Today we can talk about it. Now that the lockdown is behind us we can tell you how we In Sprint used the knowledge we offer to our clients to get out of the abyss into which COVID had made us fall. This is our story, but it is also the story of what we can offer our customers to face the futures, futures characterized by uncertainty, of course, but by the presence of great opportunities
In Sprint was born in 2019 and the whole year was scaling up. We have grown double-digit every month. Only in January and February 2020, we had already made 40% of the turnover of 2019 and the orders were such as to make us think of a 3 figures annual growth. Happy and satisfied, but always ready. We hadn’t even known that the chasm was around the corner. Our structural choice was to believe in the value we bring to our clients, our “WHY” (the Sinek Why) To help our customers to succeed in autonomy. This is why our offer was (and remains) that of workshops. Because only in a workshop it is possible to guarantee:
- Depth of solutions (thanks to unlocking the potential of all participants)
- Confidence in the solutions (thanks to the development of creativity and empathy in the participants)
- The commitment of all participants (commitment, thanks to the fact that the solution emerges from the participants and everyone feels it)
- Diffusion speed in solutions implementation (thanks to the alignment, to the mindset aimed at improvement in each of the participants)
- Effectiveness in the solutions, because the results of the workshop are executed from below when the boss is not there (because the participants got ownership of results, and they are aligned on direction, because the dialogue in the team is simple and natural, focused on the outcomes ).
In sum, on the 22nd we would have closed a two-month period of success and great prospects with an international workshop in Milan with guests from Holland and participants from all over the north.
However, on the 21st the Codogno case broke out. The collective hysteria linked to the event is immediately tangible. At that moment we immediately understood that everything would change. For us, of course, but also for the rest of the economy.
The following week we left for our Design Sprint certification bootcamp in Dubai, knowing that that could have been our last turnover. From 3-digit potential growth to the brink of orders and turnover 0.
Dubai, however, helped us, not only for the extra turnover, very precious at that time, but for allowing us to see ourselves from the outside, not overwhelmed by a story of fear that was Italy in that end of February. It gave us hours in which to reflect and think about how to bring value in a completely changed context. It gave us the serenity to use memory and to execute for ourselves a series of exercises that we normally facilitated for our clients.
Daisy lab and scenario planning, seasoned with the use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® for a 3D reasoning. This made us focus on our value: the workshop. We have dissected the elements that allowed the creation of value and the emergence of solutions even in the context of remote action. Of course, it helped us to have recently delivered a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop on smart working, to have delivered interactive workshops since 2014 using a tool unknown to most such as Mural and our strong digital competence. Always keeping in mind how we in In Sprint consider the organizations (our customers): with a perspective as social systems, contrasting the today still-dominant mechanical perspective on organizations. The former deals with people and their interactions, while the latter deals with structures, processes and efficiency.
In less than a week we have built an offer of remote interactive workshops, different from the physical ones, with peculiar characteristics and in any case such as to be a source of offer that would be maintained even after the end of the lockdown. We built it our way: with a quick and dirty remote sprint design (and here it helped us that we both participated in all editions of the Global Virtual Design Sprint as facilitators, observers and participants), with the development of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product, in Lean Startup style) to be refined over the course of the various implementations accompanied by a Real-Time strategy (as used with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®) for marketing and commercial development.
Between March and June, we did over 50 interactive workshops, building a community of over 800 people. We have involved and shared our discoveries with many colleagues, we have hosted some of them to help them take off in this new segment (community of peers is how we implement another Simple Guiding Principle: building cathedral). We have extended our public offer to the corporate world, offering interactive workshops instead of the usual webinars. We have built partnerships some of which have become structural, like Trivium International in the Strategic Play sector, and Ad Hoc in the international development of our customers.
Today, therefore, we can offer our customers not only methods and solutions widely referenced and supported by a large literature, but above all our direct experience of how effective are the combinations of workshops, remote or live, based on these methods.
Leaders who engage with us can always count on innovative methods and effective paths to acquire an innovation-oriented mindset. Our interventions are aimed at ensuring that leaderships are able to carry out innovation autonomously and produce: an effective solution that leaders feel their own (because it emerges directly from them in the workshop); the growth of internal skills (individual and organizational) to be able to continue innovating within the organization. In addition to the innovative methods, whoever hires us can benefit from our experience gained over the years and gain in extensive applications of the methods adopted. Whether it’s quickly validating a development choice (using Design sprint) or co-creating a real-time strategy to be pursued with simple guiding principles (with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®) or a continuous innovation process (with Design Thinking and Lean Startup), we have already applied the methods and a combination of them in similar contexts several times and with success.
In short, we have dispelled the myth that shoemaker’s son goes barefoot, we have worked to make our shoes speak for us!
In detail, In Sprint’s offer covers both sides of the coin to face this moment so characterized by uncertainty and the need to leverage people’s talents. On the one hand, with PLAY AHEAD (with Trivium), the governance group can build the tools, strategies and strategic updating team to govern the company in such an uncertain and highly innovative context in relationships. On the other hand, with BUSINESS AGILITY it is possible to unleash the potential of people in teams through a real change of mindset to achieve not only results, but above all customer outcomes, or as changes in the way our customers operate for theirs. needs having purchased our products.
The offer of workshops is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness in navigating a complex world, operating on the governing group and executive teams. On the former to obtain effective and shared strategies to be disseminated throughout the organization on the latter to obtain a change of mindset focused on results. The sequence of workshops responds to the dual need to generate strategies (top down, with the governing group and leaders as participants) and bottom-up ensuring structure and results for the executive teams.
On the former, the results are significant because they make it possible to govern in a highly uncertain world by anticipating (playAhead) the response strategies and therefore preceding the (reactive) competition. The latter guarantee the effectiveness of outcome-driven work typical of smart working, with:
- Focus on results and not on the process
- Leave the decision where there is information (Intent leadership)
- Ensure autonomy and empower people who work in multi-skilled and distributed teams (Purpose-driven Engagement)
Pics: courtesy of Sakis Lalas www.sakislalas.com