We all know that to innovate we need to abandon old ways. What does that actually mean really?
It means that for a moment you need to forget what you know, what have done so far and who you work with. That’s difficult, especially if everything that surrounds you at the office reminds you of action items and todos for alle those ungoing projects.
At a hackathon it is impossible to use your knowledge exactly how you are used to. It is a place where you collaborate with people you do not know or otherwise would not normally be in a a team with. There is room to pay attention to something unusual.
Pretty exciting circumstances. You’re being asked to work on a subject that is unknown to you, in a process with an uncertain outcome and with a team of strangers (most of the time).
Perfect cicrumstances to misdirect yourself and your routines!
Why would you want to put yourself in that position? Well, now you need to engage with others in a conversation about their thoughts and intentions. YOu need to search for ideas that feel strange (it’s the strange ones that count!). And you need to find ways to leverage the talent and manpower in your team – which are limited, because a hackathon team should be no larger than 5 people! – to produce a convincing prototype of your idea.
To make it even more fun, the process is bound to give you new insights that change your perspective on the problem and its possible solutions as you go. Adapt all the time!
You gain much from this. You are made aware of your own patterns and fixed routines (which you often not even know you have!). You are challenged to think about a new subject and to get off the beaten path. You get to know new people and their talents (better, more than yourself!). Meanwhile creating something new with potentially a lot of value. O, and yes, hackathons usually have great atmosphere, they are inspiring and insightful. A pretty good use of two days of your time, right?
Want to know more? Let’s do lunch or have a coffee and I am more than happy to share my experiences with you and your colleagues. Get in touch now.
PS. A hackathon is one of many formats (even many that are designed as we go along) available to innovate. Formats like designathons, brainstorms, bootcamps, pressure cookers, or – real slow, letting thoughts and insights simmer… – a slow cooker ;).