A couple of months ago, Telenet teamed up with Bundl to “tackle the entertainment market” together. The goal was to create a new corporate venture from scratch, with a mix of our entrepreneurs and their intrapreneurs.
Now, if this briefing sounds broad to you, that’s because it is. The entertainment industry has seen rapid growth and evolution (think Virtual/Augmented Reality, E-Sports, Netflix, etc.) and Telenet aims to quickly occupy a solid market position in one of many Entertainment Verticals by building towards a clear long-term vision. Throughout this series, we’ll be taking you on our journey through the different stages of this process. You’ll get insights on our methodology, the people involved, tools we use, Telenet’s perspective on the experience, and much more. If by now you are wondering why a Corporate Venture is a good idea in the first place, you can read an article answering that question here.
Stage One: Value Proposition Sprint
In this first stage of the process, the challenge of the Value Proposition Pitch is to ideate the future of Telenet within the entertainment business — all in a design sprint of only 5 days!
This means: clearly stating the core business of the Venture, the value it wants to bring to its consumers and identifying a unique proposition that sets it apart from competitors.
As you can see in the list of attendees, we always aim to have a diverse set of skills and expertise present. As ideas take form and start to grow, different perspectives will form varied opinions, validating the solutions on the go.
- Steven De Prekel (Manager Strategy & Corporate Development)
- Kenny Henderyckx (Director Strategy & Corporate Development)
- Paul Mertens (Associate Strategy & CEO Office)
- Olivier Van Buyten (Product Manager)
- Bart De Vleeschauwer (TV Engineering Strategy & Architecture)
- Maarten Somers (Digital Architect)
- Annelies Verbeeck (Go to Market Manager)
- Bart Van de Putte (HR support and Facilities)
- Nina Ramon (Product Marketeer Entertainment)
- Manu Vollens
- Thomas Van Halewyck
- Pieter Van de Velde
- Nicolas Cap
What Happened before the Sprint Week
Now, a sprint takes prep work. The following three steps are crucial for setting up an effective sprint:
1. Intake talk
The Intake Talk is a mini-workshop organized to set the right scope, expectations, and goals together with Telenet. This was done with a core team of eight people — five from Telenet and three from Bundl.
2. Setup Boards
During the whole process, Bundl validates constantly. Remember, the more perspectives and feedback, the more waterproof your idea becomes. In this case, we validated using three types of boards:
- The “User Board,” selected from a pool of Bundl contacts, can be summoned at any time to verify some or all of the concepts, features, and commercial stories on the table. The “User Board” usually consists of people who closely match our target group and resemble the voice of our future customers.
- The “Expert Board” is a group of 3 market/technology experts that can be activated to get input on the process, goals, and verification. Just like the “User Board,” the “Expert Board” is a group of external folk, on standby and ready to give feedback.
- The “Fly-In Team” is a group of selected employees of Telenet. These people will be active during the sprint as challengers and decision-makers. They won’t be taking part in the full 5 days, but rather “fly by” every once in a while to receive a heads-up and help make tough decisions. (The best days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.)
3. Deep Dive
The “Deep Dive” is a cross-sector analysis regarding technology trends, customer insights, business insights, and first opportunity areas. During a one-day workshop, these insights were debriefed to the whole team before the start of the sprint.
Day 1 is all about preparing and mapping out the base plan for the sprint. Once this has been done, the team will explore first directions and opportunities using the insights gained from the Deep Dive.
The afternoon of Day 1 is dedicated to the first brainstorming round, where the team uses different exercises to boost creativity and develop ideas concerning “the future of entertainment.” The goal is simple: gather as many ideas as possible. The only rule being that there are no bad ideas.
On Day 2, we used the morning to brainstorm and ideate as much as possible. We’ve had sprints where we fit all brainstorming exercises into one day, but we’ve learned that the creative juices are usually depleted in the afternoon. So, to get the most out of our brainstorm sessions, we divided the brainstorm across two different days.
The afternoon was dedicated to the design of concept cards for all the (feasible) ideas. A concept card is a slightly more elaborate rework of the initial idea. It’s a tool we use to let participants think out an idea more concretely and discover if it still makes sense because, by now, we have a ton of ideas. It’s time to converge and select those that best answer the initial goal of the sprint. In other words, we’re converging towards a select few.
Concepts are presented in a mini-pitch session to fresh minds on the morning of Day 3. The team then decides which three ideas were the most valuable for the challenge at hand. After this decision, usually made after a hefty group discussion, we start working out all the details and visualize the concepts. Because this decision is an important one, the “Expert Board” and “Fly-in Team” are called in to help make it.
Day 4 is aimed entirely at working out details and prototyping the concepts. Since the following day will be the last, it is important to fully focus on sorting out any issues that arise during the day’s work.
On the last day (insert biblical achievement here), the result is presented to everyone involved. One last time, everyone shares their opinions and remarks — the good and the bad — and the sprint comes to an end. The “Expert Board” and “Fly-In Team” are present too, whose final insights are extremely valuable and taken into account for the next steps of the process.
“In our quest to define a proposition within the Future of Entertainment, we were looking for a partner to guide us through the process. The collaborative way of working which was proposed during the first meeting triggered us to team up with Bundl.
During the process of the Value Proposition Sprint, there were several elements which contributed to a positive end result. The different workshops were well prepared with a clear scoping, helpful examples and ideation tools to trigger our creativity. The way of working, with a dedicated team of intra- and entrepreneurs, a fly-in team and external experts worked really well for us. The Bundl team was also flexible and pragmatic in shaking up the agenda to cater our needs.
In a nutshell, a very positive experience on which we were able to build — together with Bundl — the foundations of a new business.”
Paul Mertens, Telenet Associate Strategy & CEO Office
1. Flip & Shake
The “Flip & Shake” tool is a brand-new tool in our repertoire, especially created to amplify this sprint week with Telenet.
How does it work?
Start from an existing business in your target market (e.g., entertainment in this case).
“Flip” that idea into …
“Shake” that idea into …
Use the dice to find out how to specifically Flip or Shake
“Combine” ideas when indicated
By iteratively varying and adapting the idea, your end result will be surprisingly different from the original, yet valuable to the idea pile.
2. The Moment Circle
The “Moment Circle” tool is again uniquely designed for Telenet’s Sprint and lists a series of entertainment forms in a circle. In the center of the circle, an environment is placed (in this case, the home environment).
How does it work?
Trigger the question: How can Entertainment form X be enjoyed at home?
This is where ideas start to flow, so start writing them all down.
5 minutes per entertainment form is more than enough. A lack of time forces you to not overthink, but just write what comes to mind. Idea selection comes later.
Go to the next entertainment form and answer the same question.
Once the circle is complete, you have a large poster filled with ideas!
3. Analogy Thinking
“Analogy Thinking” is a tool that draws inspiration from completely different industries. Leading examples in their respective industry are carefully selected in advance (as prep work for the sprint) and placed in the green area of the poster.
How does it work?
Leading examples in their respective industries are carefully selected in advance (as prep work for the sprint) and placed in the green area of the poster.
The team needs to identify the aspects that make these examples so extraordinary.
You then find ways to implement the extraordinary to Telenet.
In a timeframe of two weeks, we validated with both the User Board and Expert Board. The given customer value propositions and mock-ups were used to validate the ideas of 10 future customers during an in-depth interview. A lot of valuable feedback was gathered, further shaping the idea.
The Expert Board of Telenet was also counseled, feasibility was checked with technology experts, and desirability with the market experts. Additionally, together with the experts, we measured the capability gaps regarding technology, resources, and competencies. The goal of these meetings is to get a needs analysis, approval of assumptions, and feedback on the envisioned customer value propositions.
To give you an idea, this is how we structured the project:
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