Having looked at what happens in the wow-zone, and the kinds of tools we use there, let's look at an example of one of IBM's experiences using design thinking. In tracing the IBM story, we want to focus in on the wow-zone for a business concept. Then, we'll look at placing small bets in the actual marketplace. In this case, at a trade show called Sibos, that allow IBM to validate the concepts in real life. So let's start with the problem. IBM participates in more than 8,000 trade shows per year. And trade shows seem like the ultimate in old-fashioned ways of doing business. A Las Vegas-like cacophony of booths and banners and people handing out brochures. Yet, despite their often-predicted demise at the hands of the Internet, trade shows remain a $100 billion industry that's still growing at 3% per year, according to Business Week estimates. In this story, we will get a look at how a team from Experience Marketing firm, George P Johnson, collaborates with IBM to use design thinking to transform trade shows from spectacles into conversations. Conversations that engage customers in more collaborative experiences and yield stronger relationships, and as a result, better business leads. IBM had another business objective as well. They wanted to create experiences that embodied the principles and elements of a new strategy of theirs called Smarter Planet. IBM Smarter Planet positioning was born out of a recognition that the world was becoming more dynamic and complex, and that technology was playing a larger role in addressing global pressure points across industries, and that IBM could help to solve these problems through technology. For IBM, Smarter Planet is not just a campaign or a slogan, but a way of looking at the world. It's a call to action to use systems thinking and technology to address the world's biggest problems using IBM's technology and business practices. Accordingly, IBM wanted to create experiences that embody these principles and elements of smarter planning. So enter George P.Johnson, a premiere global event and experienced marketing agency and long time partner of IBM. The problem they focused on was the disconnect between these events and IBM's positioning, strategic capabilities and legacy of innovation. They were looking for a way for trade shows to better demonstrate the depth and breadth of IBM's expertise, to strengthen their customer relationships and of course, to drive revenue growth in an increasingly complex world. George P.Johnson, a premier global events and experience marketing agency, was a long time partner of IBM, and joined them in this effort. The IBM GPJ team took a three part approach. Step one, examined what is current state of the art knowledge on human interaction. And its goal was generating powerful insights into learning and collaboration. Step two, mirroring our what if stage. Involve coming up with new ideas that can be used across multiple events and context. And then step three combined what wows and what works to create testable prototypes that could be validated in the marketplace. All right, so let's, let's look deeper. As they asked what is, the GPJ team wanted to begin by explicitly stepping away from existing models of trade shows. They elected to focus instead on a much broader topic, how human beings engage and learn. They offer us a great example of the power of reframing right up front. With this broader research goal in mind, team members decided to cast their nets wide, to gather data on human interaction from experts in a broad variety of fields as diverse as theater design and military training. Design thinking isn't always about first person ethnography, and this kind of use of secondary resources. Finding relevant data that's already out there, things like interviewing experts, can be an excellent source of insights. So over the next several months, the GPJ team interviewed more than 100 experts in roughly 20 different fields, seeking to understand why people behave the way they did, how they learned and how to better engage them. Out of these interviews, insights and themes began to emerge around human cognition and learning. It was like a movie revealing itself, Ben Roth told us. There was a series of insights that came out of it. For instance, Tim Seldin, the president of the Montessori Foundation, stressed that the more you can create comfort, the more people behave as though they are comfortable. This suggested that the right media environment for learning might be the exact opposite of the typical BD environment. Where again, as Ben Roth of GPJ told us, we put people in a conference room with closed off walls, no windows, the temperature's not right, and then there's one glass of water on the table that everybody fights over. The team also went back to IBM's roots to meet with Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, who talked about his grandparent's design principles. One of these principles centered on planned spontaneity. Interactions that seemed like they were spontaneous, but were actually designed to occur in a certain way. Planned spontaneity, like creating comfort, had real implications for the team's work on trade shows. The third significant insight emerged around the way one greets a guest to make them comfortable. Rather than letting them just wonder in and look around your house, you greet them at the door. The challenge was, how to enact all of these themes in an actual trade show experience. So the team needed to translate the insights into design criteria that IBM could execute at thousands of events spanning diverse markets and audiences. As they asked what if, they began by focusing on the physical environment that would be part of the new trade show experience. And how to create a client journey that reflected all of the insights they'd gathered. The physical environment would need to incorporate all of the different ways, both visual and auditory, that people learn. It would need to be comfortable and engaging. It would need to be conducive to informal communication and encourage the building of trust. But it would also need to facilitate dialogue, collaboration and co-creation. As they worked, they kept coming back to the design criteria that he created, and they looked for the kinds of solutions those criteria specified. For entering and facilitating the guest-host relationship, they thought about providing a concierge. For comfortable physical space, they created conversation zones and put thick carpeting where people would stand. For the interaction themselves, they tried to cue from customer needs. Team members thought of creating physical spaces as communication landscapes to facilitate collaboration. In the past, IBM might have organized 18 different technology based banking solutions and pointed people towards a different part of their space at the trade show, depending upon which solution they wanted. In their new approach, they wanted to create a more flexible interconnected environment where participants could engage in a variety of settings. They wanted to focus on the way that conversations naturally take place. But they also wanted to create opportunities for more formal conversations in conference rooms with large screens and whiteboards. So they created hybrid environments so that clients could use them in ways that felt most comfortable, and then shift seamlessly across the different communication contexts. The GPJ team members focused on the details of each environment and the implications for human interaction. They wanted to ensure that people felt comfortable, so for example, they made sure to use double padded carpeting in any area where they knew people would be standing. If people were comfortable standing, they would spend more time, they reasoned. But the physical environment wasn't the only consideration. The GPJ team also knew that to really make people comfortable and create opportunities for planned spontaneity, it would need to create a guided and facilitated experience. In pondering how IBM could best think about and engage participants, team members kept turning to the guest-host relationship concept. Building these and other insights into new trade show concept, the team was able to develop a client centered multi-directional communication and learning experience. Once the team members had created new environments, they sought an opportunity to build prototypes and to test the assumptions in a Learning Launch. IBM selected for learning launch a trade show called Sibos. It was an event that brought together senior executives from the financial services industry and their technology partners. Compared to large trade shows, like the Consumer Electronic Show which might draw more than 100,000 visitors, Sibos was small, generally drawing only about 7,000 participants. Though small, it was also an important trade show that IBM Financial Services participated in every year. The year of the Learning Launch, it took place in Amsterdam, and this is where the team conducted its Learning Launch on its new design. A Learning Launch is just the title we've given to a small experiment in the marketplace. We prefer the term learning launch to the term pilot, because its purpose is not to gather data, to make a go-no go decision. The purpose is to learn and then improve. The Learning Launch is the mechanism that drives the whole process of iteration that is so central to design thinking. In the Sibos Learning Launch, team members implemented the physical space redesign that they'd envisioned, as well as the concierge service. They also focused on integrating communications and technology into the experience in ways that would increase flexibility and flow across both formal and informal situations. They loaded tablets with the same content that was showing on the larger screen so that participants could experience a seamless flow of information as they moved through the space. From say, a conference room area to a more informal space. Each of the three inner walls of the IBM booth was covered with a touchscreen, and there was a touch table so people could engage in whatever way was most comfortable. Team members also trained IBM employees in storytelling, how to listen to clients, how to navigate the experience on the basis of client needs, not the basis of what IBM was trying to sell. Importantly, the physical space, technology and employee training all were designed and integrated to provide a single cohesive and engaging client experience at the trade show. The results at Sibos spoke for themselves. Physical elements, like the puzzle piece table, were a huge hit. The most effective areas were those that were most open and where people felt like they could come and go, but were clearly areas for discussion and collaboration. People came, and talked and stayed. Data around the depth of engagement showed that the new trade show design led to greater relationship building. Following the Sibos pilot, IBM realized double digit increases in client engagement leads, lee capture and revenue. In fact, the number of leads generated during the Sibos plot was greater then it had been in the previous two years combined, increasing 78% year over year. When IBM executives saw the results, they decided they didn't need further pilots for Learning Launches, and they elected to scale the new approach immediately. So let's go back to our diagram and see what we learned from the IBM story. They first use secondary research to answer the what is question, and turn these insights into specific design criteria their ideal new trade show experience would meet to meet. They brainstormed solutions and then focused in on what wows to surface assumptions and then to construct 2D prototypes that began to test them. And then answered the final question, what works, by conducting a learning launch, a real life small bet at Sibos. We followed the process of asking four questions now through three stories of very different kinds of organizations. So, as we wrap up our discussion this week, I want to first remind you to go back to our resource materials and go deeper into the tools and questions we've talked about. One of my colleagues that I work closest with here at the Darden School, Professor Ed Hess, has prepared a video on Learning Launches. Take a look at it now. Then, I'd like to ask you to think about a small experiment that you could do to test the attractiveness of a new idea you have. What would that look like? And as always, I'd ask you to please join me in our discussion forums.