These days the news is filled with everything from Facebook taking over the planet (now 1.59 billion users), to CEOs being most worried about cyber attacks, to rogue hackers disarming terrorist twitter accounts, and companies like Theranos taking blood testing to a whole new level. Our timelines are never-ending feeds of how technology and software companies are changing the world, as we know it. There is evidence all around us of exciting new developments occurring through collaboration. Simple tools like IFTTT and Open Hybrid are opening up new possibilities for us to grab hold of and, literally, make our lives more connected.
Compared to companies in other industries, tech firms and startups seem to be innovating more effectively, getting new products out to the market more quickly, and disrupting business models that have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. For those who are interested, have a read about how the art market is getting disrupted. If the rest of the non-tech world wants to catch up, then it’s in their interest to get the basics right first. But how?
The term Hackathon seems to get associated with software engineers working together late into the night to solve problems and come up with new ideas. (Facebook’s ‘like’ button was born this way). The concept is very simple; it’s about getting the right people together with the right skills to solve the problem in hand. And not stopping until the job is done! Often done in large rooms in front of laptops with thousands of developers taking part, this technique is a great way to bring together those with a common purpose to achieve something very definitive. The end result is a new product or code that can be used straight away.
But we can use Hackathons anywhere – a Government working with an industry; a company collaborating with another company; or simply a group of individuals coming together from all over the world to solve a problem like world hunger.
Hackathons are not just about designing new products, new code, or digital transformation. Good corporate Hackathons are centered around an effective problem solving process, allowing its participants to create not just simply a new set of ideas in 24 hours, but rather a new way of working, a new company, a new operating model, a new programme of work. Whatever it is, a well run corporate Hackathon can help you achieve it.
The formula is simple:
· A solid design focused on tackling the problem from multiple viewpoints;
· A cross-functional blend of participants with the right knowledge and experience;
· A synthesis of relevant information, cut into useful logical chunks;
· An environment that encourages free thinking, combining light and space perfectly;
· A team of highly trained and specialized facilitators whose only objective is to remove barriers to great thinking.
Hackathon events give us the opportunity to hack away at the ‘way we’ve always done it’, hack away the limitations we put on ourselves by the way we work, and create designs and outcomes that are both innovative and exciting! Get in touch if you have a potential Hackathon idea and let’s have a chat 🙂
p.s. Check out our Hackathon video on YouTube