The Leverage Lab

Ever imagined what could be possible when you put a group of progressive values-led businesses in one room and facilitated a conversation about how to work together to tackle common problems?

Businesses are hungry to understand the risks and opportunities associated with any upcoming policy changes. The Leverage Lab provides an effective methodology for them to explore collectively how they can assist the City in reaching its goals and how they might mitigate any risks associated with upcoming policy changes. We believe that an upfront investment in this proactive approach will lead to less spending down the road on fines and reactive tactics.

Methodology:

Each Leverage Lab is formed around a unique industry challenge. Each Lab invites five to seven businesses per year, to meet once a month for a half-day facilitated workshop. Each half day workshop is catered to the individual Lab challenges and contains the following three common components:

  • Peer mentorship and best practice sharing with other like-minded businesses
  • Sustainability, Innovation and Collective Impact education
  • Facilitated rapid prototyping to develop practical solutions to their common challenges

What sets the Leverage Lab process apart?

Its dedicated facilitator whose role it is to:

  • maintain momentum within each Lab from month to month
  • generate common language around shared problems
  • develop safe spaces with established ground rules
  • set an intention to solve common problems over the nine month duration
  • hold the group accountable to their shared tasks and commitments

Each business is required to commit to the entire nine month process allowing the solutions to evolve over time. This recipe has been adopted from the principles of the Lean Startup methodology which allows for the group to endure trial and error over time to achieve successful tangible outcomes. Typically over the span of nine months, a single Lab generates at minimum three to four solution prototypes to the group’s shared challenges, and with each iteration the solutions become more more defined and more effective.

Once a lab has completed their nine month cycle, they are brought together with our community partners to share lessons learned, gather feedback, and celebrate their successes. Mirroring our methodology, we also take an experimentation, iterate, repeat approach to continuously improving our program. Therefore this feedback will then be assimilated into the development of the next Lab.

What participants are saying?

“Organizations need venues for collaboration. And to avoid redundancy or overlap. Focused conversation could be way to get people on track. Small groups that work under bigger framework/umbrella”

“I find as a business operating in the sustainability it can get lonely not have folks to talk with on a regular basis. It would be very useful to have a group like this where we can get into deep discussion and keep things moving, not a one off event or meeting”

Here are the benefits:

  • A continued sense of camaraderie with like-minded individuals
  • Shared expertise and referral opportunities
  • Recognition and showcasing opportunities
  • Blind spot identification
  • Feedback outlets
  • Deepening of relationship with other like minded organizations
  • Innovation and collaboration opportunities
  • Having large scale impact together to affect regulation and infrastructural barriers
  • Leveraging opportunities in tackling common challenges together

  Costs?

Prices vary depending on group numbers. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Sara Blenkhorn at sara@futurestrategies.ca