Steaming ahead

It was certainly a fast-paced run-up to the holiday season in December and our latest Innovation Workshop reinforced the point. We chose the Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam, and Stories for our venue. The museum is renowned for its renovation of steamboats which sail on Windermere, along with other sailing yachts and speed boats.

We started with a presentation by the conservation team about the work that they do and then had time to explore the museum itself and the incredible array of artefacts, which took us back to a bygone age. After a hearty lunch of soup and sandwiches, we battened down the hatches and got settled into the workshop.

Our room sat on the shore of Windermere, and with two glass walls, we found it a calming yet inspirational environment.

The theme for this workshop was productivity. There were no other criteria, except we had pre-paired the team so that for the first time each presentation was a joint effort. Ideas were generated to support not only internal productivity but tools that we could use to help our customers.

The team generated some excellent ideas, many of which are already in full swing – the development of product sheets to help customers see what’s involved in creating different types of content and better appreciate their effectiveness in learning and marketing campaigns; the wider use of PowerPoint plug-ins to short-cut some of the design processes and deliver projects earlier; the analysis of time and tasks to see where time is spent and look at alternative methods of completing the mundane ones; using Skype for Business status to better advise the team when time is precious and there’s no room for interruptions; advanced training on the use of our project coordination tool to maximise resource utilisation; in-house things to do in the office to get us away from the desk and give our minds time to refresh; and quick 1-page reference guides for those tasks that we need to do, but only infrequently.

We finished with a private trip around Windermere on Steam Launch Osprey, which was built in 1902 in Bowness. Built originally for private use, from 1948 the boat spent many years in service as a passenger vessel for the Bowness Bay Boating Company.

“As ever, lots of great ideas came out of this innovation workshop, and it was really interesting to see how putting heads together in pairs changed the dynamic to develop ideas more fully. And topping it all off with a steam cruise around Windermere couldn’t have been better.”

Amphigean Creative Director, Bryan Strange