Second Life as an innovation platform
We decided to use Second Life for several reasons. First, the team we were working with is highly distributed and it is difficult to get them in one place, face to face, with any regularity. Second, we felt that the team needed a "jolt" to the way they worked. Becoming an avatar in a virtual world forced them to think and behave differently, which spawned many more ideas, and I think more radical ideas. Third, we could quickly build or prototype any experience or interaction that we wanted to test, often literally changing the landscape or interactions on the fly. Finally, we had a chance to role play the customer to see interactions and experiences from their perspective, which was like gathering ethnographic data.
Coming into the work I felt that our client would be forced to think differently, confronted with a virtual world, which might open up new ideas. The results went much further than that - we recognized what a powerful platform a virtual world can be for innovation and innovative teams. The distributed team could meet quickly and easily without traveling, could explore situations together in a world tailored to their needs and could examine problems and opportunities and actually test them in real time.
Check out our article at InnovationManagement and think about the power that virtual worlds can offer as an innovation platform. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about what we did and how we can replicate the experience for your team.