Bringing Ideas to Life through Prototyping

Bringing Ideas to Life through Prototyping - Perspectives on Leadership and Innovation

Jarin and Tom discuss their favorite BentoBox module, Prototyping. Jarin explains that the precursor to Prototyping was an introduction activity that SYPartners would give at conferences. The core idea behind Prototyping is that it is not limited to digital or engineering projects―any form that brings an idea out of one’s head is a really a prototype. This realization in the Prototyping module helps to unlock people’s creativity, and their ability to bring their best ideas forward. Tom shares that BentoBox Innovation had the same idea and has been using the experience of Prototyping to introduce the power of these modules.

Key Takeaways

  • Prototyping is not only for technical or engineering work.
  • The core concept of prototyping is that anything that manifests an idea physically can be considered a prototype.
  • Participants in the Prototyping BentoBox module experience unlocked creativity, leading to the generation of innovative ideas and collaboration.

The Conversation

Question: There are 12 BentoBoxes in all. Do you have a favorite, or do you have one that you can think of where perhaps you’re particularly fond of the origin of the module? And what was the spark of the idea or the need for it?

Jarin: I think there are some subtle modules that are really powerful, that really reflect the depth and breadth of SYPartners’ experience on how innovation really gets done, and then integrated, and activated, and scaled, and have real impact.

But one of my favorites is Prototyping. That’s a word that’s thrown around a lot. And I want to emphasize that there was a bit of a precursor to that module. We had created a little intro to SYPartners―a presentation that we could give at conferences and invite large groups in. Because SYPartners is always very interactive and trying to create things that engage people rather than just have them sit there and listen to us talk through slides, we tried to invent a few different creative exercises that people could do in large groups at these sorts of conferences. So one of the modules in there was around prototyping. It wasn’t as rich as the BentoBox module because it was just a little sort of teaser, but the core idea carried across into the Prototyping BentoBox.

Prototyping, at the time, usually implied things like coding a digital product or constructing some kind of model or some three dimensional model, or something kind of complex that was beyond the ability of most people and required some sort of technical prowess or training.

But the core unlock in that precursor to the Prototyping BentoBox was the idea that anything that gets an idea out of your head and into physical form is a prototype. Sometimes we’d have 25 to 30 people doing this exercise, and you could see their eyes light up and a smile appear on their faces as they realize, “Oh, a prototype could just be a list, or that little sketch of my bedroom and where I want to put the furniture in different places. Or a diagram of the different departments in our organization in a different configuration, or with arrows pointing in directions that they don’t go now” or any sort of little thing like that. And so we just have to set the stage and people would just go, and then we’d have them share the prototype with each other.

I really loved that idea and I love seeing the way people got very activated and unlocked by that, and the ideas that poured out of them into these different formats. I love that idea of “Get it out of your head onto something.” Others can participate and they can see what you’re thinking and they can build on it. And that’s how great things begin.

Tom: I didn’t know this at all, Jarin. We wanted to do a trial BentoBox, and we drew on the BentoBox of Prototyping to do the same thing.

The physicality of actually working with something, and the understanding that there’s creativity in all of us. That you can get it out of your head and make something, and then you put it together. It’s like you said, people add on to it in a very spontaneous way. I didn’t know the back story on this, but actually this is what we’ve been doing. We’ve been giving people a Prototyping experience where people could actually do something hands on. Where they can see what we mean by prototyping and get it out of your head, do quick math, sketch it out, and the different things that come with creativity and bringing ideas to life.

About the podcast

“Perspectives on Leadership and Innovation” is a podcast hosted by Tom Pedersen, Founder and CEO of BentoBox Innovation.

With special guest Jarin Tabata, Global Consultant, Transformation and Innovation.