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Shift – overcoming innovation barriers

How might we overcome typical  innovation barriers in the full scale of innovation processes?



  • Who should use it: The game is easy and simple to use regardless of any participation set-up, however here are three examples:

  1. In smaller teams with some of the same competencies.

  2. In cross-disciplinary units or when departments meet up.

  3. In sessions or workshops where representatives from various organizations are together.

  • Purpose & Objectives: When working through  development, design and innovation processes in both  private and public organizations, stakeholders stumble upon a  number of gates and challenges which are difficult to  overcome. This game helps participants to develop strategies  for overcoming the barriers.

  • Methodology: Floor-based game with a three-step level  progression and hidden barriers in the bricks. The game has  two content versions – either it can be played narrowly  connecting to only ideation stages or more broadly to the full  run of innovation processes. Archetypical roles are  incorporated to change perspectives and viewpoints.

  • Experiences (strengths and weaknesses): The game has a  strong core that lets people experience realistic barriers and role-  play reactions to the approaches the participants suggest to  overcome them. The game effectively targets core problems in  innovation processes due to the maturity in most companies. Since it  is floor-based, a weakness can be.




SHIFT Barriers is a physical floor game, so it’s important you stand up, get comfy, as it helps you to be open and alert in discussions. Have fun, roleplay, innovate!


  • Group size: 5-20 participants. Each group has 5-7 participants, but three groups can play at the same time, if the room allows for enough distance between the shift bricks.


  • Duration: The game can last between 45 and 75 min. depending on how many stages the participants will go through. With 45 min participants get to turn 4 SHIFT Barrier bricks. With 90 min participants will play through around 8 SHIFT Barrier bricks.


Download the facilitator guide HERE.

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