Designing an Innovation Space is the most important step to ignite an innovation REvolution inside your corporate or establish your culture as a growing start-up. Neglecting to establish a space that reflect your DNA, your strategy and your wishes as a company will make you fail.
Space at first
Don’t cheat. When you come in a new company and a new supplier, you know exactly what kind of atmosphere is in there just by stepping in the building. Unconsciously (or not) you analyse the space and you integrate all the information it gives you. Corporates or established SMEs are for that topic really predictable. The front desk with hostesses is a standard. Same for the offices. Standard. Same furnitures, same computers, same phones…. All the same. Do you think that this kind of environment is favourable for innovation?
Innovation Space is required
One must send a clear message to its employees: You are allowed to innovate. What is the easiest way to do it? Design the space. Either are you moving to a brand new building or just setting a new rule, designing a space for innovation is not straight forward. However, just as if you don’t change your state of mind you will not innovate, if you don’t adapt your environment to your goal, you will not innovate neither. Or at a lower pace.
Modularity is key
When talking about Innovative Space, one has to understand that their is two kind of areas to take care of: working areas and social areas. The goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible. No cubicles are allowed: modularity is key. I personally love the under video explaining how modularity improves creativity (and contacts among employees, and much more things).
In addition, as innovation requires testing, a FabLab Part has to be set up. Take care, a FabLab doesn’t mean necessary 3Dprinter, Arduino or Rasberry pie etc… It means that you have to set up a location where people can move on and test their ideas, their hypothesis by building a prototype or even better a Minimum Viable Product to be tested on the field. This area can be, should be, diffuse in your working area meaning that the transition between working to testing should be as immediate as possible. So workshops, storage areas have to be defined at the early start of the project. The team working on a subject should be able to get the material in a second, prototype in a minute and test straight away, and redo. At the end of the day, storage capacity must ensure that work is not lost and could be reused later on.In this space again, modularity should be queen. Rollers are the solution. It will allow people to completely reshape the Lab every day according to their need. They will take the location and make it what they need to innovate.
Some anchor points should however be kept still. What if the printer has moved for the 4th time of the day? Most terrific, if you can smell the coffee but can’t find the machine…
Having a dedicated Innovation Space is important to your Innovation initiative. However don’t take it easy and take care to design it properly. Encourage mobility and adaptation.