Innovation can be a frustrating pursuit. Building an innovation lab can set you on the right track, but you have to manage it effectively and sustainably. As I said in a previous post, this requires a strategic, structured, and inclusive approach to management.
Let’s face it — it can often feel like you’re getting nowhere with innovation. By its very nature, innovation is an uncertain process, driven by trial and error. It’s about exploring, testing limits, establishing feasibility, and finding new ways of doing things.
To complicate things further, behind the uncertainty of innovation lies a certain paradox: while the innovation process is notoriously difficult to manage, it nonetheless requires constant meticulous management to succeed. Innovation can only work if every stage of the process is supported by structure, supervision, and direction.
With that in mind, we always advise our customers to closely monitor the key performance indicators (KPIs) of their innovation process. We also help them put in place professional management tools, such as dashboards, so they can quantify their innovation efforts, deliver quality innovation, and make fact-based decisions in line with their overall strategy.
A dedicated space for innovation
If we lived in a world without costs, deadlines, and quality constraints, a world where employees knew everything, where collaboration happened spontaneously and every action was aligned with your strategy, there’d be no need for an innovation lab. But in the real world, a dedicated space for innovation — be it virtual or physical — can turn innovation into a real business benefit.
And an innovation lab needs more than a dedicated space — it needs structure, experts, and services. This is something we’ve learned over the years from working with our customers — an innovation lab must act as a platform to access innovation services and expertise. This platform allows you to bring together all the stakeholders who can contribute to the process, both people from within the organization and the contractors and consultants you bring in for their specialized expertise.
For several years now, “open innovation” has been gaining traction at companies, as an accelerator encouraging contributions from outside the business and in synergy with a complete ecosystem. This new way to approach innovation is more extensive, more collaborative, and more engaged with a wider variety of participants.
It aims to boost creativity and innovation by encouraging new ideas, experimentation, and co-creation with end users, schools, startups, and companies that share similar goals or challenges. The trend toward open innovation isn’t exactly a paradigm shift, but it’s a different way of approaching innovation that can benefit every organization once the right governance is in place.
Our experts can identify opportunities for collaboration within your ecosystem and integrate them into your innovation strategy. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Creating an innovation lab is a great start. But if you want your lab to really thrive, you also need to invest in a culture of innovation. Find out more here