Co-creating with kids – Act 1

As you know, the situation is forcing us to convert our collaborative solutions that support digital transformation into 100% remote experiences. This Friday, we planned a workshop at the office to precisely redesign one of them.

And like many parents, we learned Thursday evening after having put the children to bed that school would be closed Friday. Taking a day off was not an option; so, we decided to do the workshop at home.

We woke up much earlier to organize this double daycare / workday, we began the workshop 40 minutes later than planned, us in one room, the children in another. I must admit that the morning was quite productive.

But of course, the inevitable happened… once the coloring, DIY, games, cartoons and other activities finished, the children’s attention turned to us as they became bored, but also curious about what we were doing.

Recently, an article on the Feynman method caught my attention, and I remember thinking that it could have been interesting to include children at key moments of the cocreation process, when for instance we have to reframe the real challenge to be addressed, just before moving to ideation phase.

And that’s exactly where we were in our process. So why not transform a constraint into an opportunity? (Between you and me, we really had no choice in the matter).

So, we went over the key points and explained them to the children. This experience was very successful. All the technical terms were dropped, the messages returned to what is essential and became crystal clear; we looked at each other with stars in our eyes. The simplicity and the relevance of their questions also surprised us: typical genuine child curiosity.

At this point, we decided to continue the workshop with the children, especially due to the nature of the exercise: co-creation activity with Lego. The result was more than amazing, I still have goosebumps.

So yes, we lost some time on several aspects of the workshop, but we would have lost just as much anyway, if not more, in trying to keep them occupied in the adjacent room.

In return, although unaware of many aspects of the problem we were trying to solve, they led us to other very inspiring avenues, they made incredible improvements to our proposals, and were a source of some amazing new ideas.

The most emblematic of them is surely ​​my 6-year-old daughter’s the idea that, for the solution that aims to help teams agree remotely on the priorities that are to be addressed quickly to deal with  the situation: what if, instead of them earning points, they won rolls of toilet paper?

And this is how she represented it.

So, we have decided, they are going to be part of the solution. Anyway, we have no choice, and seeing how things are going, this situation is going to last for quite some time.