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Can you hack it? Yes you can.

Phil Lindsay By Phil Lindsay

When we shared the outcome of Consider’s last hack day in your last newsletter, we generated lots of interest. A number of our clients asked for advice on how to hold their own hack day to come up with creative solutions to thorny problems.

We’re delighted to hear so many of you are interested in using this innovative approach to problem-solving and idea generation. Follow our simple steps for a successful hack day and enjoy a productive break from the humdrum routine of office life.

Step 1 – Define your challenge

Be specific. Vague aims and topics don’t generate ideas. A provocative topic is a good way to pique people’s interest. We imagined a world where DM has died and Twitter is the only means of fundraising.

Step 2 – Mix it up

Shuffle your teams to spark new energy. Different departments will have different approaches and their own take on the topic in hand. We divided into two teams of four, but you may find more, or bigger teams works best for you.

Step 3 – Tools of the trade

Order Dave Gray’s Gamestorming – a great resource for all would-be hackers. It’s packed with innovative exercises to get the creative juices flowing and encourage lateral thinking. Stock up on paper (the bigger the better), Post-its and Sharpies.

Step 4 – A change of scenery

A new environment gives everyone a fresh perspective. Check out your local pub, wine bar or coffee shop and opt for a friendly venue with suitable seating and enough table space.

Step 5 – Timed teamwork

Set one or two timed exercises for your teams. After each exercise, ask the teams to present their ideas and findings to the wider group.

Step 6 – Review your results

Explore the ideas you’ve come up with and decide which ones will serve you best. A follow-up meeting can provide a forum to nurture any fresh ideas that have hatched in the meantime.

Any problems or questions? Get in touch with the team.

Phil Lindsay

Phil Lindsay

Technical Director

Phil is one of the co-founders of Consider. He’s got a solid grounding in design, but found his true niche in business strategy and IT. Phil's that rarest of beasts: a code guru with a sound commercial awareness. He makes sure our clients get the full bang for their buck.