Working in Groups at the Global Service Jam 2011
Posted March 22, 2011on:
A little over one week ago I participated in the Global Service Jam. The reason I did it was that it sounded interesting. I don’t think I really knew what I was getting myself into, but I’m glad I did it.
First off, what is a Jam? It’s when a bunch of people, in this case all over the world, get together to use their creative and professional talents to make up a bunch of ideas. No clients means no limits. The same inspiration is used by everyone, so we get to see how many ideas that one inspiration can spur. It resembles work, but is a lot more fun and relaxed.
Our task was to create a service that somehow used the theme of super heroes. With a subject so wide and broad, we had to work together to not only come up with ideas but also to narrow it down to a service we could actually provide.
The event began Friday the 11th of March at 6 pm. A bunch of people, most with background in service design, showed up at LBi’s London headquarters. We were given beer, wine, and dinner, played some games and then, imaginatively through the games, put into random groups. My group had some amazing people in it. I learned quite a lot because of their patience and creativity.
The work began the next day. We gathered, this time at Seren, a service design company. We got to draw on their white-board tables, which was really cool.
Of course, the first step, after we had agreed on the definition of super heroes was to figure out what kind of service we were going to offer. Through much debate, mentor assistance, and eventually a blind vote, we decided to make a thanking service for every day super heroes. Then began the debate about what type of “Thank you” we would deliver.
We wound up having to use an apple to decide who would talk when. Yes, we had a speaking apple, and if you watch the video all the way to the credits, you’ll see how grateful we were to it. So often, I think, people mention using a speaking apple or other item to mark who has the floor, but don’t actually follow through. We did, and I can tell you, it works!
Why did we need this? I think it is because we didn’t know each other. We were all stretched and we were all tired (keep in mind, we worked all weekend after working all week!). Working in teams is hard enough when you’re with colleagues you know. Working with people you just met, whose backgrounds you don’t know, is even harder. Our little gimmick might seem odd to some of you out there in the blogosphere, but it really helped us make an amazing presentation that Sunday at 4 pm.
And though we used these little tools and sometimes got stuck, it was always a lot of fun. Again, no client means no worries. It was an excuse to exercise our brains and just play with ideas. We got the chance to design an app without really worrying about how much money it would take or sourcing programming experience! You don’t get to seriously (yet playfully) do that every day.
And here is that amazing thing we made. We got the Wolverine Award from our Jam’s mentors for having the “Most Wild Concept”!