Chapter 8 case study 1: Royal Opera House

Opening the doors at the Royal Opera House

(watch the video: http://vimeo.com/77413234)

Team working on Royal Opera House project at Fluxx

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an iconic building at the heart of London’s world-famous Theatreland. Home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, the ROH is constantly seeking to engage more people in opera and ballet, and must also find new ways to raise revenue to support its ongoing activities.

As part of a Fluxx Rapid Start event, we worked with the ROH to see if we could generate two marketable propositions in just two days. What was unique about this challenge was that at the end of the 48-hour period, the team had to present their findings to a 100-strong invited audience at a venue in central London. Some people call this ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ as it truly was a statement of confidence that the format would deliver results! No matter how many Rapid Starts we had run before, the extra pressure of such a major set-piece ending certainly proved a little scary to us and very motivational to the participants as, with an element of theatre, we revealed the fact just six hours before.

In order to maximise the time to work on the propositions, the teams had to settle on the ideas they would pursue in the first hour of the first day. Interestingly, neither team started out with an entirely new idea, although both were ideas which — in one form or another — had been floating around inside the ROH for several years (see ‘Brain Crack’, above), but had never been turned into fully fleshed-out propositions. The aim of the next two days, therefore, was not to generate more ideas but rather to convert well- liked ideas into action.

During the two days, the teams iterated business models, created live prototypes, generated customer feedback, examined the technical feasibility and cost of the services and honed their pitches. They delivered pitches on two ideas: one focusing on new commercial partnerships and revenue streams for an opera experience at home; and the other on developing a subscription app service for ballet-led fitness.

It turned out that one of the senior directors of the ROH had a team working on a similar idea already. At the end of the 48 hours he said that more had been achieved in the two days than his team had achieved in the previous twelve months. At Fluxx, we hear comments like these over and over again after these kinds of belief- building exercises.