Over 300 leaders of Ogilvy, one of the largest advertising and media companies in the world had an in-house conference in Kyoto.
I was one of about 4 or 5 external people invited to the conference, and I presented and gave a workshop on Innovation, together with Melvyn Lim who is Executive Creative Director at OgilvyOne Worldwide, based in Singapore. I found Melvyn to be a brilliant and creative mind, and I really enjoyed working with him.
We designed the workshop to be as interactive as possible. The session was centered on creativity and storytelling to fuel innovation. First we gave a short presentation on what is creativity and methods of innovation. One modern method to fuel innovation is combining thinking with hacking that combines design thinking, storytelling and collaborative creation. In the style of “Wicked solutions for wicked problems” the participants were then asked to imagine they are a Ninja in Kyoto transported from 17th century to today who only knows about materials we would find in a typical Ikea shop (wood, metal etc.) and you have to recover an important scroll held in the “heavily guarded” Kyoto National Museum. Participants are encouraged to find a creative and interesting solution – such as designing a gadget such as Ninja did, or design something to be stealthy (also Ninja did this) – like a trojan horse. The participants could decide on a gadget solution or strategy solution or something else – but it should be creative and innovative Participants will be provided with poster paper and color markers. After about 20 minutes of group discussion and sketching the groups all storyboarded their solution and presented it as a story/performance creatively.
We gave four sessions in a row, so it was quite intense. However it was most joyful to see Ogilvy executives, and even the top bosses, enthusiastically participate in the session. The solutions were really creative, and even included Ikea meatballs as part of their design, which I did not think of before the session. It was really eye opening and interesting to work with the brilliant Ogilvy executives and staff.