 

With the CEO and Board focussed on ROI and shareholder value, how should we convince them to invest in innovation projects and activities and how should we measure and report progress, success and failure?

This problem was submitted and introduced by Richard Wilkinson, Senior Innovation Manager at Aviva.

Two: How do we leverage AI for innovation? 

How do we deploy AI effectively in a large, distributed, localised organisation with a large call centre capability? What is the easiest path for success for AI – focus on customer experience or focus on internal user experience?

This problem was submitted and introduced by Matthew Newton, Senior Director, Enterprise Architecture, at Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Three: How do we ensure a return on investment, and keep customers and employees satisfied, given the challenging retail environment and increasing cost of labour? 

How do we find the sweet-spot to thrive in the current climate and harness the market conditions for success?

This problem was submitted and introduced by Matthew Bright, Operating Model Manager at Waitrose & Partners

To read the full report on how we tackled these problems please click the button below.

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