As Sport England’s learning partner, we at The Innovation Unit will be working closely with them over the next two years as they shape the role innovation can play as they embark on implementing their new 10-year strategy – and we’re really excited about it.
We are excited by the potential impact of this work and the opportunity to learn.
We’re interested in what impactful innovation in the physical activity sector looks like. How can you build the capabilities of a sector to innovate? And what does the sector need from Sport England to make this happen?
How can we best support the organisation to explore this? And how do we do this really well?
As their learning partner, we’ll be working closely as they start to shape their innovation role, ensuring active learning and growth.
We’ll work through a process that’s designed to be opportunistic and collaborative, to feel varied and reflective and to lead to clarity and action.
We’ll be acting as a curious and nosy friend, one that helps hold a mirror up to themselves and gather the messier human learnings that an evaluation might miss.
While we’ve only recently started this journey, we wanted to share some of what we’re beginning to learn about these questions and what we’re learning about the process of learning.
Innovation is many things and acknowledging and naming how it can vary, gives us confidence.
So far, we’ve completed three sprints – week-long focused learning activities – but we’ve already learnt so much about innovation at Sport England.
The first sprint explored what innovation looks like here.
By supporting them to identify and articulate innovation, we’ve seen that innovation isn’t this scary or obscure thing, it's something many people working across the organisation do every day through small, but significant, changes in the way they think and work.
It can also vary immensely, from innovative ideas and partnerships to changes in organisational processes.