The secrets & habits of cultures that innovate fastest

Simon Sparks
Founder, Thrival 

Simon Sparks

Simon is a serial entrepreneur having worked in the creative industries for over 15 years. His experiences range from celebrity hairdresser to starting an award-winning games studio, BAFTA-nominated producer and Innovation Culture Coach and I’ve even had a short film at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Why are some teams brilliant at innovation and others aren’t? What are high performance cultures actually doing with their time? Why am I working all the time and yet I don’t feel very productive? These were just some of the questions tackled by Simon Sparks – our guest speaker for this week – in his talk titled “The Secrets & Habits of Cultures That Innovate Fastest”.

Simon has enjoyed a long and varied career in the creative industries. In the past he founded his own games studio and received a BAFTA nomination as a producer – he now works as a freelance coach and mentor. 


Simon started his talk by defining the concept of innovation and went on to pose the question, “how do you innovate faster?”. To answer that, Simon laid out some of the common behaviours you often find in people who are able to innovate at speed:


  • Deeply curious about the world, others, truth (big emphasis on this!), different points of view and new data points.
  • Enjoy arguing to understand instead of arguing to be right.
  • They feel safe, connected and know they belong.
  • They understand very quickly rules and boundaries. They’re aware of what is actually happening, the landscape, the data and how they feel in this moment and accept their perception could be wrong.

Through these behaviours they are able to make decisions better than anyone else. By making good decisions, you are then able to innovate and innovate well.


This was just the tip of the iceberg of Simon’s talk, there was plenty more to discover in a talk that was packed with great ideas. We’d like to offer our sincere thanks to him for lending us his time.


We host talks like Simon’s every week, covering all kinds of topics relevant to games industry audiences. If you’re wondering how you can get in on the action, it’s pretty simple – join us at the Tentacle Zone!


Our shared workspace in Farringdon, London is open to anyone working in games who needs either full time office space or a hotdesk now and then. To get more info on how we can help you and your studio, head over to our workspace page. If you have questions or need a bit more info then get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from fellow devs.