Organisations increasingly face fast changing consumer expectations, driven by technological change.
One moment teenagers are emailing and texting, the next they have moved to Snapchat and Instagram. While in health patients are showing signs that their relationship with GPs are changing, as they lose respect for GPs seemingly ‘Googling’ during an appointment. And demonstrating that they are willing to trade off GP care in return for getting their condition dealt with faster.
To keep pace with those they serve or work alongside (patients, service users, residents, paying consumers or frontline staff – for sake of brevity, I’ll call them customers and staff), organisations need a way to respond to this fast changing and relentless environment, to stay ahead and stay relevant.
Part of the answer is for organisations – and senior decision-makers within – to collaborate shoulder to shoulder with their customers and staff. Rather than keeping them at arm’s length, they need to embrace them, recognising their creative assets and bring them into the heart of decision-making.
There is nothing more powerful than when a diverse group of people work together to solve a problem, bringing together their ideas and knowledge from a variety of perspectives. By doing so, it roots possible solutions in their different life experiences, increasing the chance that those insights, ideas and routes to change are more sustainable and will work across different areas of interest.
By failing to invite their customers and staff into heart of decision-making – at the point in the project lifecycle when it’s still possible to be influential – organisations are missing a major innovation trick.
The challenge is how to bring truly diverse groups together, in a way that everyone can relate to a potentially sensitive and complex challenge and each other. And develop creative solutions to the problem within a realistic time frame.
One answer is the Action Based Co-creation workshop methodology (ABC for short). It provides the structure that makes all participants – whether they are technical or professional stakeholders, staff or naïve customers – feel safe and resourced, allowing people to work together democratically. And, through its highly-structured approach, it allows participants to get beyond words and into actions, so that together participants develop truly creative tangible and tested solutions that meet the rapidly evolving needs of both the organisation and its customers.
Partners in Creation’s ABC co-creation workshops have been used by organisations in the NHS, local government and commercial sector to gain fresh insight, new ideas and detailed strategy for issues ranging from organisational development, community mental health, sexual health, lower back pain, and primary care commissioning.
They draw on a mix of traditions, including the psychoanalytic tradition, processes related to innovation, psychotherapy and group decision making, thrive on play and creativity, and deliver surprising, new and task appropriate results.
Find out more here.
 Getting the right treatment in Camden – Understanding the motivations, capability and opportunities that influence people’s health choices in Camden. Resonant. (April 2016)
 Reinventing Primary Care in Tower Hamlets – understanding the needs of local people and rethink local services. Partners in Creation. (August 2016