Space as an Instrument for Business Model Innovation

At Arvetica we find that space is very important to foster creativity. This is the reason why we have brainstorming rooms with whiteboards and flipcharts, but also a "living room" area to get inspired. I rarely find such spaces in other places, which is sometimes limiting when working at our clients' premises.

Last Friday, however, I found such a space, which was perfectly designed for creativity. After a morning meeting at the college of management at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), I decided to stay on the campus. At the architectural school I found a beautiful working spot, which you can see on the above photo.

It's an open space in the middle of the hallway of a relatively frequented building. There's a set of colorfull sofas and a large whiteboard (!). It feels like an open invitation to any person or group to sit down and get creative. The whiteboard is the perfect support to explain things visually and illustrate ideas on the wall. The electricity plug and WiFi allows you to pump information from the Internet. I realized how rarely I see such places at the companies I visit and wonder how many ideas get lost as a consequence...

This is probably particularly crucial when it comes to more strategic themes and ideas that are relegated to closed meeting rooms. Hasn't everybody of us experienced that the most interesting ideas come in a relaxed atmosphere. So maybe space is an instrument to help design the most innovative and effective business models...

Worth a thought?

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The Architecture of Banking - Visiting Jeffrey Huang's Class at EPFL

Last Friday I was invited to Professor Jeffrey Huang's class on "The Architecture of Banking" to comment on his students' projects at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). The students explored a variety of different types of banks to match them with suitable concepts of space and architecture. I wrote a full blogpost about the projects that ranged from a "private bank in Second Life" all the way to a "peer-to-peer bank" on arvetica's website.

During this event at the EPFL I also used my new Logitech io Personal Digital Pen more consequently for the first time. It allows me to upload the notes I write into a notebook directly to my laptop. Below you see one of the sketches I made during the students' presentation on the Swiss online bank Swissquote. I briefly outlined the dichotomy between online discount brokerages and physical private banks...

I'm definitely going to use this pen more often. It's amazing!

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