Fabric > Exponential Teams

Exponential teams

Solve a complex challenge with Design Thinking and Lean Start-up methodologies

The challenges you may be facing

“How do I move quickly on specific challenges faced by our organisation that require
everyone’s input?”

“How can I get people to understand and support a reorganisation?”


Solve a business or organisational challenge by experimenting new ways of working that will quickly spread through your organisation.

Up to 20 change agents.

10 week process divided into 2 Sprints.

Tools and methods:
Lean Start-up and Design Thinking tools, Learning Expeditions.

“How it is organised…”

“How it is organized..”

In this programme we work with a group of internal volunteer change agents with strong sponsorship from top management. The team will solve a complex issue in 10 weeks by using new ways of working, including Lean Start-up and Design Thinking tools. In so doing, they will create a second “operating system”, outside the conventional organisation, that will demonstrate how to work differently and deliver better results. Regular exchanges with the entire company to elicit expertise, or share progress generate a snowball effect.

The challenge can be for a new service or to create greater operational efficiency within the company.

How we work
The 10 week process is broken down in:

  • Set-up phase (2 weeks): guiding coalition of volunteers, cast the team, validate scheduling and time, define priorities.
  • Kick-off workshop (2 days): create the team, explore the issue they face (Value Proposition Canvas) and how it connects to the company’s purpose, and plan the first Sprint.
  • First Sprint (4 weeks): discover, interpret, ideate using tools such as Persona & Customer Journey Mapping, Learning Expeditions, and testing ideas in the field.
  • General Review Workshop (2 days): evaluate different options and select three to prototype.
  • Second Sprint (4 weeks): build, measure and learn, prototyping and testing**.
  • Retrospective workshop (2 days): the various solutions envisioned are shared and presented to management committee for go/no go.

During the sprints, the client is responsible for weekly outputs, however Fabric Facilitators are on hand regularly to drive each step of the process.

**Option: If circumstance warrant, Fabric can set up a crash programme with dedicated teams of designers who deliver an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in 12 working days.

Case Study
Multinational cloud services company

The challenge
The reorganisation was already 6 months in, and nothing was changing. The business line continued to haemorrhage money. To make matters worse, the management team was not aligned, still stuck in turf wars and interpersonal dramas without much room to change anything. The Head of the BU noticed that even after removing one level of management, and reorganising the sales team by expertize as opposed to by client, people continued to work largely as they did previously, not seizing the opportunity to bring the company further. A lake of risk taking and a certain resignation was felt throughout the organisation.

The solution
A call for volunteers was made throughout the company to reinvent the organisation, and two sponsors from the management team committed to give them the space they needed. This team first made a diagnosis of the problems faced, bringing their fresh perspectives unconstrained with hierarchy. Some key areas of investigation were prioritised, using the tools Persona and Customer Journey Mapping from Design Thinking.

Then a 1-day learning expedition was done to “get some fresh air”. Upon returning, they refined their value proposition, using a Business Model Canvas and began to iterate with the help of a designer on 3 solutions. Each of the preceding steps was communicated to the entire 200 managers of the business unit, so that they could follow and ask questions over the 3 of part time work by the team.

Finally a 1-day forum was made were the prototypes were presented to the entire 200 strong management team including the top management team, who then spent the rest of the day reworking, refining and ultimately launching 3 concrete experiments that had the full endorsement of all of management.

Three concrete prototypes that were tested out in the company that “broke the rules” to innovate
A complete buy-in by managers, which reconciled top management
Key talents were identified
New ways of working were experimented that were implemented in other parts of the BU.

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