Use This Simple Exercise To Foster An Innovation Culture


Sig VanDamme, Founder

My 13 year old son plays on a hockey team that does a postgame exercise called Windows and Mirrors.

After a win each player is asked what his window for the game is.  He identifies another player on the team that helped them to win. Some examples:

  • “Travis had some great shots”
  • “Grayson made some big saves”
  • “Reed did a great job fore-checking”

After a loss each player is asked what his mirror for the game is.  He identifies what he personally could have done better.  Some examples:

  • “I could have back-checked harder”
  • “I could have been smarter about my shot selection”
  • “I should have looked up before passing the puck”

The coach’s son played professional hockey within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and they used this exercise. The coach told me that his son considered it an honor to be mentioned in another player’s window and would call him whenever it happened.

At NimbleUser one of our core values is to ‘Be Humble’.  This is deep on many levels including:

  • Recognition that nothing great is ever done alone.  Our engineering team can build the best and most innovative association software in the world but if our sales team does not sell it or our implementation team does not implement it correctly we will not be successful.
  • Recognition that a foundation of innovation is failure.  Every great innovation is built in large part by what was learned in the failures that came beforehand.

    Three Apollo 1 astronauts were killed in a launchpad fire before man made it to the moon two years later in Apollo 11.  We need to be humble enough to accept that we will have failures (learning opportunities) on the path to innovation.

If we succeed it is a team effort.  If we fail each of us likely had a hand in it.  
The team will be much more innovative and successful if every member of a team has this recognition of the importance of humility.  ​

Try Windows and Mirrors to Ignite Innovation!

So… after your next project – try Windows and Mirrors to foster a culture of humility and innovation within your organization.  Leave me a comment as to how it went.

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