Collecting in-depth feedback from customers

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How the General communications regulator for Ireland collected in-depth feedback about the impact of the postal market liberalisation on customers.

Situation


Comreg is the general Communications regulator for Ireland, covering almost all possible types of communications. In this capacity, it acts as the National Regulatory Authority for the Postal Sector in Ireland. John Hearn, Comreg’s Manager for Postal Liberalisation initially conducted a series of “physical” conferences to collect feedback about the impact of the postal market liberalisation.
He wanted however to collect additional insights to fully understand what benefits might be expected for all types of customers of postal services in Ireland, after the full opening of the Irish postal market due by the end of 2010.

Approach


Synthetron solution was used to engage both the service providers and the representatives of customers in a different way through a single cyber-discussion.
The script for the online debate on “Understanding and ensuring the benefits to all consumers from a competitive postal market” was developed by Paul R. Kleindorfer, Distinguished Research Professor, INSEAD, an expert in the field of postal deregulation. Prof. Kleindorfer also facilitated the debate among the conference participants and wrote the report documenting on the outcome of the Synthetron session.

Results


Synthetron enabled to collect feedback in a very efficient way. Indeed, holding a conventional type of meeting is time consuming for both Comreg and the participants. The need to spend at least half a day at such symposium, plus the travelling time inevitably restricts the participation of many stakeholders; especially those who live some distance from the venue.
Also, the Synthetron dialogues ensured that every participant got the opportunity to make his/her point.

Engaging experts at EU level

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How the EU’s Research & Innovation DG used Synthetron online dialogues to consult and engage experts across Europe in the development of a EU policy framework on biodiversity.

Situation


To inform the EU policy framework on biodiversity, the European Union’s Research and Innovation DG, in cooperation with the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) wished to mobilize knowledge holders and providers, policy makers, performers and market players, users and society in general – local, regional, national, European and global level to participate in a multi-player consultation.

Approach


4 Synthetron online crowdsourcing sessions were held with experts in Biodiversity throughout Europe on the following topics “improved risk management and resilience”, “restoration of degraded ecosystems”, “climate change adaptation and mitigation” and “sustainable urbanization“.

Results


The outcome of the Synthetron sessions contributed to the development of a comprehensive EU policy framework on biodiversity for research and innovation to solutions.

Learning about Germany’s foreign policy perception

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How the German Foreign ministry used Synthetron to learn about Germany’s foreign policy perception in a new and modern way.

Situation


Back in November 2013 German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched a “What goes wrong?” reflection on Germany’s foreign policy to consider what needs to be changed as part of its 2014 review process.

Approach


Synthetron came into play when external expertise had to be complemented by internal knowledge of both the central staff in Berlin and their colleagues in embassies around the world.
Starting at the beginning of November 2014 we ran four 75 minute debates, each reflecting on different aspects of cultural and procedural issues – three in an overall context and one especially focused on ways how to handle European policy aspects in the light of the newly established European External Action Service. Around 350 participants exchanged nearly 3,250 ideas.
The analytical work was done in four steps:

  • An immediate response converting significant raw data from each debate into a readable layout
  • An in-depth analysis for each the 3 debates focusing on culture, creativity and organisation
  • An additional analysis on European Policy issues
  • An analysis of attitudes shown via language patterns.

Results


We reported back on the following:

  • What participants expect as an appropriate internal culture and how they would react to it (shown as well in segments differing between central and embassy staff)
  • Top actions required to achieve the aspired culture
  • Which parameters need to be reflected in the course of achieving progress
  • What suitable communication could help to bridge gaps in a consistent way.

The Synthetron online debates were an important integrative element amongst the various formats of people involvement in the “Review2014” Process.

Within the IT-architecture of the Foreign Office, the crowdsourcing approach offered a new, modern approach from which we learned a lot.
The Synthetron online debates were an important integrative element amongst the various formats of people involvement in the “Review2014” Process. It was only with the assistance of this methodology that we could offer the chance to take part in the process to colleagues from all over the world in a very short time. The technical potential of your product as well as the manifold options for evaluating the data were a big gain for us. We were also impressed by the quick analysis of the underlying patterns of the participants on the basis of the structure of the language they used.
I realised that an efficient cooperation between your specialists and my team is indispensable in order to coordinate the Synthetron expertise with the knowledge of the processes and specials of the Foreign Office and to make use of them in a most efficient way. This was a success.”
Dr. Thomas Bagger, former head of Planning Staff (now head of department of external affairs in the office of the German President) – Foreign Office Germany, Berlin

read the article about this project in the Economist

Engaging high level experts

How a large consulting company engaged high level experts using Synthetron online dialogues.

Situation


A large private sector management consultancy wanted to develop knowledge and expertise around the treatment for depression.

Approach


McKinsey & Company commissioned a synthetron session where a high-level panel of more than twenty academics from Harvard, Yale and Oxford discussed issues around the treatment for depression.

Synthetron and the internal pharma project team jointly developed questions about treatment pathways, how to address challenges and how to formulate effective answers to improve care in depression.

Results


Engaging participants for more than an hour, the moderators collected around 500 statements of substance. Nearly 21% of those achieved a collaborative support. From the instant report at the end of the debate participants learned immediately about their level of consensus on major issues.

McKinsey partner Dr. Jorge Santos da Silva was quick to congratulate the team – not only for careful preparation but also for the momentum achieved in this highly interactive format.
To inform experts around the world about insights from the panel, McKinsey published an in-depth research paper on the topics.

Engaging journalists on hot topics

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How a multinational oil company engaged journalists on hot topics using synthetron online dialogues

Situation


A multinational oil company wished to work more openly with journalists on their issues and objectives.

Approach


They ran a quarterly Synthetron online dialogue session on key topics of the time such as sustainability, community development, globalisation.

Results


Because the session were online, they could be attended by more journalists more easily than a live event. The methodology enabled lively and inclusive debate – no voice could dominate.
The sessions led to clear and unequivocal conclusions, with quantified qualitative input that provided guidance for decision makers and material for external communications.