As designers, we found ways during the pandemic to transfer almost everything we did in-person to digital. In the process, we’ve observed and learned a lot and rethought our principles for future co-creation. We can no longer simply assume we know the routines of others – habits and workplaces have changed. Demand for hybrid meeting and workshop models is growing, and most companies’ digital tool stacks are now at a very good level. So what do we need to look out for in the future when it comes to co-creation?
Whether virtual or on-site: we prefer co-creation to be shorter, more frequent, and more in-depth. Individual arrangements must be made with each team.
We’ve heard from many personal conversations that teams and customers want to see a return to on-site collaboration. IBM’s Global Leader Rich Berkman sums it up well, “I would think we absolutely go back to in-person workshops where they are appropriate. The stimulation, collaboration, and energy exceed the virtual in numerous ways. That said, virtual is still valuable when in person is not available.”
We are seeing colleagues and clients meeting in person more often again to share insights and develop ideas together. But there are also individuals who, for good reasons, will continue to work primarily from home.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we had to constantly learn new applications or find workarounds for missing features. This is not diminishing, but becoming even more critical as we work with clients.
In the past, as part of our consulting and technology expertise, we mostly provided the toolstack and empowered all participants. Now, companies have invested in their own toolsets and expect us to be the ones to adapt (any unforeseen technical quirks included). Facilitators and designers need to keep an eye on the tool market and technical developments and be prepared to master the occasional spontaneous exotic program.
Back in the office, a large proportion of work still takes place in virtual environments. However, needs and setups are still evolving rapidly.
During the abrupt move to the home office, digital whiteboards kept our creative collaboration alive and
Even after the pandemic, the majority of Post-its will probably continue to be written virtually. But good co-creation has never been measured by Post-its. New approaches and ideas are needed to engage all participants with haptic experiences.
Every now and then in the past, we had the feeling that Design Thinking had lost popularity and relevance. But on the contrary, the co-creation mindset has proven its legitimacy and reliability for us again in the last month during the pandemic. Yes, virtual and face-to-face creative work with partners, clients, and colleagues from all over the world need to be reconciled. At the same time, we are looking forward to the much-needed breath of fresh air to help shape our new world for users and businesses in a meaningful way. There are still many challenges ahead and we will continue to learn and experiment with remote facilitation and co-creation.
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