Co-creating with kids – Act 2

The results gathered during the first co-creation session with the kids motivated us to continue the journey! For the past two weeks, we have involved them in the co-creation of a video game that improves the effectiveness of a remote team meeting.

The game ultimately allows the configuration of a kanban board, a classic visual management tool, conceived in Japan at Toyota after the Second World War. The use of this tool has spread widely over the years in other methodologies, such as agile methods, and can be used both at work and at home.

Kids are natural learn by doing, so we started by using a kanban board with them fortwo main activities: a coding course for kids, which we are doing with them during this confinement period, and the project that they were involved with. In the photo below, the stars correspond to the co-creation activities that they participated in.

Their first hack occurs when we explained the Kanban board and the meaning of the different columns: the “on hold” was instantly renamed “bug”! Here is the power of an exercise where you have to explain all things (like) to a child.

But the children really started to develop an understanding of the kanban board when each morning we would reassess our progression and move the Post-it notes. You had to see their excitement when a sticky note was moved to the “done” column for others to see! That ultimately is the essence of this simple and effective tool.

It took about ten days for our children to develop the reflex of moving the Post-it notes themselves as they progressed – accepting change ultimately much faster than any business!

We then engaged them in the crazy 8 exercise, a key tool for sprint design, as explained by the creators of the method. After all, all kids love drawing and we were sure it would take off. In fact, crazy 8 consists of expressing a concept with a drawing, then improving it very quickly 7 times in a row with other drawings, before sharing the drawings with others.

We had to do it four times before we found the winning formula. First observation, the alternatives never went beyond 4, it therefore became crazy 4…

Starting from a sketch that we had made did not work: we limited their creativity, and they ended up copying our drawing 4 times. Making them work alone, and then showing the results to others didn’t create a wow effect … and they ended up spending a lot of time on details in their drawings that did not add much value to the exercise.

Finally, the crazy 4 worked in a co-creative approach from the beginning (we also included storytelling elements, but we will talk about that in a future post). Everyone made their first drawing, and everyone was able to express what they wanted to do, and why they wanted to do it. Then we all did a second drawing, that we explained later. And that’s when the magic happened. It was just awesome: on the second and third round, we went to the moon! In the fourth, we had exhausted any new ideas, and the best ones were improved. It was time to stop!

But then the conflict began … Who made the best drawing? Although they are the fruit of a co-creation exercise where everyone contributed, this question always comes up … Is it not basic human nature to always bring everything back to yourself?

It was then that we began the slippery slope of trying to explain the concept of market research. In innovation and marketing, you do not decide whether something is valid or not:  the market decides.

Please follow this link to vote for the best ideas, it is completely anonymous and will take less than a minute. We are crossing our fingers that you will vote for the drawing that includes at least one idea from each of us…

At worst, you will be the bad guys, not us!