Applying Ferran Adrià’s creative audit to sports
26 Feb 2019   ·   

Is it possible to innovate or come up with new ideas in the sports industry using the chef’s technique? How can we adapt these insights to our process? What have we learned?

It’s not quick, it’s not easy, but it can help us understand where we are coming from, where we are, and where we want to be in terms of new products, services, processes and business model developments.

This November, Barça Innovation Hub has been studied and analyzed in the fourth edition of the Creativity for Business Innovation Challenge (C4Bi). A student competition conceived by Esade, using Ferran Adrià’s creative audit process; the tool used by the chef and his team to evaluate and classify innovative processes at his world-renowned restaurant, elBulli.

We’ve asked to different teams of students from MIT, Oxford, ESADE, the Copenhagen Business School and Aalto University, to come up with innovative proposals in regards to our seven knowledge areas using his tool.

The students visited elBulliFoundation, where Ferran Adrià explained the creative process and how this can be applied to other organizations to raise the bar and innovate, highlighting the following:

  1. The importance to evaluate the internal organizational elements and the external competition, which affect the creative approach a business uses to innovate.
  2. A creative system can be determined taking in mind its creative team, culture, resources and process. All of them interact and create different synergies which result creating a new influx for innovation.
  3. These creative systems can be measured by its efficiency, setting goals aligned to a timeline. In the long run, this allows the organization to adapt to the different needs a project might require.
  4. Finally, a profile can be obtained from the previous steps which allows the organization understand and classify itself as well as comparing itself to its competition. Further iteration of this process allows to improve the performance and therefore the results.

Ferran Adrià believes that innovation does not only relate to a product or service, it goes beyond. In his analysis, it is key to innovate by being efficient in all steps of the process; understanding the needs of each department, controlling what goes on and the budget assigned. Most importantly, he reinforced the idea of team work and collaboration by explaining to the students that “I do not have a team, we are a team”.

Throughout this collaboration we’ve seen a few similarities between both initiatives, LABulligrafía and Barça Innovation Hub. Ferran closed the doors of his restaurant to start a new venture and fulfill his vision of sharing all the knowledge accumulated, to help understand our food history and cuisine, and how it bonds with other fields like the art world. Opening up and sharing for investigation more than 150.000 documents and objects related to elBulli, can help others understand where his cuisine comes from and empower them to innovate and discover new roads.

Our goal as Ferran’s project, is to showcase and share the science behind the projects we have been involved, to collectively take the sports industry one step forward. We want different organizations, teams, sports scientists and professionals to come together and participate in new projects which can not only benefit teams or the industry but society in the long run.

Following this vision, the winning team presented their idea of creating a new business application through the use of professional athlete data, which could enhance the experience of a fan or an amateur athlete to perform better in his training.

The knowledge, experience and learnings acquired in this process, are key drivers for the team to keep on pushing forward. In this path, we see ourselves as enablers connecting the dots to advance in the passion we all share, sports.

The Barça Innovation Hub team


Building the future of the sports industry