The Sandbox is one of Pilot Projects' signature tools for creative solutions to organizational space challenges. Like all tools it has a back story. Here is a glimpse of how it started:
A big broadcasting company needed to do two things. One, make up for the fact that they had overbuilt and would need to lease out some of their real estate. Two, they needed to overcome distrust. Their staff looked at the impending move and saw their space being stolen. Management, meanwhile, had hard numbers to contend with. Enter “The Sandbox” a 'blank canvas' describing the space available in the new scenario. This took the form of a 3D Plexiglas model of the entire headquarters building, perched on a lightbox and lit from below, with 3000 colored chips to represent employee space, and an invitation to 25 department heads to hash out where, what, who, and how they would move into the future together. Within these parameters we used gaming as a conduit for conversations to address workspace needs like efficiency, performance, and better expression of team identities. Instantaneous feedback kept conversations fluid, and brought multiple viewpoints to the table, given that these viewpoints had to — literally — share space. The result? Creative problem solving, consensus-building and close to 100% buy-in.
Since Scott Francisco developed the Sandbox while at DEGW in 2005 it has since become one of the most powerful workplace planning tools available; used in dozens of organizations ranging from small team redesigns to thousands of staff moved over multiple buildings. The key to the Sandbox problem-solving approach is transparency and physical presence; people at the same table making decisions together, guided by expert facilitation and visible constraints. [Read more about this project and the Sandbox genesis]