The Innovation sandbox, a catalist for a start-up culture

A sandbox is a safe place where kids can play, feel free to explore, take risks and be creative. It is also the virtual space where IT developers test new products and experiment without affecting the normal running of the program. This is exactly how the Innovation Sandbox works.

The Innovation Sandbox has the following key elements:

• 3 to 5-DAY FRAMEWORK – a highly dynamic program in which participants generate, execute, prototype, test, and pitch a range of project ideas entirely within the life-cycle of the 3-5 day program.

• TOOLS – provide structured input on tools within the areas of creativity ; on structuring the ideas and the relative value propositions (including the ‘job to be done’ approach); on giving and receiving feedback; on delivering impactful pitching and on observing and recording clients’ behaviors.

• COACHING – build a new learning paradigm which adapts to any changes which emerge during the process and can accelerate the learning about the innovation process through a pull, coaching approach and the systemic use of ‘killer questions’

Leadership skills are fostered within each Innovation steps

Active listening, creativity, curiosity, trust, teamwork in the Idea Generation phase
Spirit of adventure, drive, trust, teamwork in the Prototyping phase
Flexibility, clarity of thought, resilience and teamwork in the Testing phase
Communication, clarity, flexibility, purpose in the Influencing phase

The participants go through a disruptive innovation experience in which they challenge themselves, get real team experience and learn to thrive as leaders in the context in which they are operating. Two coaches, who are certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) support them in this learning journey ‘only’ with questions and facilitation.

This approach is so innovative because it ‘simply’ provides the participants with a safe environment (the boundaries of the sandbox) in which the learning outcomes can be accelerated but not forced and they can fully experience what innovation means and, in turn, can spread it within the organization.

Here is an example of the approach: InnovationSandboxPlan
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