Paddl Games, Challenge Labs, and the Simple Recipe for Success

July 23, 2019
By Aaron O'Farrell

A company’s greatest resource is its employees. Successful companies understand how to utilise their employees’ strongest skill sets to complement a project or program. Identifying subject matter experts and bringing them in on key areas to support the success of a program ensures the highest quality of understanding, work and execution. For example, Marketing, Accounting and Human Resources - when each department stays in communication with one another, the greater goal can be achieved for the company as a whole. This is a simple concept, in theory.

Paddl Games Challenges are high-pressure, fun events designed to create a real workplace experience. Participants at Paddl Games are hand selected for their diverse skill sets and placed onto competing teams accordingly, so that each team is comprised of members who bring a varying array of talent with them.

Knowing how to utilise the right resources is crucial to success, whether in real-life business scenarios, or mock situations like at Paddl Games. The most successful teams at Paddl Games are often the teams that utilise their greatest resources - the diverse set of knowledge from their own team members as well as the Challenge Labs.


To help Challengers at Paddl Games interpret the engagement of subject matter experts in real workplace scenarios, Paddl introduced Challenge Labs that are open and available to each of the teams throughout the course of the Paddl Games event. Each Challenge Labs consists of industry experts in a certain subject who help the teams expand upon or validate their ideas in relation to the business issue they have decided to focus on. Each set of Challenge Labs cover topics that are uniquely relevant to the Challenge theme.

For example, with a theme focused around high impact growth in your business, the GrowthOps Challenge Labs consisted of Technology and Data, Growth Marketing and Brand and Creative. From the best way to properly utilise technology at the Technology Lab, to implementing and engaging in the right channels at the Growth Marketing Lab, and finally, coordinating their solution to fit with the business’ overall brand at the Brand and Creative Lab, the GrowthOps mentors at each lab were key to ensuring the best, 360-degree solutions were developed. Or with an energy usage and optimisation theme, EnergyAustralia manned their Challenge Labs with NextGen energy experts, data analysts and those knowledgeable in Tariffs and Pricing.


Taking a closer look: The GrowthOps Challenge Labs

 In order to get a deeper understanding of how effective the Challenge Labs are to the success of a team and ultimately a solution, let’s take a deeper look at the three Challenge Labs available at the COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) sponsored by GrowthOps.

GrowthOps is a new kind of partner for major brands seeking to solve complex challenges and overcome disruptive threats. GrowthOps combines leading edge technology, marketing, and change leadership expertise to help organisations identify and realise strategic opportunity. Challenging traditional business conventions and transforming organisations, GrowthOps has created a new market category of ‘growth services’. They focus on delivering key outcomes - helping businesses ‘scale up’ by driving effective customer acquisition, building and launching transformational products and leveraging emerging technology to improve business performance.

 On Day 4 of The COSBOA Innovation Games, GrowthOps chose to set the Challenge Theme for the day as ‘Surface high-impact growth solutions for your business.’ 

 The three Challenge Labs available to teams at day 4 were a “Technology” Lab, a “Growth Marketing” Lab, and a “Brand and Creative” Lab. These Labs were set up at tables to the side of the room so teams go could sit with GrowthOps experts whenever they needed guidance, and avail of industry level expertise at any time throughout the event.

 These GrowthOps experts were hired by GrowthOps in the first place because of their expertise in a specific area. By making their employees available as aids to the Paddl Games Challengers, GrowthOps was driving home the message to participants that a successful team or company is one that utilises its most precious resource - its employees.


The Technology Lab

At the Tech Lab on Day 4 of the Innovation Games, Challengers could pick the brains of GrowthOps tech and date employees to help them gain an understanding a business problem when considering a solution within the context of technology. For example, suggesting that a company should create an easy-to-use app is not always a good solution to helping a company “surface high-impact growth” - Day 4’s Challenge Theme. GrowthOps Technology Group Director, Dave Kuhn, explained to Challengers that apps are actually terrible tools for customer acquisition because if your company wants to create an app, it must earn the right to be on your customer’s phone. The space taken up by apps on phones is precious real-estate, and apps need substantial usage to justify their presence. Therefore, the internet is considered a far more successful tool for companies to attract customers.


The Growth Marketing Lab

 At the Growth Marketing Lab, Challengers were given marketing advice from Head of Digital Product & Strategy, Chris Butterworth, and Social Media Manager, Rachel Fyfe, on how to identify and prioritise problem areas within a company, and decide which growth opportunity channels are the best to explore for the company. 


The Brand and Creative Lab

 The Brand and Creative Lab helped Challengers with customising solutions for the companies they were representing so that their proposals could be in line with that company’s branding. Director of Design, Tegan Clarkson, explains that some companies have particularly strong and established brand voices and visions. This means they spend their money wisely to preserve their brand, and align every department within their business so that their brand voice and identity is consistent. 


The Outcomes

 Having these sort of industry experts on hand for guidance throughout the day is a wonderful resource for the Challengers and their teams. By utilising these resources and taking the advice of the experts at Challenge Labs, such as the GrowthOps representatives present on Day 4 of the Innovation Games, teams competing at Paddl Games can benefit enormously and give their teams the best possible chance of presenting a solution that will wow the judges and more importantly, be a good fit and implementable solution for their business.

 Winning team for the day, ‘Prescribed to Win’ representing Tooradin Pharmacy, took full advantage of the three GrowthOps Challenge Labs when creating their solution to help Tooradin Pharmacy grow awareness around their sleep apnea program. With a strong understanding of Tooradin’s brand as a community pharmacy and support system in a small town alongside how to best utilise a $1000 marketing budget in growth marketing channels, ‘Prescribed to Win’ created a three-pronged community engagement and activation approach to deal with the lack of awareness around the program, increasing patient uptake to drive profit margins and making sure this aligned with the high impact growth theme of the day. They fully utilised the subject matter experts’ knowledge to help them make the most of their small budget and create a solution they client would want to implement right away!

Want in?

Paddl Co. takes pride in the positive experiences everyone walks away with from the Paddl Games - from emerging talent to business owners to sponsor participants. The next instalment of the COSBOA Innovation Games is approaching fast - if you are interested in participating make sure to join and get your profile up to date! If you are a small business interested in participating, please reach out to for further information.