17. March 2019

As Routine as it Gets: The Last Sprint

by Katharina

Day 26: Meanwhile, a certain routine has settled in. The week – or as we call it here: the sprint – starts off with a joint workshop, where the participants further develop their Design Thinking skills. The following days, the teams continue to work on their ideas and validate their assumptions – foundation of their business models – in calls with colleagues and customers. At the same time, I can observe how the tension increases towards the end of the week, sticky notes are written more hectic than usual or simply rewritten, and some team members must step out a couple of minutes for cooling down in fresh air.

The sprint ends Friday morning with a pitch, during which the participants present the current state of their business model. There is feedback among the teams, but also from the “sharks”, who take turns putting on a yellow or black hat – meaning what did they appreciate and where do they see room for improvement. Afterwards I can feel the adrenaline level drop, though only a little: One hurdle taken – getting ready for next one by carefully reviewing the comments.

As of tomorrow morning, last week is arising, which will take us to our Headquarters in Munich to present the business models to the board. Still, customer feedback is carefully evaluated and built in, the storyline worked on, the slides finetuned and certainly a couple of souvenirs bought for the colleagues back home. It’s time to say goodbye to vibrant Silicon Valley, the bustling streets of San Francisco, and the constant flow of inspirations we’ve consciously and unconsciously encountered.

I wonder how much the participants take from their routine here, from the sprints, the methods and interdisciplinary collaboration, into their “regular” jobs. But then I think of John Maxwell, the American leadership coach who once said: “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Well, the SVC has laid 19 foundation stones to change routines…