vrijdag 25 februari 2011

Open Source Furniture

Brussels, 28/02/2011
6.30 am: Monique Legear wakes up in her room in the Sheraton Hotel in Brussels. Today should be her day. For 2 years, she and her team have worked day and night on a new concept of furniture. For years, it is pretty clear that investing a lot of money in the design of classical furniture no longer creates a good return on investment. Her client, a small SME active in the field of furniture, had challenged her to come with something new, something that would change the rules of the game in the sector related to marketing and product development. Clients no longer are waiting for standardized tables, chairs and couches but want something unique, something personal...

7.u00 am: During breakfast she discusses the last details of the presentation of the new furniture concept with Jacques Lemmens. Jacques is the main designer in her team. They agree that the first 2 minutes of the presentation will be crucial to get the management staff eager for the concept.

8.30 am: Monique checks for the last time her first slide of her presentation, nota bene the only slide she has. She smiles, full of confidence that this concept will startle her client.

9.00 am: Monique and Jacques enter the board room where the management committee is already in meeting since 8.00 am. The atmosphere seems informal, just what she had hoped for. Emotional state of the management will be an important factor in the acceptation of her proposal.

9.05 am: "Dear board members, this is your new furniture concept." The board room becomes suddenly dead quiet. Monique has just shown her one and only slide. It represents a website. Dear board members, this is your new furniture concept. Phil Omen, the board director sees the website, with pictures of different chairs, tables in raw wood and even parts of furniture as armrests, supporting constructions,... 'Euh Monique, can we go directly towards the final designs', he mumbles. "That's is exactly what they are Mr. Vansandt. This is a new concept of furniture, more specifically Open Source Furniture...

Brussels, 28/02/2012
10.00 pm: Phil Omen finally can take some time to relax. What a day! What a year! He remembers the earthquake that rocked his company exactly one year ago. The presentation of Monique Legear just one year ago initiated a revolution in the organisational thinking on product development. The idea of Open Source Furniture was at first not taken serious by most of the Board Members. But Phil immediately saw the enormous potential and took up the lead himself of this change project. 4 months ago, the Open Source Furniture concept was launched. After 4 months, they received already more than 300 furniture designs. He couldn't even imagine the cost it would absorb from internal resources to get this amount of designs. Today they had celebrated the first External Design Champion, selected by more than 5000 (potential) clients. It was never easier to get free press attention than this time. Phil is thinking: why did they need an external advisor to see this huge opportunity? Pretty obvious, there were blind spots within the board's vision after all these years. He can't wait for tomorrow, while Monique Legear has mentioned him she will come up with a new idea to increase even more customer involvement in their innovation processes...

PS: All characters are fictional

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