The Bain View
Bain & Company is a founding partner in supporting The Mission. To give you an idea of our involvement, here’s an inside perspective on how we support The Mission teams throughout the project. In a typical project cycle, such as the current “Work - Be Next!” project, our work with the teams is focused on three main activities: workshops, expert sessions and deep dives.
At the beginning of each Mission project cycle, we host workshops on topics as diverse as Design Thinking, Agile methods and customer research. These workshops teach the teams valuable new skills and cutting-edge methodologies, which will be essential for their success, especially during the intense early weeks of the project.
The Design Thinking workshop is the main focus of the onboarding week. The teams kick-off the work on their assigned problem by developing an initial problem statement and a persona (an archetypal character created to represent the different user types), amongst other things. They learn how to conduct user research and user testing as well as what is required to develop a prototype. These workshops are always being held on a very personal basis - either face to face or virtually.
From time to time, teams may require additional input from subject matter experts. If so, we can identify the appropriate expert from within the Bain network and connect them with the team for dedicated expert sessions. For example, one team had questions on setting up a matching algorithm as part of their prototype. We connected this team to a Bain expert in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence who had already written matching algorithms as part of our ADAPT-Team. This session, together with many other knowledge-sharing sessions, proved extremely insightful and answered key questions.
However, expert sessions are not just about technical topics. We recently invited two teams to a Bain-internal Brown Bag Lunch hosted by our Social Impact group. The two teams had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and receive direct feedback from sustainability experts. They did a great job and received a fresh outside-in perspective on their solutions. This feedback helped the teams to perfect their presentations before the final pitch and offered them an opportunity to practice their presentation skills.
Every week, we host a 1.5-hour deep dive session with each team. We use these sessions to discuss a range of topics, such as team-internal developments, any complications they encounter and their next steps. We act as their key sparring partners and focus on jointly developing the solutions. Ranging from discussing strategic questions to providing detailed feedback on pitch decks or business models, we tailor the sessions to help and guide the teams most effectively. At the same time, we use this time to share best practices on a range of topics, such as building a sustainable business model.
Collaborating closely with the teams in the weekly sessions is extremely rewarding. The teams are willing to be bold and have the drive to go the extra mile because the problems they are tackling are some of the most pressing sustainability issues that society faces today. Seeing the teams develop their ideas at such a rapid pace is impressive and a testament to the participants’ talent. It will be exciting to see how the teams continue developing their ideas beyond The Mission.
All the best,
The Bain Team