Innovation Labs – insiders, outsiders, options

Innovation labs offer a kind of promise that no CEO can really say no to. A combination of braver experimentation to things that would seem to hold the potential to give more growth than the things they already have been doing. They want to achieve a big breakthrough with low-cost experimentation.

Having an innovation lab inside your company is very useful. You get people from different business units, people who know your business know-how already – that’s something that outsiders will not get immediately. But in both cases, you need clear objectives. It’s crucial for the success of innovation efforts.

If you are trying to do innovation by trying to come up with some new ideas and be more provocative within the organisation – the inside innovation lab should be enough but it’s not going to get the traction business really needs to exceed. With outsourced innovation lab, you can think more broadly about what’s happening in the market and what are those spaces you might want to go beyond what you’re currently planing. Insiders could do that too, but my experience shows that employees are more focused on putting out the fires so that they don’t focus on industry, market insights or following the trends. And also they are so into the company they work in that they lose the objectivity.

I found that (especially) big companies stopped doing brave experimentations and started getting obsessed with quoter-to-quoter optimization and being sure they are making the number. So innovation labs are both very faddish thing and a very important thing to get right. And you should have an innovation lab that has your back not only on the creative side but also business-wise.

What are your thoughts about it?

For more information, contact me. Most importantly, be well and focus on what matters to you.

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