The social media scavenger hunt – The 200 words project

Early in 2010, Kaaren Hanson, VP of Design Innovation at Intuit, designed a team-based scavenger hunt with Intuit’s top 15 executives to help them explore the future of mobile opportunities. The executives were still tied to Blackberries (sacred devices at that time) and had trouble visualizing the opportunity with more modern smartphones. Hanson gave out new iPhones and Android devices to each of the teams, along with a list of different activities they had to accomplish before returning back to their base.

This challenge included diverse tasks such as checking in on Foursquare, finding something using a new GPS app, translating a clue given in a foreign language, and scanning a label to see where it came from.

Now that the executives experienced the depth of power and possibility of the new smartphone devices, mobile was no longer some far-off trend . Within the next six months, Intuit’s CEO Brad Smith was making bold statements about Intuit’s commitment to invest in mobile and cloud-based services.

So, when in doubt, consider a war-game!

Even if you’re not ready for a full-fledged immersive environment, your starter fuel for innovation could be as small as inviting new people to your next offsite, starting an important meeting with a personal story, intentionally framing questions in a new or provocative way, or by simply banning the usual materials like PowerPoint. – Lisa Kay Thompson

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