Why is Prototyping Important?

Implementing an innovation doesn’t happen all at once. We suggest you take a measured approach to introducing your new strategy, rather than betting the house on it. For all sorts of reasons, you want to establish an early “win” that will help others see that this could be important, and that encourages their support. So design an event or activity incorporating the innovation, and make it one where the stakes are low. Try to have this happen not much more than a couple of months after your Accelerator (or, if you can’t use one, perhaps eight or nine months into the work on the Innovation Project). This is what is often called a “prototype.”

Measurement and Assessment

Make sure you’re watching carefully and assessing what works and what doesn’t against an appropriate measure of success. Use your observations to revise your innovation, and to learn as much as you can about how to adjust it to be even more effective. Then you can launch a well tested strategy.

Case Study: Denver Center Theatre Company

The Denver Center Theatre Company set out to transform an underutilized theater, The Jones, into a testing ground for new nontraditional ways of using technology and engaging audiences for Denver’s largest professional theatre company.  The team did a strong series of prototypes that tested out different componants of their new strategy.  Check out the full profile their project, Off-Center @ The Jones, or watch the video below to learn more.

Karina Mangu-Ward is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at EmcArts.