Master Thesis

Hi everyone,

Many of you have seen my most recent Instagram and Facebook stories about writing my Master Thesis and I’ve received a lot of questions, so I figured I would explain here. 😊

I’m doing a Master’s in Science in Business Administration with a focus on Strategy and Management in International Organizations. I started this degree in August 2016 at Linköping University here in Sweden, and no haha, the program is not in Swedish. All classes, lectures and hand-ins are in English.

Currently I am a little less than a month away from graduation, which I am very excited about. Unfortunately, until then, there is lots of work to be completed. Actually, Friday the 25th we’re submitting our Master Thesis and a week later we will have the defense. A master thesis in Sweden is always written in pairs with a couple of exceptions where a thesis would be written alone or in our case in a group of 3 people.

In November, we found a company that would be interesting to study, Saab AB. Saab is a Swedish aerospace and defense company that operates with very long product development times and even longer product lifespan, yet they have to be highly innovative. These specific characteristics are seen in other industries than the aerospace and defense industry and therefore, our research could potentially be relevant to other companies and industries than just Saab. Most importantly, it will contribute to current theory.

Since the beginning of our research within Saab, we focused on decision making and innovation. Within innovation, we focused on exploration and exploitation, where we came across the term “organizational ambidexterity”. Ambidexterity is explained by doing something with two hands and not just with your right or left hand. In context, that would be to create innovation while at the same time focus on the here and now. Within organizational ambidexterity, there are 3 different forms, contextual, sequential and structural.

After the Olympics, we started conducting our interviews at Saab and shortly after started analyzing them. In the interviews, it became very evident that we had found a gap in theory about which we’re currently writing about.

Our research question by the way is the following: How does sequential and contextual ambidexterity influence decision making within an organization?

4 Chapters are entirely done, but chapter 5 (discussion) and 6 (conclusion) still need a lot of work. So this is pretty much it. Not much time left but still lots of work.

I guess, I better get back to work then… 😊 Let me know if you have any further questions!

Xo

Florence

 

Presentation Day

After lots of prototyping and testing yesterday, we sat down today and analyzed the tests and concluded with the fact that all our prototypes and tests have failed and that we were still missing a real problem.

Good thing that failure is encouraged in this course/project, as long as we take valuable lessons away from it. This is exactly what we have done. This week, we’ve learned a lot about how to work with each other, or not to work with each other. Create a team dynamic that we can take with once we’re back in Sweden and have 9 hour time difference again. 

The morning therefore went by really quick and we were ready for our presentation in the afternoon. The presentation itself went really well and we received some important input from the teaching team. Once the presentation was over, we discussed a quick game plan on how to tackle the next mission and decided to wrap it up. 

In the evening all ME310ers met again at the loft for a SUDS dinner. The last dinner before heading back to Linköping! 

We spent an incredible interesting time here at Stanford University with lots of new experiences. The Stanford team will come to Sweden in March for a week to work with us, before we go back to Stanford in June for the final presentation! 

Xo

Florence

Stanford University Loft

Today was all about finishing up our first challenge as an entire group, a critical experience prototype. 

Since we’re looking into rescues in difficult to reach terrain, we came up with a bunch of problems that could come up or improvements for current procedures. 

One big problem we identified was communication devices among rescuers but also the quantitative and qualitative communicaton between each other. These problems were derived from interviews and observations in rescue missions. 

Based on these observations, we came up with a prototype to automate commands while doing a ground search and rescue around Stanford University campus. The testing was a complete fail and the result was the exact opposite of what we expected. 

After the testing, we made our way back to the loft and analyzed the challenge again and came up with 2 more scenarios. One scenario was to train the rescuers eyes and another one was to find a victim in a dark room (burning fire) with a map. Both tests were yet again fails. 

After those fails, we decided to call it a day and go to cheesecake factory for dinner before heading home. 

Tomorrow is another day to prototype and test and hopefully succeed! 🙂

Xo

Florence

Stanford University D.School

It was a long day, it was a very long day! 🙂

We met the Stanford team at the d.school at 9:30am and left the building shortly before 9pm again! 

What did we do for this long? Basically brainstorming user needs and creating questions that are relevant in the need space. The discussions were very interesting and intense, so time passed very fast until 4pm. Around that time we started to get really powered out, but still had so much left to do that we just kept going and going and going until the power was fully out around 9pm. 

It’s difficult to work such long days but at the same time it is very important for us as we’re only now being in the same timezone. Once we fly home it’ll be a lot more difficult again with 9hrs time difference, so this is time here should be high quality time. Not only for school work, but also about getting to know your new teammates and how they work.

Additionally, we have to present a critical experience prototype on Tuesday where we still have to do testing and analysis and so forth. 

Overall, great day, great experience! I’m looking forward to some more! 🙂 

Xo 

Florence

Paper Bike Challenge

Finally, it was the day of the paper bike challenge! Every year during the kick-off, each team is competing with their previously built paper bike against each other! 

Approximately a month ago we were given the instructions for this challenge and started designing and building it. The instructions were simple, it had to be built out of paper and cardboard, except for 500g non-paper material was allowed. Additionally there was a size limit as well, as everyone had to fly it to San Francisco… and that was pretty much it for instractions! 🙂

We started brainstorming and prototyping and bulding right away until today, the day of the race! 

We decided to have a fully Swedish bike and would wear our university overalls. I might be a bit bias but I think we were the best looking team! 🙂

The race was so much fun, we started around 11am and raced until 4pm. It was though, as we had to go over obstacles and ramps and run (or rather sprint) over longer distances! 

Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the final, but our bike was a huge success. It was holding all the way, with rain and waterballon attacts and so on until we than had to deconstruct it and throw it in the garbage at the end of the day. 

The night ended with a SUDS at a stakehouse before heading back home exhausted.
Xo

Florence

The Challenge

Today we met our Stanford group for the first time and had the official kick-off for the ME310 at Stanford University d-school. 

Our challenge that was given to us a bit over a week ago was a to invent a product or a solution for rescues in difficult to reach terrain! 

We started with interviewing pilots, police, firefighters and victims of earthquakes and so forth. Through that we were able to identify needs. Further we did some benchmarking on what’s already out there and so on. 

The last step was to create a persona. So as of right now, our persona is Patrick, a rescuer! More to follow! 🙂 

Also we had a Pecha kucha presentation to all the ME310ers, where we had to present ourselves through 6 slides where we had 10 sec for each slide. It was a fun experience! 🙂

Up next is Paper Bike Challenge, so stay tuned! 

Xo

Florence

Travel Day – Check! 

4:15am yesterday was the start of a long journay to San Francisco! 

We took the first flight out of Linköping at 6am to fly to Amsterdam! We were tired but super excited! The trip to Amsterdam went well and smooth, followed by a rather quick layover in Amsterdam we boarded our KLM flight to San Francisco! 

It was a 10 hour flight, which passed rather quick with watching several movies and doozing off now and then! After landing and clearing customs we went off to get our rental cars and drove to Los Altos Hills, where we have our Airbnb. 

After a delicous dinner at Los Altos Grill, we drove to the Twin Peaks in San Francisco to get a nice view of the city by night! 


At 10pm local time, we came back home and completely exhausted crashed the beds! 

Stay tuned for the next days! 

Xo

Florence

ME310 – SAAB – Stanford University

Hi everyone,

With hockey season in full drive and everything going so well, I am happy to share another success story in terms of university for me.

At Linköping University and many more global universities, there is a design thinking course. This course is an 8 month course, where 2 university team up and create a group of 4 persons/university and add a sponsor company. The universities are then given a challenge from the sponsor company and work on this challenge for the 8 months applying design thinking methods. The end result is to invent a new product or service for the sponsor company that solves their challenge.

There is two networks, the ME310 network, which Stanford University in the USA has a bunch of teams that team up with other global universities. Then there is the Sugar Network, where any worldwide university can partner up with each other on a project.

Linköping University was to place two teams, one in the ME310 and one in the Sugar Network. Due to limited number of places in these groups, students had to internally apply for these projects and where then asked to an assessment. This application process started in May last year and lasted up until end of September.

Luckily I was selected as one of the participants for these projects among 7 other people. We then had another short assessment, where the teaching team was able to work out the group dynamics and who to put with who into the 2 different projects.

The ME310 project this year is with SAAB and the Sugar Network project is with BASAF and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). My wish from the very beginning was to be in the SAAB project and my wish came true!!! 🙂

The course officially started last Monday, but inofficially it started a month ago with the first challenge, to create a paper vehicule, with which we will compete in Palo Alto this week.

With that being said, the kick off for all these projects is taking place in Palo Alto at Stanford University for the ME310 projects and Santa Clara for the Sugar Network, and this is where I’m going to right now!

Stay tuned to follow more of my journey!

xo

Florence