New and radical ideas in the business are what can set your company apart from the rest, and you must ensure that you have a strategy inside the business for how you can best draw out the innovation.
We have seen evidence in the last year alone of what can happen to businesses who fail to innovate or look to stay ahead of the curve. Toys R Us is a great example of this, the toy giant was for many years the number one retailer in its sector, an industry leader and a company who at one point had over 60% of the market share. The problem that the company ran into however, is that they never updated themselves when the digital age hit, and they ended up falling to the point of going out of business. If something like this can happen to a huge company like Toys R Us, then it can surely happen to you business too. A great way to ensure that your company stays on top, is to create an innovation lab to build the future faster, and here is how.
What is an Innovation Lab?
An innovation lab is where you put a group of people together, either physically or through an innovation management software portal, with the idea of solving problems and generating ideas. May people work from home or remote these days more than ever! And an innovation lab is a great way to get the best people for the job, together in one place to thrash out a range of new and exciting ideas for your business.
The key to creating a great innovation lab is to keep the team small, but filled with big characters. Try to select people to make up the team who have a wide variety of characteristics and skills. Think about placing creative people in a room with logistical minds, the mixture of personalities will be brilliant in terms of getting the best idea out of your team.
Set The Challenge
Putting people in a room, virtual or physical, and simply asking them to come up with some great ideas for the business is not enough. You must set the challenge, lay out a problem and then let them get to work on finding a solution. Don’t over manage the team, but be sure to check in once or twice per day so that you can nip any bad ideas in the bud.
If you want to get the very best ideas out of your team you must create an environment whereby each member feels comfortable to speak about any idea which they have had, no matter how crazy it may seem. This is the best option in terms of drawing out innovation as more often than not, that crazy idea actually leads to people thinking up better solutions and ideas for the business. You must set a precedent that there are no bad ideas.