November 16, 2023

2024 Growth Hacks: How to Supercharge Your Business with the Innovation Sprints

Shaye Pumar 🇦🇺🇹🇭
2024 Growth Hacks: How to Supercharge Your Business with the Innovation Sprints

Returning to work after the start of the new year can feel like a reality check post-celebrations. However, this can also present an exciting opportunity for new refreshing ideas and planning for a year ahead for your team.

“You want to make sure you are building the products and features that people actually want, rather than a new shiny thing”, Shirley Pham, Product and Experience Lead at HEX. “When we run an innovation sprint, we can take the time to look at the feedback we’re getting and then put that into a challenge to our team to develop the next action plans with a solution in a timeline.”

Let’s delve into what an Innovation Sprint entails, its practical aspects, and the growing trend among organisations to invest resources in such endeavours.

What is an Innovation Sprint?

An Innovation Sprint involves dedicating a specific timeframe, ranging from days to weeks, to explore technologies or ideas. Unlike traditional approaches, there's no rigid blueprint, and the focus isn't necessarily on producing a prototype. The primary goal is to expand the company's knowledge and add value. The structure and end goal can vary, but it often involves:

  • Identifying areas of interest for the business or launching a new idea.
  • Collaborating with the cohort to achieve specific goals in a set timeframe.
  • Presenting findings or pitch to the cohort and business on the final day.
Present your idea in front your cohort and investors

How Does it Work in Practice?

For those familiar with Agile or SCRUM, the parallels are evident— an Innovation Sprint progresses much like a development sprint. The process includes selecting the ideas and joining diverse teams with mentor leaders. Daily check-ins, addressing challenges, and adapting goals ensure a rapid project lifecycle. The cross-functional nature of teams fosters communication and collaboration, providing a unique opportunity for knowledge transfer and team-building.

To enhance the experience, you will want to add workshops that help accelerate and direct the project to its final goal of the sprint – whether it's launching a new startup or ideas.

Why Do Companies Embrace Innovation Sprints?

You might think this isn’t the best way to maximise billable hours for your team for a company, and the concept of an Innovation Sprint might seem foreign. Yet, these sprints offer several key benefits:

  • Learning and Development Substitute: Instead of sending your team off to a day conference that could rev up over thousands of dollars, with minimal impact on implementation – Innovation Sprint guarantee a tangible next action and results.
  • Idea Generation and Investigation: Serving as a breeding ground for ideas, Innovation Sprints allow for rapid exploration and data collection on multiple concepts.
  • Increased Engagement and Buy-In: The dynamic and flexible nature of Innovation Sprints makes them enjoyable, engaging employees, unleashing untapped potential and showcasing their values in an impact manner.

What Can Come From It?

The substantial outcomes of an Innovation Sprint are evident in the projects developed during the event. However, the intangible benefits contribute significantly to a company's success:

  • Networking Opportunity: Working with people from different areas enhances efficiency, communication, and understanding of diverse roles.
  • Up-skilling: Participants gain opportunities to learn new skills, whether project-specific or for personal development, fostering a sense of responsibility and progress.
  • Development, Prototypes, and Brand Alignment: Your team can focus on projects aligned with market needs, resulting in prototypes and demos for showcasing to the public,  investors or board members.
  • Knowledge: The challenges faced during an Innovation Sprint yield valuable insights that enhance a company's knowledge base, facilitating more accurate project planning in the future.

What Can Go Wrong?

Contrary to the question posed, there's a positive spin — Innovation Sprints provide invaluable information, even if projects don't meet predefined goals. These insights can uncover issues related to the product, communication, time constraints, or skill gaps, enabling continuous improvement.

Want to have a go?

This is why we’re inviting anyone who wants to accelerate the next move to join the HEX Innovation Sprint — an intensive five-day event akin to a hackathon in Melbourne. The aim is to push the limits of your company's knowledge.

Join the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit group of people ready to sprint their ideas into reality and put their ideas in front of visionary leaders. Break free from creative hibernation and make 2024 the year of action.

Two cohorts in 2024 are:

  • Summer Sprint: Monday 12 - Friday 16, February 2024
  • Spring Sprint: Monday 16 - Friday 29, September 2024

Learn more about the program and apply for your spot here.

In Conclusion

Embracing Innovation Sprints empowers and enthuses employees by offering a space for experimentation. Investing in these events not only strengthens the connection between employees and the company but also aligns them with the organisation's direction. Igniting passion and curiosity during Innovation Sprints pays dividends in future projects and contributes to maintaining a happy and motivated team.

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