the #1 key factors for your FabLab or Innovation Space

renault-creative-people
Renault Creative People (c)

Establishing a Fablab or an innovation lab can seem to be an easy task: some couches, bright colors on the wall, a funny atmosphere and some tools like Business model canvas and a 3D printer.

Of course setting a disruptive work environment is important to establish the good state of mind for your visitors and users. Once you focused on the « Why » and have a clear view of your objectives, limiting a Lab as this very narrow definition is a major mistake. Doing so one will miss some of the most important characteristics that will make a Lab a successful innovation and empowerment tool.

The Lab is not only defined by the tools and the furniture you put in. It is also a question of philosophy and atmosphere in the meaning that people should understand immediately that this place is not just a funny meeting room or another “management puppet”. So what is the main point that will consciously or unconsciously convert people from the natural passive attitude to the desired active behavior leading to prototyping, experimentation and learning which are key for the Lab’s success?

fablab02a

Appropriation is the keyword. People coming in your lab should feel empower. They should feel that everything is here for their use and purpose. Nothing should impose them any choices and everything should be adaptable to their needs and their way of feeling the work they have to do.

That’s the key.

However it is not an easy task to achieve such an atmosphere. I would say that there is two major factors that will definitely help to establish this strong relationship between a location and its users.

Modularity

Of course your lab is built around areas that are defined according to your culture, your need, your budget and your goals. But all the tools, equipment and furniture should be modular. One should be able to redesign the space according to its needs and feelings. Modular couches can be found on most of the furniture shops, invest in foam seats that can be easily repositioned around the space, set movable separation walls, put workbenches and tools on wheels, have your tables movables by sizing them properly.

Modularity is very important to avoid a too standing area and having people arriving in a known environment. Surprise regarding the place is as important as the fact to come in. setting a new workplace every time is very good for creativity, challenging the status quo and at the end, for innovation.FabLabTent

However, be sure that your Lab will have some anchor points to avoid teams to spend too much time looking for basic needs. Coffee machine. Coffee machine should be one of this anchor point. Look trivial but coffee machine is one of the places where most of the team will go on pause and thus it is one of the most social points of your Lab. Having people looking around to find it is both time consuming and stress generating. The second most important anchor place should be the printer. No one wants to run around the place looking for his/her last printing. Having the printer set in one place will provide the necessary structure to the Lab and help people to organize the space around.

Be sure that your team can appropriate the area of your lab and rearrange it the way they want. It is key for the success of your innovation lab.

Provide the necessary support

One anchor point that I have seen lately is the manager desk. Not really a desk in most of the cases, just an area with the necessary equipment. It help people who seek assistance not to search for a while and head directly to the right place.

However this introduces the necessary support you should plan for the users of your Lab. Not intrusive, not mandatory, this support can be a full time manager or a trained professional available on the phone. This support must exist.

Using a lab is not straightforward. Using tools, setting a prototype, defining a MVP, working on a business model are tasks that may require help, from advices to leading workshops. Making it available to users, project managers, intrapreneurs and innovators is a good way to have people involved in your lab and most important, having projects and initiatives delivering the awaited results. Using a Lab is not a goal by itself and must be seen as a spark that will enlighten a project and making it delivering faster. Having the needed supports both on methodologies and on uses of tools will ease these results and will allow people to be more and more independent when using the Lab.

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As a conclusion, paint the wall in Orange, buy a 3D printer, put nice coaches and carpets but most important, don’t fix your Lab and help people to use it.

If you need help to define your innovation space, contact us!

INNOWEO Most Read Articles: An Autumn/Winter review

05_10_15For 10 months now, I try with INNOWEO to exchange with you on Innovation and Innovation Project Management. Regularly I really enjoy to look back and see what really interested you in my last posts.

In two months I will issue my first year review and my first feedback to share with you all what I have learned during this first year of INNOWEO, from setting a website with WordPress, working on Adobe Suite to Internet marketing and so on. Stay tuned and don’t miss it!

From September to now I have issue much less posts than previously but as you know I have other projects running in parallel and thus it was sometimes difficult for me to write at the good pace.

  1. Agile + Design Thinking
  2. Innoweo Creativity Cards deck is out!
  3. A Physical space to innovate, A Lab in a way

And don’t forget that joining INNOWEO community will gain you access to our IMAGE-IN creativity tool and a booklet with 3 facilitation exercises. Join on the right hand side or below.

You won your first clients? Don’t forget to have this tool in your pocket!

As an entrepreneurs your first job ever is to win a client. Your first clients are more important than the state of your product itself. Never forget that your clients are paying your bills, your salaries and giving you the opportunity to invest and develop your activity.

What is the most important when having your first clients?

Once you have your first clients your new job is to make them come back and buy again. It is really important that you realize recurring customers or supportive customers are the best way to secure your business.
Recurring customers are buyers coming back and buying, same or other stuffs.
Supportive customers are happy customers that are keen in supporting you and your business by giving you positive feedback and testimonials.

How do you find your recurring or supportive customers?

They will find you. Because your products provide them big values. However you have one important thing to do. Identify and connect to them, communicate and help them in their new unconscious task to promote your business. So you have to establish a relationship with your customers. You have plenty of solutions to do so. Social Media are of course one straight forward way to establish it. Phone calls, emails are « old fashioned » but still very efficient.
But the most important thing is to keep track of your relationships to be sure you will provide them with the right info at the right time and not bother them by too much contacts or no contact at all. To keep this trace of what are your interaction with your customers, especially in B2B business but also in B2C, be sure you have from the beginning of your activity a good tool to secure all the data. Those data are gold for you to track customer activities and relationships as well as providing them the right info, the right offer that will boost your business.

Use the right tool for your activity

To manage correctly your customers you need a tool. It is absolutely impossible to do it by hand. You can have access to a broad range of CRM tools, offline or online, at various price (from free to…).
As you start an activity please consider to use a free tool or at least its free version.
The most simple too is an Excel spreadsheet. However you will discover really fast that your excel file is not that easy to easy. I would advise you to use one of the online free tools. they are professional and well done. They can embedded a lot of additional functions which you also should check to make your choice. Take care to check the paid version capabilities as well as proposed plan to be sure that it will fit your needs if you need one day to go to the paid version. Nothing is more boring and stressing that migrating a CRM. The table below from Capterra, presents the main online CRM. This list is not complete and you should spend sometime on the net to be sure you have seen all available solution.

CRM

Spend sometime also to get into your CRM and configure it completely. CRM can do a lot of things for you so be sure to use those tools at their full power. It will provide you more value and free your time.
Consider also to integrate your CRM with a marketing platform to automate your marketing and client relationships (such as mailchimp or equivalent)

Those tools are the best way to manage your customers and be sure that not a single one is let aside when business is on the mood. However you should not spend too much time on it but on developing your business. So please automate as much as possible. Each CRM got his own automation and if you link it with a marketing platform you could just skyrocket.
Last tip, connect it using Zappier to establish actions on trigger. That’s the perfect way to have semi-automated actions done at the right time.

I personnaly used Zoho in connection with MailChimps and Zappier. It saves me lot of times and help really to develop my business and relationships in a good manner. However please choose your own tool and solutions to be sure it fits your needs and values.

Two ressources to discover those solutions:
http://blog.capterra.com/free-and-open-source-crm/
https://zapier.com/blog/best-free-crm/

 

 

Paradigm Change!

paradigm_shift-e1327307245487I was looking for some resources for a future article on INNOWEO and I just found this video on the website of The Family. The Family is a leading Parisian Incubator aiming to disseminate the culture and tools on start-up and entrepreneurship. I really like those girls and guys I always find their analysis very interesting.

. It was not my goal but it opens my eyes on one point. And I would like to share it with you.

WE ARE LIVING A MAJOR PARADIGM CHANGE

At around 36′ the speaker, Oussama Ammar, founder of The Familiy state the point that interests me today.

« For the fist time in history, the legitimacy of experience is out, the legitimacy coming from the years of past work is over. For the first time, a young generation knows more about our world than the older ones »

It is so true. Everything on internet, on digital is better understood by youngsters than by executives over 50. What is the consequences for that? Everyone should deeply think about it. I just saw the video so here are my « hot » thoughts.

What consequences?

This paradigm change makes olders unable to understand the world as it is coming and thus opening new ways to disrupt established companies. Is the bigger threat of established companies the lack of youth of their management? Are they agile enough to understand the digital revolution and reorganize their companies in a way that it will fit this new environment?

It is I think really important to understand that the legitimacy is changing. That people able to adapt to this new environment will be the only ones to succeed. The organization will definitely flatten and communication among the hierarchical level will be much faster and more important, much more direct.

Add-on: If you are french speaking, don’t miss the resources available on the Family WebSite

 

Service Design!

Here is my third and at the time last article to share my private videos collection. After Customer Journey and Service Blueprint, the last one is about… Service Design. It should have been the first but well, it is the last one…

Service Design is my hobby at the time and I have tested this method for months now, both professionally and personally. Are you ready to discover my selection? Let’s go and leave a comment to share your own best videos!

To discover Service Design

A quick example on Service Design

A not-so-quick conference (to go much deeper into SD)

Service Design and Digital world…

Last add-on. My favorite book on the subject? This is Service Design Thinking of course!

Service blueprint: the secret weapon to best of class services

Hi everybody,

I shared lately some videos on Customer Journey. I think this is one of the most interesting tools of Design thinking but my very best is… Service Blueprint. I think they work best when deployed together but I will come back to this point later on. Let’s share, again, some of my best You-tube picked videos on Service Blueprint. Ready? Let’s go! (You have good ones to share? Leave a comment)

Basics of Service Blueprint (to discover it)

Service Blueprinting (Product strategy)

An example: Tastee Gourmet Service Blueprint

 

Good hint: How can a professional use service blueprinting?

 

 

The Best of my Customer journey Videos collection

I have collected the last months a huge amount of videos on Customer journey. I have experienced Customer Journey and be trained earlier this year and I wanted to have a full overview of the possibilities.

It is my pleasure to share it with you the best I have found today. Enjoy! (You have other good videos? please share it as a comment!!)

 Customer Journey: a good intro

Understanding Customer Journey mapping (a video conference with the Sephora example)

Customer Journey Mapping Basics – A short video guide to Customer Journey Mapping(a webminar)

 

How To Create A Customer Journey Map(a great way to start your own)

 

Pas d’angles morts pour votre idée de start-up!

346081-angle-mortCes derniers temps ont été très occupés pour moi, notamment sur différents projets et accompagnements de start-ups que je fais en parallèle de mon activité principale.

Dans mes activités d’accompagnement de jeunes aspirants entrepreneurs ainsi que pour certains projets personnels, j’utilise depuis quelques temps un canva assez simple pour vérifier que rien d’important n’a été oublié et que tout est sous, si ce n’est contrôle, tout du moins monitoring. Ce canva est complémentaire au business model canva mais il permet surtout de garder tout sous les yeux d’une manière plus claire que le BM canva. Il est très simple et composé de 3 grandes zones

Le produit

Dans cette zone on adresse 4 grandes notions:

  1. Le Produit / Le Service
    Quel est mon produit, mon service, en quelques mmots, un pitch rapide de ce qui est proposé.
  2. Le Prix
    Quel est ma politique de prix (au forfait, à l’heure/la journée, au résultat)? J’ai remarqué que c’était souvent quelque chose d’implicite pour les entrepreneurs mais une zone de performance économique assez importante et de variantes intéressantes pour les business model. La partie Revenue est en effet souvent mal abordée.
  3. La Distribution
    Comment je touche mes clients?  Web, démarchage direct, tractage, publicité payante (ici il faudra s’attacher à regarder le cout d’acquisition d’un prospect, notamment sur le web)…
  4. La Promotion
    Il s’agit principalement du Go-to-Market. Quelle est ma stratégie de mise sur le marché? Dans tout ce que j’ai pu voir, ce point n’est JAMAIS étudié à fond. Pourtant c’est un levier fantastique de croissance immédiate.

La compagnie

Dans cette zone on va surtout parler du « comment » sur 5 notions

  1. Equipe
    Qui fait partie de l’aventure? Quelle est la plus value de chacun des membres? C’est primordial de regarder ces points pour être sûr que tous les équipiers nécessaires sont dans le bateau et qu’aucun « passager clandestin » n’a pris part à l’aventure.
  2. Clients
    Quels sont mes PREMIERS clients? Les deuxième etc… Qui j’attaque en premier? Ce point ci est primordial car il faut être clair et gagner le plus vite possible, même avant la fin du développement technique ou avant même d’être en capacité à délivrer, ses premiers clients. La premiere brique de cela étant de les identifier.
  3. Compétition
    Quelles sont les alternatives à ma proposition de valeur? En quoi ai-je à craindre d’elles? Comment puis je les contrer?
  4. Partenaires
    De quels partenaires ai-je besoin pour mener à bien mon aventure? Quels rapports dois-je entretenir avec eux?
  5. Contexte
    Pourquoi maintenant?

L’argent

Sans doute le point que les aspirants entrepreneurs, moi le premier, regardent en priorité. Quels sont les montants nécessaires? Comment vais je les dépenser? Comment vais je en gagner ensuite? Quels croissances je vise etc…

 

Tous ces points doivent bien entendu être accompagné de jalons et d’objectifs.

Voici le canva en pdf. qu’en pensez-vous. Y a t il encore des « angles morts »?