An eager group of learners and enthusiasts gathered to A Grid premises on a rainy Monday. Our mission was to learn how to think like unicorns do. Our host for the evening was World of Insights , an Espoo-based company wanting to transform corporate learning. As Timo Karjalainen, Creative Lead states, learning is the core to innovation an and the ability to innovate is the core to success in all industries.

World of Insights works with their customers to bring learning more interactive and away from the traditional classrooms. Companies today want to change the way of learning since they see that the traditional and static way is not bringing results any more, Timo concludes.

Learning is the core to innovation’ – Timo Karjalainen, Creative Lead, World of Insights

So, here we are at A Grid great premises ready to bring out the unicorns. Eliza Hochman, CEO at World of Insights is facilitating the workshop and divides us to groups and we set out to play. The event is fully booked and participants are excited.

Eliza setting the stage for successful innovation.

The Game

The method is very straight forward. In groups we innovated a business idea based on a megatrend that was given to all. After this, the groups were given a certain business model to have as an example. This was combined with an area that the business had to be created in.

Our group unicorn was based on the trend of IoT, following the business model of Spotify and was created to the area of Recycling and Upcycling. And this was only the 15 minutes of the workshop. Through the game, innovation became a controlled process and it was cool to see that in the group with people that were not familiar, we truly were able to create a business model.

This way of innovating is genius. It puts all participants in the same context and everybody can contribute in the same way. Everybody is playing with the same rules and the game takes you forward with your idea.

Our group found it so cool that out of our ideas (half of them though already in the market) something really great came out! – Workshop participant

Harvard Business Review wrote already in 2013 that gamification is very popular inside organizational learning & development. Elements such as fun, play, transparency, competition and design are applied to business innovation. (HBR, 2013.) According to World of Insights, this trend has strengthen tremendously and the many organizations are using games to enforce learning.

The essential skill of pitching

The Unicorn game is also designed to train people in their pitching skills. Also the essential part of getting financing is taken into consideration. When the Unicorn idea and the business model is refined, a pitch needed to be prepared for investors All groups were their investor identity. Through this identity, other pitches were evaluated and the investment decision was made. Having a great innovation is not enough most of the cases, pitching skills and the ability to appeal to the right target audience is at least half the win. Within 1 hour the process from ideation to pitching was ready and the results were amazing!

Happy learners

Stereotypically we Finns are quite and calm people, but this workshop was far from it! There was true passion and desire to win, The results were great and most of all, a lot of laughter, good discussions and new connections made

Another great event it was! Thanks for hosting and inspiration World of Insights! We really enjoyed to learn about new way of learning. I purchased an innovation game and cannot wait to start using it at my work.

Read more about World of Insights and buy the games from here:

Sources used: Harvard Business Review. 2013. How Deloitte made learning a game.

This blog was written by Hanna Lumenkoski, a Future Female network member and a firm believer in learning, challenging oneself (and unicorns). She is a marketing professional working at Canon and an MBA student.

Picture by Ville Juurikkala