A Test & Learn Focus

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Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

(Industrial and Technological Benefits Branch, Industry Sector)

The Challenge

a) To integrate the Branch’s new major policy shift into the understanding of all staff;

b) To improve staff team cohesion (after substantial staff changes), through growing a strong purpose and identity; and,

c) It needed to be a fun team day!


A day long workshop for all 50 Branch staff.

The Work

Using the theme of Journeying to make a difference!, we explored the Branch’s Common Purpose, Climate Principles, Identity and how they were making a difference for Canadians.

We interviewed a cross section of the staff (20%), prior to the event to surface team challenges and opportunitiesĀ , integrating these into the themes of the day.

A Novel Approach

A substantially new policy required more than just communicating the vision from above, a major change required a novel approach to help staff integrate the relationships between the team and policy components.

Therefore, we used Innovation Theatre to create an interactive drama where teams played program components. This allowed the relationships between components to be explored and for team members to ask clarifying questions of the “players.” We aimed to create “Aha” moments of understanding.

The fun and humour (teams dressed their players and talked about their component’s Mojo), had a serious purpose to open people to explore and clarify, to find new connections and imagine new opportunities.


a) Team members were able to clarify key components of the policy shift and their roles in it.

b) A new identity was born as team members recognized they were building a climate of Test & Learn.

And yes…they had fun in the process!