While it can be good to have consistency on teams from a knowledge standpoint, environments that maintain the same personnel for long periods of time may not be conducive to creative problem solving. When teams get stuck in one way of thinking it can lead down paths that often do not result in success. Teams can prevent this outcome by allowing an outsider to share, test, and help implement their ideas. Allowing inputs from fresh perspectives to be tested can give rise to some truly great outcomes. There are numerous examples of this.
The Movie 'Frozen'
One such example of this occurred during the creation of the movie Frozen. The creators were stumped on how the film should end. The executives at Disney took what was a bold move and promoted Jennifer Lee to director of the movie. In fact, she was the first female director in the studio’s history. A fresh perspective is often what is needed and what happened was amazing. The movie went from stuck to a resounding success. It made a profit of $400 million, it has received an Oscar, and as of the writing of this article the movie is the 9th highest grossing film in history. Given it has been out for four years makes it even more incredible as many great movies have been released since.
She did this by changing the film from an action oriented one to one more like a “musical, with more comedy.” She felt it would make girls feel “wild and wonderful” like her childhood self. And the financials show her perspectives helped make the movie a success.
Crew Resource Management
Another example comes from the airline industry. Crew Resource Management (CRM) is a style of operating an airplane that has resulted in reduced aircraft accidents. The old way of flying a plane is that the captain’s opinion is over weighted relative to the co-pilot’s. Certainly, the captain has more experience yet is not correct 100% of the time. In CRM, the captain will listen to the co-pilot and evaluate her opinions without dismissing them too quickly. Appropriately evaluating this second opinion in difficult situations can make for safer travel. In a standards-oriented industry such air travel where safety and efficiency are paramount, we are still seeing a push toward a more collaborative and open-minded approaches.
Innovation by Disruption
Innovation is best delivered by allowing new collaborators to deliver value. As consultants, being outside disrupters for our clients allows them to succeed. A major fast food chain wanted to increase their customer satisfaction and time to cook by creating a Kitchen Display System (KDS). Yet, they were stuck figuring out how to implement the work and with whom. As opposed to selecting an existing off-the-shelf software product, the client chose Saxony Partners to design and build a custom solution and the project was a resounding success. Our testing showed higher than average System Usability Scores (SUS), which is great considering it is a brand-new product. Further, the in-store and corporate feedback has shown we delivered an exceptional experience. How did we do it? We did it by allowing new ideas to be tested and flourish.
"As consultants, being outside disrupters for our clients allows them to succeed."
We, at Saxony Partners believe that providing fresh perspectives—and fostering an environment in which new perspectives are taken seriously--contributes to our clients’ success and sets us apart. We seek to be open-minded and to allow the data to determine how a product or process should be created or improved. And we do so with a passion for getting our clients and their customers what they need, when they need it. When you partner with us, you partner for success.