Tag Archive for: New learning

Concepta…what? You’ve probably never heard of a conceptathon. This brand new future format of New Learning comes directly from the TCJG forge and is full of teamwork, collaboration and visible end results.

This workshop design has its roots in the agile world and follows the approach: learning by doing. Within three days, concepts for pre-defined cases are developed in small groups – intensively and innovatively. Alternating between short inputs, units, and workflows according to the sprint logic and pitches of the interim results. Everyone can play to their strengths and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Everything for the grand finale, the final pitch and the opportunity to learn how to deliver quality conception work quickly.

We were able to prove in our pilot that this does not only mean spinning heads and hard work, but is also really fun!

10 people worked for three days on three different concept challenges and the results were overwhelming: multi-media, complex, agile and with a lot of heart and soul.

We’ll take you on a little Conceptathon journey and sum up at the end.

And if you want to learn more about the future format beforehand: You can find our blog here.

At the Conceptathon, we didn’t hesitate for long. We took enough time to arrive, meet the group and define our expectations and goals (TCJG top tip here: Expectations and goals are perfect as a task in the run-up; the group already deals with the topic of conception and the anticipation of the workshop rises), but we also quickly got to the part that everyone was looking forward to: the presentation of the cases and thus the kick-off of the Conceptathon.

In the case groups, they first familiarised themselves with their own task, did research (also with the clients as interview partners), then, after inspiring input on the topic of goal definition, formulated it (a step that many have always liked to skip in the past) and bundled and expanded the collected findings in a rough concept.

Aha results guaranteed

This is where the first aha experiences took place: The change of perspective presented the first challenge to one or the other. To empathise with the client(s), to ask the right questions and to explore the case without immediately finding a solution was a task that our participants sometimes had to work hard at. Their heads were already bubbling over with creativity and ideas – then taking a step back and looking at the requirements can be frustrating, but it is necessary.

The results then spoke for themselves: our groups were able to get to the heart of their cases and prepare their rough concepts in such a way that creativity could be given free rein on day 2 – without having to deal with legacy issues from the previous conceptual step.

And there was something else we learned: The templates and small aids we prepared for our participants served us well during the event. They provide orientation and give the group the chance to concentrate on the essentials: Conception.

Even after the event, the team spirit continued to be fuelled: over pizza and vino, we laughed, exchanged ideas and recharged our batteries for the next day!

Day 2 – Conceptathon – the creative minds are activated

The group started day 2 highly motivated, and things got off to a dynamic start, because we wanted to fill our concepts with life.

But first the theory: together we worked out which methods, formats and media we could best use at which point in our learning structure. What achieves the greatest effects? What helps us reach our goals best? What out-of-the-box possibilities have we not yet considered?

This got the creative heads activated and prepared them well for the rest of the day. It was precisely these results that could be used for the further development of the cases. The participants were able to be creative in their fine structure, use funky formats and work out architectures with great attention to detail.

Intensive work units with clear objectives, feedback sessions and slack time alternated again and again. We were amazed at how many ideas we could spin together in such a short time and, thanks to the previously prepared structure, steer them in a productive direction.

In the evening, the creative work continued: even the rain couldn’t stop us from having a BBQ. So the grill master got a roof over his head and the group set up the buffet indoors. With homemade salads from the team and conversations about things that are currently on our minds, it tasted even better.

Day 3 – Conceptathon – The Grand Finale

The grand finale – but by no means was the air out!

On the last day of the Conceptathon, our participants really stepped on the gas, put the finishing touches on their concept and produced material.

The final pitches and presentations of the concept consequently had it all: from 360° videos to trainer guides for workshops and passionate explanations, everything was there, and our participants set off a real concept firework!

Of course, it was difficult to decide on the best concept, which is why we quickly declared everyone a winning team and celebrated our new team spirit together with a visit to the wine bar!

Our event was rounded off with an intensive reflection on the last few days. What did the participants take away? What will they do differently now? Were they able to achieve their goals from the beginning of the event?

One sentence in particular stuck in our minds: “Now I finally know what should really matter in my job!”, one of our participants openly shared with us, thus giving us high praise.

We said goodbye as a team, as conceptathonists and with a lot of motivation for our next concept work!

Our conclusion: A future format that makes fun!

Our conclusion for the Conceptathon is entirely positive: It really is a future format that is fun!

With a lot of creativity, collaboration and dynamism, it helps teams to set a focus and get down to work in a short time. A conceptathon is suitable for a wide range of topics, strengthens individual competences and produces immediately visible results: finished concepts.

Our Conceptathon already had kids. See here the Main-Donau-Isar Projekt.

 

Would a Conceptathon be something for you and your team? You want to see visible results quickly and take your conceptual work to the next level? Then get in touch with us and we’ll realise your New Work Booster together!

 

Written by: Victoria Durner

Sie gestalten Zukunft.
Mit uns geht das gut!

 

15.06.2022

Ever heard of a conceptathon? Nope? No wonder. It’s actually a brand new format of New Work and New Learning that combines teamwork, collaboration and learning with immediately usable work results in the field of conception. And it does so with a lot of fun and a high level of energy. That’s what the Conceptathon is – a New Work Booster.

Conceptathon reminds of Hackathon

To be honest, the basic idea of the Conceptathon is not all that new. It has its roots in hackathons known since the turn of the millennium in hardware and software development.

These are IT developers meetings limited in time, first in the presence and later also in the virtual environment. They pursue the goal of collaboratively developing products or finding solutions to specific challenges during the meeting. From classic hackathons, the public is familiar with large quantities of pizza boxes and all kinds of technology that the developer needs to creatively design the tasks set. You could say they have made a reputation for themselves as mega pizza parties, where a lot of creative competition packed into agile sprints ensures a lot of fun and output.

Conceptathon has agile roots

And that’s where the Conceptathon comes in. This format also relies on collaborative design and a good team spirit to achieve high-quality work results in a short time. The Conceptathon also focuses on fun and creativity and the basic design is in sprints. So it is in no way inferior to the Hackathon and appreciates its qualities and experience. Especially since the Hackathon, as a prototype of agile working, practised the principles of New Work in its purest form early on.

Learning by doing in Conceptathon

And yet the Conceptathon is very different from its relative. That starts with the general conditions. It is true that the Conceptathon also offers suitable catering, but with a different focus: fresh fruit and snacks with food for the brain. Conceptathons are also planned for several days. The nights, however, are for regeneration and the breaks and evenings are for relaxing, often with the team. While at hackathons everything is preferably darkened, conceptathons deliberately open doors and windows and let the light in or move straight outside into nature.

The real difference, however, lies in the format itself. The Conceptathon – a New Work Booster – supplements collaborative learning and working with small teaching nuggets at the beginning and end of a sprint. I.e. during the meeting, the product development is supplemented with suitable learning impulses that then inspire the joint concept work. In this way, not only is something co-created, but at the same time a targeted individual competence development takes place.

As the name suggests, learning and working at Conceptathon revolves around the theme of “conception”. In many ways, a participant in a Conceptathon can increase his/her ability to create concepts while at the same time designing concepts.

This process is supported by these attitudes or methods:

  • The idea of the “Wisdom of the crowd”, i.e. many people working together have a more holistic perspective and more options for finding solutions than just one person
  • The New Work principles of “collaboration” and “co-creation“, the understanding and methods of how to effectively implement collaborative working
  • The New Learning understanding that learning is best done by doing and on demand
  • The approach that learning facilitators as guides, as we say at TCJG, give impulses that promote empowerment instead of imparting knowledge
  • The framework of Design Thinking, which can be used not only for excellent product development but also for the development of concepts

Conceptathon – a New Work Booster

A conceptathon can be held over 2 days, but it is preferable to run it over 3 days. A longer duration is not recommended, as experience has shown that the concentration decreases.
Design of a camp that works with a team of 5-7 people and a guide is recommended. The number of participants is scalable with a simultaneous increase in the number of learning guides. This camp can also be significantly larger at any time if the framework conditions allow.

These conditions should be met:

  • Sufficiently large room with individual working areas for each participant, but also collaboration areas and chill-out areas
  • Provision of technical equipment (e.g. computers) and creative material
  • Space or format that allows all participants to meet together from time to time during the course of the workshop
  • Availability of healthy catering
  • Offer socialising and team-building sessions

Conceptathons can be organised in fixed working teams or in Mix-Max groups. They are suitable for the “real world”, for example as presence camps and are recommended by us, but they also function just as well in the virtual world as remote sessions.

In order to test the ability to create concepts, suitable topics should be available. Either the participants themselves bring topics or the organiser provides appropriate topics and, if necessary, resources.

The design of a conceptathon can be varied. A pure open space is just as suitable as a theme-based format, such as the joint development of workshops or learning nuggets, or the creation of decision-making templates for new ideas of one department.
Either way, the Conceptathon is a New Work Booster. And a learning booster at that.

Many good reasons for a Conceptathon

The added value list of Conceptathons is as long as its possible applications.
Here are just a few selected reasons why Conceptathon – is a New Work Booster.

  • Participants build up individual competences in the field of systematics and structure as well as expertise in concept work and agile working
  • Collaborators experience community work and train collaboration with a view to output
  • Participants experience teaching and learning at eye level and understand the importance of sharing and caring in the context of New Work
  • Participants learn a variety of methods, e.g. design thinking or Scrum techniques as well as creative work and argumentation
  • The investment in learning has an immediate effect: directly usable concepts for the utilisation of the learning process

The Conceptathon is an open source Zeitgeist L&OD format by The Company Journey Guides.

You shape the future.
This is something we´re good at.

This article was written by Eva-Maria Danzer.