As we are approaching the tenth anniversary of Capgemini’s TechnoVision yearly trend update series—a frequent guest in innovation sessions—we have been spending a considerable amount of our time of getting rid of complexity in the approach. We skipped our infamous “business-driver-to-technology-trend” matrix years ago. We redesigned our central framework picture to include icons and visual metaphors. We introduced the notion of storytelling and went to great length to refresh the terminology used (‘My Data Is Bigger Than Yours’‘What Would Amazon Do’‘Hack My Business Model’, anyone?).

But hands down, the most impact was delivered by our TechnoVision Theater: our 37 trends turned into colorful, real-life cardboard boxes. They can be picked up, carried away for study outside in the sun, discussed with others and stacked as digital “totem poles”. Together, they can tell about a technology-enabled customer story, a day in the life of an employee, a breakthrough in a process, or a new, disruptive product.

Our digital building boxes turn out to be an easy, attractive language that can be spoken by both IT and business people. We have put them in our Applied Innovation Exchange labs, our agile development zones, and our office lobbies (rumor has it that a certain TechnoVision author even glued a full mini set to his wall at home; talking about dedication).

Digital innovation all too often revolves around virtual technologies, abstract concepts and tons of Powerpoint slides. 

Who would have thought that a set of cardboard boxes (and just wait for the origami version, for that matter) is so helpful in making innovation actually applied?


First published as part of the Beyond The Buzz edition about the Applied Innovation Exchange