It was a warm start as 70 colleagues from all over UK&I squeezed in meeting room. Anticipation was in the air as the colleagues aid their awkward hellos and waited for the day to begin. They speculated about what the next two days might bring. What’s a Hackathon? Do we need to be good at IT? Is it like that bit in The Social Network when Mark Zuckerberg makes them do shots while writing code? (it’s not)
All the myths were debunked pretty quickly by Richard Sofer during his introduction. They wouldn’t be writing code or developing software, they’d be using ideation sessions to quickly come up with lots of ideas, which they’d then filter down to come up with their one winning idea.
To prepare them for this challenge, the first morning was spent learning about TUI´s strategy and the current trends.
Then they split up in to 12 teams of around six. These teams would work together to come up with as many different ideas as possible. To prompt their thinking, every 45 minutes they were given a new theme to consider: new way to sell or present an existing product, trends and consumer behaviour, customer pain points, new projects and ideas, blue sky thinking.
At the end of the first day, there was barely a centimetre of wall space that wasn’t covered by a post-it note. Each team picked their favourite idea from the day to develop and present to the “Dragons“, a jury of senior managers from across the TUI UK and Ireland business.