Unexpected Insights: What Can We Learn From Marble Run?

We recently hosted a sprint bringing together multiple organisations who had the opportunity to create something bigger and better than they might do alone. To find a common ground and positively impact the employment prospects of young people in Nottingham.

That’s a lot of different people. A lot of different cultures, sectors, resource capacities, and budgets. So how do you help a group like this collaborate creatively? You play marble run.

Because marble run helps you to understand what being a part of something is all about.

We gave everyone two pieces, and provided the challenge to create a run that suspends the marble in the air for as long as possible.

Here’s what we learnt about being a part of something.

1) Make sure to understand your start point. What are your resources, what do you already know, where are you heading?

2) Let go of your ego. Your idea may not be the best idea.

3) Have an in-it-together attitude.

4) Make mistakes by building in rapid learning cycles.

5) Prototype, learn, repeat. This one ties in nicely with another of our creative mindsets — Be a Maker.

6) Keep it simple. By prioritising, you can apply all of your ideas at the same time, straight away. Sometimes you’ll get this right, and sometimes you won’t (see point 4).

7) Be inclusive. Listen to each other — both the introverts and the extroverts.

8) Three key phrases: “yes and”, “how might we”, “what if”. Use these to build, nurture, sharpen the ideas of those around you.

And finally…

Whether you’re building a marble run or not, working collaboratively should be enjoyable. If it’s not — ask why.

If you’re in need of fresh insight — to get you closer to your customers, to create better solutions and products, or to improve employee engagement- then why not come along to one of our ‘Insight in a Day’ workshops. We’ll be providing you with practical tools and the knowledge to innovate by exploring beyond the obvious.

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