Action Potential Lab
This strategic guide was a group effort that came out of OCAD’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Masters of Design. It is intended as a potential pathway to support Action Potential Lab’s growth ambitions. This document featured a great deal of human-centered research and analysis, with a host of useful innovation and organizational frameworks that give insight to framing business and innovation issues.
APL, an after-school and summer camp storefront business with a mission to bring the wonders of art and science to both children and adults, came to us with the challenge of growing their business. Through various engagements — both formal and informal — we were able to see a deeper need of capacity. While growth framed our work and informed our long-term goals, a theme of stress reduction and time efficiency emerged as the preeminent goal of this short-term intervention.
With a focus on unlocking APL’s potential to build their capacity, we engaged in larger team activities that allowed us to understand and test our assumptions, with important insights emerging from each workshop. Prototype sessions allowed us to recognize a foundational cultural need at APL that redirected our focus, allowing us to offer a more relevant recommendation for their business.
In the project, we found that while the potential for APL to expand is significant, we discovered that the growth that they can manage is dependent on the organization’s capacity. We proposed that investing time and resources now to improve APL’s capacity can support future needs of the business, while prioritizing capabilities would strengthen the organization at an enterprise-level.
Working with APL was an illuminating journey. It highlighted for our team the incredible importance of digging deeper in the search for human-centered strategic solutions for organizations. Constructing this guide allowed us to profoundly understand the needs, culture, and expectations of Action Potential Lab. We provided APL with a way forward, providing practical ways for the organization to strengthen its culture and reinforce its values while it positioned the business for future growth. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to work with a gifted group of people that were so passionate about making art and science fun.