Looking for innovative ideas for your company? Consider hosting a “Sandpit.”
A sandpit is an intense, facilitated workshop that seeks to address a specific challenge. It brings together individuals from a wide range of unrelated disciplines to work in small teams.
Let’s take a team that contains a senior manager, a computer scientist, an architect, a marketer, and an HR person. Each of these individuals has his or her own perspective and a unique range of experiences. Bringing together their different points of view helps to draw a broader picture for the group as a whole.
The ultimate goal of the sandpit is to generate groundbreaking and innovative ideas.
When planning who to invite to the workshop, it is essential to include individuals who can implement the solutions as well as those who will be able to use and benefit from the results. Would you have a meeting to address a community problem without bringing in community members?
Some workshops begin with experts giving presentations about the topic the participants will be exploring. In other cases, the participants engage in a variety of gaming style exercises. This helps them get to know each other and see firsthand the variety of disciplines represented within the group. It also helps them to learn about the ideas or concepts people are playing with or considering.
After the introductory portion of the workshop, the facilitator engages the participants in a variety of creative processes to identify several high-potential areas worthy of exploration. We use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods because it is one of the best tools for multi-stakeholder engagement and alignment. Participants get to choose the topics of interest to them and the people they would like to work with. Teams can self-select or the host may create and assign teams.
After the groups form, team members collaborate and develop a shared understanding. Each member contributes in ways the others cannot. The facilitator ensures everyone has a voice. As a result, you get cutting-edge ideas that would not exist without this cross-disciplinary approach. Each group takes a turn presenting its proposed ideas to the larger group, with the hope their ideas will be selected or used as part of the strategy going forward.
Here is what the City of Surrey had to say about one of our events:
The City of Surrey consistently works to innovate in an effort to best serve our residents in an evolving landscape. Jacquie and Stephen led our team through a Strategic Play problem solving model, which stretched our thinking and perceptions of innovation in ways that we didn’t expect. The outcome was a highly engaged team that felt that they had all contributed to solving sticky problems with tangible outputs that were immediately usable by the City. Not only did the sessions stretch us at a team, they reshaped the way that we approach challenges as a City.
FALINA STACK | ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER??
CITY OF SURREY
If you want to do innovation and not just talk about it, call us today: