I spent a 3-month rotation in the Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE), coming from Capgemini Invent, the consulting arm of the business. In this post I will cover my understanding of what the ASE is all about, some of the many experiences I had, and lessons learned over the course of the rotation.
Taking inspiration from Simon Sinek, let’s start with why
My experience working as a Management Consultant has involved engagements ranging from 2 months to 12+ months in length and have typically been very delivery focussed – “we need to achieve X results by date Y, and we will do this by working to plan Z”. Although this way of working is often necessary in the context of a results-oriented and time-constrained consulting engagement, it can at times feel restrictive and lacking in creativity.
This is what sparked my interest in the ASE; 1 to 3-day transformational events, helping clients to solve their biggest and most complex challenges in fast and innovative ways. This promise of speed, creativity and variety was why I was so keen to immerse myself in the ASE ways of working.
So what is the ASE?
The million-pound question. A good place to start is with the name:
Using facilitation techniques and collaborative methods which have been honed over decades of collective experience, the ASE encourages client teams to work together on the “big questions” in new and innovative ways, helping them to achieve tangible outcomes in days rather than months.
This is what it’s all about. There is no use in creative collaboration if it doesn’t help you to achieve the goals you set, right? By defining clear objectives and event goals, the ASE team purposefully facilitates client teams towards actionable solutions.
Having the right physical environment is key in unlocking an event’s potential. The right environment takes away any restrictions to being creative, building content, and making real progress. The ASE’s physical space is carefully designed to fully engage all senses, learning/working styles, and personalities. It also encourages the right behaviours and mindset. The ASE is so much more than just a “cool space”.
What did I actually do?
As a rotatee, my remit was twofold:
- Learn as much as possible about the service and its business positioning within Capgemini (with a view to taking this experience back to Invent and being an ASE ambassador)
- Engage in the lifecycle of ASE events (with a focus on event delivery)
Over the course of the rotation, I was involved in several events and was able to engage in many of the “event day roles”. These ranged from inputs (curating and staging the content) to environment (designing the physical space to best achieve the desired outcome of an event) to production (capturing content from the event and building the final output). Each of these roles contributed to the development of unique skills.
What did I learn?
Absolutely loads. Beyond learning about the ASE as a service and what the event lifecycle looks like, I was able to pick up a host of new skills ranging from Photoshop to videography to graphical scribing. Beyond the measurable things, the ASE rotation encouraged me to continue approaching tasks with a fresh perspective, to be creative and try new things.
What did I love?
The team. Cliché, I know, but the ASE attracts people who are genuinely open-minded, who want to support each other’s growth, and who want to see you succeed. This, in turn, fosters an infectious working environment which translates into happy people who deliver their best.
What will I take away?
A reminder and re-emphasis of what a healthy working environment looks like – one in which people are highly successful, as they believe in what they are doing and are supported in the right way. This is something I hope to take with me and replicate on my future engagements.