Sample Agenda for an Innovation Game
Pam Oliver is the product manager for Blendz, a fictitious manufacturer of commercial food and drink blenders. Here is a sample document that captures the work Pam and her internal team put together for a one-day Customer Advisory Council meeting. The templates are invaluable for making certain that key decisions are written down and that everyone on your internal team understands their role in the process. You can customize this sample agenda to fit your needs:
The purpose of this document is to record the agenda for the March 13 Blendz Customer Advisory Council meeting and capture key decisions regarding this event.
Background and Logistics
The spring session of the twice-yearly meeting of the Blendz Customer Advisory Council will be held March 13 in Detroit, MI. As of January 9, 18 customers have confirmed. We expect no more than 24 customers. Although Blendz corporate headquarters is located in Topeka, KS, a large number of our customers are located within a single plane flight of Detroit, MI.
The key goals for this Customer Advisory Council Meeting are as follows:
To accomplish these goals, Blendz has elected to play the Product Box and the Buy a Feature Innovation Games with members of the Blendz Customer Advisory Council. We will start with the Product Box game so that participants are more likely to express their own ideas about what is important about their Blendz blender, because they will not yet have seen our ideas about potential new features. To provide extra motivation, we will allow council members to vote on the best overall product box. The winner will receive a $50 coupon.
Following this, we will play the Buy a Feature game. Pam Oliver prepared a sample list of features and their suggested prices and proposed the amount of money that will be given to each participant (see "Key Remaining Action Items"). Some participants will receive more money than others based on their perceived importance to the company. If more than one participant is present from the same company, the amount of money will be distributed equally among company participants, and they will be put into the same group. Because we expect to have three groups of customers engaged in each exercise, we require one Buy a Feature leader for each group. Pam Oliver, Stephan Zunck, and Robert Derby (see Table 3.1) will manage the selling of features for each product group.
Key Remaining Action Items
The following action items must be handled before the event:
Room Layout and Customer Organization
We need to carefully plan for this meeting because it will contain a large number of people. We will need a room that can support round tables (no more than eight people per table) or square tables that can be configured as shown in Figure 3.1. The room will need to have additional tables for Blendz employees. We will need one additional table for storing supplies and for the product box gallery.
Figure 3.1. Setting Up the Room
Customers will be organized into three tables with at least six and no more than eight customers per table. Figure 3.1 shows a representative room layout for a Product Box exercise conducted with two groups of customers, with six to eight customers in each group. Note that
March 12 Afternoon
Blendz Customer Advisor Council arrives. Dinner event at the hotel hosted by Pam.
Hotel must grant unfettered access to the meeting room starting at 6 p.m. to allow for setup.
It helps to play upbeat music while people create their product boxes, as such music contributes to the overall "fun" atmosphere you're trying to create.
You want to schedule a few breaks and offer them to customers. Don't force them to take a break, however. If your customers want to continue creating their product boxes, let them. To help signify a break, consider changing the music or playing it more loudly.
Your agendas should always have plenty of buffer time!
When you're playing a game you should always plan on using the lunch session to clean up the results of the previous game and prepare for the next. 60 minutes is usually good for a light working lunch, 90 minutes for a more elaborate lunch.