Back in 2015 I was invited to attend a secret workshop with a secret client in Denmark. Unfortunately, it was so secret, I couldn’t know who the client was. I couldn’t know where in Copenhagen I would be working. And there were no team profiles that could be shared. It was such an intriguing offer that I simply had to learn more.
There were plenty of emails, confidentiality agreements and surreptitious conversations – but weeks later, my contact refused to tell me who I was going to be working with. Finally, as I was preparing to leave, I was let in on the secret – though it remained confidential.
And then suddenly my news feed was filled with the excitement around the launch of Space10, IKEA’s innovation lab. The secret was out.
The two days of workshops that followed were fascinating. The Space10 team had been commissioned to help create “a better IKEA for the future”, and there we were working through the first moments of a transformation strategy that was resolutely “people first”.
The participants came from all parts of the globe, and from various business units. It was exciting and challenging – with a tight program designed to inspire as well as to challenge.
But one of the key takeaways for me, was the absolute willingness of the company to look towards the future with a clear and inspiring eye. They were embracing some of the chaos and disruption of the digital world by, for example, inviting the IkeaHacks founder to run a creative workshop on laser cut mini-models of popular IKEA designs.
Two years on it is great to see that commitment to creativity permeating all aspects of IKEA’s branding and marketing. With a simple update “Summer is almost over, winter is coming”, IKEA Norway shares the instructions for transforming an IKEA rug into a Jon Snow wearable. Now that’s the hacking spirit.