Innovation is not a Space

Image of grassI’m increasingly seeing clients with innovation spaces and I’m seeing more of them on social media/news channels where companies are outfitting office spaces with fun decorations and repurposed objects (e.g. tuk-tuks as meeting spaces). This concept of an innovation space has been introduced to change the way that employees generate solutions.

What’s the problem?

The problem with this is a belief that innovation is a space, i.e. create a non-conformist space and label it as your innovation. Then expect magic to happen. But the magic doesn’t happen.

Here’s the truth, you can introduce innovation in a windy portakabin. It’s not comfortable (and that breaks one of the rules I’ll mention later), but it can be done.

You don’t need fake grass carpets, slinky springs, koosh balls, nerf guns or whatever else is hip at the time your innovation designers come into your organisation. Those things could help, but they don’t guarantee innovation.

Where does innovation come from?

Innovation comes from within the collective mind. No, I’m not getting all new-age here, I referring to the effect you achieve when you put people in a room together, remove some boundaries, give them a task and prompt with them with different perspectives. Continue reading “Innovation is not a Space”

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The Change Stand-off in Innovation

Circular Star Pattern by Anna Anikina
Circular Star Pattern by Anna Anikina

For a long time now, I’ve had the view that we only have so much time to change an organisation before the organisation changes us. I’ve seen it happen with dynamic people that become subdued over time as they encounter obstacle after obstacle, resistance, red-tape and other forms of organisational resistance to change. Maintaining innovation, or rather the ability to innovate and to generate innovation in a client, is key with external consultants.

Background

In reading this article today on Why Outsiders are the Most Innovative People  adapted from work by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire, I was reminded why it’s important to introduce a fresh perspective.

I’m independent in that I’m not tied to any company or organisation and I enjoy what that brings to both me and my corporate clients. Yes, I’m prepared to challenge what client staff have accepted as normal over time. It’s the response to that initial challenge of the status quo that gives me an idea of how well the planned change activity will progress, or at least how much commitment we should expect to receive from client staff.

Continue reading “The Change Stand-off in Innovation”

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