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  1. 1. Exploring workplace research, insights and trends InnovationWHITE PAPERHow Place FostersInnovationSteelcase WorkSpace FuturesNearly everyone agrees that innovation is the way to supercharge anorganization to growth. The right places can help make it happen.Innovation is the “secret innovation happen, especially Of course, human creativity The myth of thesauce” of business when the pressure to stay has always been and still lone genius achieving skinny and do more with less remains the bedrock ofsuccess, according to one eureka after remains strong. Management innovation. But the myth ofHarvard Business Review.1 another in a closed wants to get the most out the lone genius achievingConsulting giant McKinsey of every effort and avoid one eureka after another in a room is a cartoonish,says that a company’s dead-ends, and by definition closed room is a cartoonish, outdated cliché.ability to innovate has innovation is never a sure outdated cliché. There’sbecome “the core driver of thing. At the same time, growing understanding thatgrowth, performance, and thanks to advances in the real breakthrough comes from social sciences and the people doing the hard workvaluation.”2 growing influence of design of innovation together, mixingToday nearly everyone thinking as a problem- their ideas in a bouillabaisse ofagrees that innovation is the solving methodology, more insights and laddered thinking.only way to supercharge an knowledge is available than People really do need peopleorganization and shift it to ever before about how to — to deepen the pool ofgrowth. The ability to see new incubate innovation and possibilities, to wade throughopportunities and harness assure it flourishes.3 the snarl of complexities, toresources to pursue them is achieve the multifaceted claritya fundamental advantage for Although innovation remains of brilliant solutions. Happily,any organization, from super an often messy and usually together is exactly the waycorporations to start-ups. nonlinear process, deep Generation Y prefers to work, investigation is pointing and their pervasive influenceBut many are uncertain to emerging strategies for on knowledge work is beingabout just how to make success. embraced by workers of all1
  2. 2. How place fosters innovation I NN OVATI ON SPACES S PA C E c u l t u re innovation p ro c e s s tech & supports accommodates tools EXPERIENCEgenerations, creating a whole commitment to breakthrough of U.S. companies conducted Research Consultantsnew set of requirements thinking, and a place that by Steelcase shows that and WorkSpace Futuresfor companies that want to supports the work of Gen Y’s new behaviors and teams, in collaboration withcompete and lead.4 innovation.5 workstyles are driving new, architects, designers and dramatic shifts in knowledge corporations worldwide, areNo wonder successful By closely observing work and the workplace. discovering new insightsorganizations look for every innovation in action in various Moreover, these shifts are into the types of spaces thatway possible to help their organizations, Steelcase being embraced rapidly by work hardest to supportcreative, collaborative thinkers researchers have identified workers of all generations.6 meaningful interactions, fosterbe as productive and high- several critical components Complementing this collaboration, and deliver onperforming as possible. in the emerging science of groundswell from the rank- innovation.Business leaders are ready innovation. Space is the stage and-fi le who expect they’llto invest in resources and for the overall experience be able to be creative at This ongoing research hasimplement methods that can and, as such, it needs to work is the conviction among identified specific variablesup an organization’s capacity work hard on all fronts: their leaders that, when that affect how organizationsto innovate. supporting the business it comes to the need for approach innovation. From processes, positively innovation, two words say different combinations ofHarder-working, next- influencing the culture, and it all: more and faster. This these attributes, the Steelcasegeneration workspaces are fully accommodating the paper focuses on the findings researchers identifieda sometimes-overlooked but appropriate technology and of secondary and primary eight different structuralkey element for reaching that tools. When seamlessly research on innovation models of innovationHoly Grail of today. The right integrated, these components conducted by Steelcase, within organizations. Eachkinds of spaces can help comprise a multi-dimensional which included a survey of model has its own spacepeople collaborate, share “surround sound” that more than 200 corporate real implications, which areknowledge, learn together, supports successful estate practitioners that was discussed and illustrated.and build the social networks innovations, one after another. co-sponsored with CoreNet Steelcase continues toof trustful interaction that Global and observation research how the designare so critical for solving big Because of the symbiotic studies with clients that and use of worksettings canchallenges. As noted author relationship of all these helped to identify innovation strengthen a company’sand expert John Seely Brown components, done right the behaviors and processes posture for innovation,has concluded, the cultures workspace can both inspire in actual work settings. with plans to incorporatethat constantly produce and facilitate innovation. And Adopting methodologies from key findings in its own newinnovation have visionary that’s more important today anthropology and other social innovation center scheduledleadership, an organizational than ever. A nine-month study sciences, Steelcase’s Applied to open in 2012.2 | Innovation
  3. 3. How place fosters innovation Steelcase / CoreNet H OW IMP ORTANT IS INNOVAT ION T O Y OUR OR G AN IZATION? Global Study HOW IMPORTANT IS INNOVATION TO YOUR ORGANIZ ATION? 40% 38% 33% 30%MAKING ROOM FOR INNOVATION 19%The Steelcase/CoreNet Global survey 20%findings suggest that innovationprocesses are established within mostorganizations. Only 9% of respondents 10% 8%said innovation wasn’t at all importantor only somewhat important to theirorganization. For most (82%), business 1% 0strategy is closely tied to innovation. E x t re m e l y Ve r y Important Somewhat Not Important Important Important ImportantOver half of the respondents (55%) saidthey often bring people with diversebackgrounds together to work on WORK PROCESS WORK SPACEinnovation projects. A strong majorityof organizations (85%) partner with What percentage of your organization’s What percentage of your organization’s overall work process is individual vs. overall space supports individual vs.outside consultants or experts to help group/collaborative work? group/collaborative work?with innovation, usually for occasionalprojects (67%) versus most or all 20% individual 80% individualprojects, and two-thirds have long-term 80% collaborative 80% individual 20% individual 20% collaborativerelationships with external resources. 20% 80% collaborative collaborative 25%The survey results indicate, however, 8% 14%that workplace strategies may not 41%be keeping pace with organizations’innovation processes and ambitions. 60% 31% individual 21%Specifically, 75% say the responsibility 37% 40% 40%for innovation is spread throughout collaborative individual 24%their organization versus residing within 60%a focused team or department, and collaborative 40% individual 60% individual60% say their organization’s overall 60% collaborative 40% collaborativework process is more collaborativethan individual. When asked if theirorganization has spaces that support With innovation so important to overall in recent years, pointing to a strongthe innovation process or groups of strategy and organizational success, desire among researchers and readerspeople that are working on innovation providing the right spaces to support it to get their heads and arms around aprojects, 69% answered yes. Yet, 65% can fully unlock possibilities, propelling deeper understanding of what innovationsay that most of their overall space both processes and people to faster, really is. Many experts simplify the topicsupports individual versus collaborative stronger innovations. by putting innovation into two majorwork, revealing an impeding disconnect categories: sustaining innovation andbetween intent and reality, or possibly SMALL STEPS, BIG LEAPS disruptive innovation, a term popularizedmisperceptions about what kind of by Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvardspaces actually support innovation. There are many ways to categorize and Business School professor who authoredAn individual work area can’t support describe the process of innovation. One The Innovator’s Dilemma, which hasinnovation easily, and a traditional sure evidence is the plethora of books since become recognized as a classicconference room won’t either. on the topic that have been published examination of the danger of placing too3 | Innovation
  4. 4. How place fosters innovation ORGANIZ ATIONAL ATTRIBUTES AFFECT INNOVATION Different organizations approach innovation in different ways. Steelcase researchers discovered different combinations of variable attributes within organizations and,much emphasis on satisfying customers’current needs instead of their unstatedor future needs.7 PerspectiveSustaining innovation is an improvement deep | narrow broad | shallowmade to something that already exists.For example, today’s cell phone Process determined developinginnovations have made the existingtechnology smaller, better, faster, Resourcesand increasingly more multipurpose. internal externalDisruptive innovation is a true Culturebreakthrough that creates a new inclusive exclusiveproduct or service category, or evena whole new market — retail medical DEFINITIONSclinics, for example, disrupting theestablished market for doctor’s services. Perspective — the breadth and range of expertise within the organizationCompanies need both disruptive and Process — the degree of control over process within the organizationsustaining innovation to become and Resources — the source of resources, both tangible and intangiblestay leaders. Culture — the relationship between innovators and the larger organizationSustaining innovation satisfies customerneeds, sells for higher margins, andmay offer a competitive edge. Disruptive DIFFERENT STROKES Some organizations use just oneinnovation ensures competitive depending on the type of project and Why do some organizations approachadvantages, often for a longer period of the desired outcome. innovation differently than others? Whentime, and builds momentum inside the it comes to its structure of innovation,organization and in the marketplace. Each model has its own implications for each organization is distinguished by key the type of space that will best supportThe Steelcase/CoreNet Global survey attributes or variables across a range of the organization’s efforts to hatch,showed that 33% of organizations options (see diagram above.) Any single incubate, and develop new ideas. Here isbelieve that 40-60% of their innovations attribute can be “dialed up or down.” a description of each model.are sustaining, and half less than 20% of In combination, they can define differenttheir innovations are breakthroughs. ways of approaching innovation. 1) In-house marketplace modelIf an organization pursues only sustaining MODELS OF INNOVATIONinnovations that perpetuate what has In this highly centralized model, ahistorically caused them to succeed, they By analyzing different combinations of culture of innovation and conceptunwittingly open the door to disruptive attributes within different organizations, development is enmeshed at everyinnovations by competitors that can Steelcase researchers have identified level of the organization. There’s heavyovertake the market or make it obsolete. eight models of innovation that support cross-pollination of ideas, and eachFor example, Apple’s iPod was an both sustaining and disruptive innovation. team and every person is responsibleinnovation that disrupted business-as- The placement of the eight on a for innovation. Digital wirelessusual within the recording industry just as spectrum shows the degree to which communications giant Qualcomm is acommunity colleges, with their emphasis the innovation efforts are centralized or good example of this model with theiron gaining fast-track, vocation-specific decentralized. Some organizations look internal message, “Whatever it is youskills, upset the comfortable status quo inward; others look externally for fresh do, our pathway to innovation beginsof four-year colleges. ideas and new ways of solving problems. and ends with you.”4 | Innovation
  5. 5. How place fosters innovationMODELS OF INNOVATIONmodels of innovation DecentralizedCentralized In-house In-house In-house Off-site Partnership Consultancy Network Community marketplace share model center model model model model model model model OrganizationIn-House Marketplace Model Some organizations look inward; others look externally for fresh ideas and new ways of solving problems. Organization This is the model used at Steelcase to 3) In-house center model Departments align the research and development WorkSpace Futures team with product This model of innovation empowers development and service teams. a distinct group that’s responsible for innovation within the organization. This In-House Share Model special team, which has deep industry expertise, typically employs atypical processes yet remains part of the largerSpace that works: It’s important to culture and relies on easy access tocreate neighborhoods where each organizational resources. Mayo Clinic, Organizationteam can collaborate and share ideas. with its first-of-a-kind SPARC InnovationA central project area allows information Program, is an example of this model Organizationto be posted on walls or other vertical of an organization that makes thesurfaces for quick visual updates. innovation process and facility a distinctPrivate areas support deep discussions yet integral part of the larger culture.or brainstorming without interruptions.The café is a spot to chat it up, serving In-House Center Modelas both a boundary between teams and Organizationan attractor for people from other areasto come over and mingle ideas. Organization2) In-house share model Space that works: Each team has a front porch where public information can beIn this resource-sharing model, members shared. Deeper into the space, more Departmentsof multiple specialized groups can align information is revealed. Private areas foreasily on an as-needed basis. Team each team allow them to risk new ideas Departmentsmembers can depend on immediate and work through prototypes withoutassistance from each other due to the distracting scrutiny of outsiders.proximity, and the space supports Enclosed project areas are flexible soa shared culture among groups that the team can expand and contract asinteract together almost continuously needed. Individual workspaces are onon both long- and short-term projects. the peripheries of adjacent areas.5 | Innovation
  6. 6. How place fosters innovation Space that works: The team needs a public meetings. Deeper inside are until they’re ready to come together again. neighborhood for their work that’s linked areas for the guts of innovation: labs, Touchdown spaces and presentation to an oasis at the center where they project spaces and prototype zones, areas happen in all three spaces. can chill out and chat. Project spaces as well as alternative worksettings for are also linked to the oasis, which is big mobile team members. 6) Consultancy model enough for sharing ideas and prototypes Communities 5) Partnership model Think of this as innovation experts doing a among team members. A prototyping Communities Organizational Organizational house call by coming into an organization area creates a boundary that allows the Sometimes a melding of perspectives is on a project basis. They bring with them outside to look in as ideas are tested and the fastest way to breakthrough. Via long- a distinct problem-solving skill set and a mocked-up in real space. or short-term alliances, organizations fresh perspective that’s unencumbered 4) Offsite model Individuals purposefully leverage diverse competen- Institutions Individuals Institutions by real or perceived organizational cies, gain access to distinct resources, baggage. They leave behind lasting For some organizations, getting away Consultancy Consultancy transfer knowledge, and share risk and education on the hows of innovationational is howOrganizational happens best. In this innovation cost. That’s why Apple and Organizational Organizational Nike have that can transform many projects-to- model, a remote center is where a team teamed up to collaborate on products come. Procter and Gamble is just one develops, prototypes, and validates such as the running shoe Moire that organization that has worked with IDEO, innovation initiatives. The team has includes a sensor working with an iPod to the consultancy company, in this model. a unique culture and the freedom to provide verbal information about distance pursue distinct values and processes. and speed, as well as music that goes Consultancy Model At the same time, access to the distance. organizational resources is a given. Partnership Model Offsite Model Consultancy Organizational Organization A Organization A Headquarters Headquarters Innovation Innovation Center Center Organization B Organization B Space that works: They may have very Organization different cultures, but shared space Organization allows them to come together to share information that needs to be supported in both arenas. Typically, this happens in Space that works: Keeping in touch Space that works: Mine, yours, and a “guest house” space at the host site. with “the mother ship” is key for any ours. In this model, each partner has its Here’s where both organizations share off-site group, so videoconferencing own space, and they share space too ideas, test prototypes, and push for capabilities are especially important. — physically as well as virtually. Alpha innovation in neutral space that includes As a self-contained offsite, a welcoming collaboration and testing happens in project zones, social spaces, and Headquarters Innovation “front porch” zone allows the team to shared real estate, then each goes back resource areas. Meanwhile, each has the Center host visitors. A boundary of enclaves to their own turf to consult with expert backdrop of their separate sites where provides space for both private and resources and work in specialized labs individual culture prevails. Organization 6 | Innovation
  7. 7. How place fosters innovation 7) The network model 8) The community model DESIGNING FOR INNOVATION “If you build it, they will come” is the It’s all about the need of now, as an Whichever model of innovation an attitude behind this innovation model autonomous network comes together organization employs, the design of which invites people to visit and bring to contribute ideas and potentially the space is an important driver that their ideas with them, joining a company- solve a need quickly together. can improve the speed and outcomes managed network that typically includes The advantages are a breadth of of innovation efforts. Successful institutions, organizations, community perspective that’s independent of design can significantly remove members, or practitioners — or all of any organization combined with a free barriers and support the work of the the above. The input process is random and open transfer of knowledge. talented people that organizations to allow for the breadth of perspectives rely upon to improve their innovation Community Model and unexpected outcomes that come performance. Simply stated, the right from self-selected contributors who have spaces make innovation work. a personal motivation to participate. Lego’s Design by Me website does just Here are some principles to consider that, and it’s where Lego gets some of when designing spaces for innovation its best ideas for new kits. activities: Network Model Make the space flexible Innovation spaces need to be Communities reconfigurable to support spontaneity: Organizational switches between different work modes, the dynamic flow of information, tools that come and go. In addition, Individuals Institutions organizations may require use of the Space that works: Although heavily space by multiple project teams, technology-dependent, the community simultaneously or in sequence, which Organizational model can also benefit from spaces makes flexibility all the more important. that bring disparate people together and support the work they want to •• Consider a mix of fixed and fluid do. By-reservation or membership architectural elements — i.e., spaces for today’s “co-working culture” semi-permanent walls and movable (practicing alternative work strategies or partitions self-employed) are laboratories to study •• Create a flexible hub for large and the growing phenomenon. Initial findings Space that works: Various types of small group activities suggest that a social lounge area is a hosting events — offsite or online — welcome addition to the predictable •• Provide for user configurability with allow people to come together and fare of spaces for individual work and mobile furniture share information that’s then taken meeting rooms. A gallery for art displays Organization A back into a team neighborhood within or presentation space is another way •• Consider privacy issues by providing the organization for further exploration to make the space less impersonal and enclosed spaces for audio and and refinement. more collaborative. videoconferencingtioner Organization B 7 | Innovation
  8. 8. How place fosters innovationMake the space inspiring Make the space a hard-working toolCreating something new is fundamental to all Hard-working spaces can be just as muchknowledge work, and inspiration is especially of a tool as anything else a team uses toimportant for those charged with product innovate. By supporting all the modes ofand service development and other areas work — focusing, collaborating, learning,of organizational innovation. Stimulating, and socializing — every square foot of anengaging spaces can jump-start and sustain innovation space can become an efficientcreative thinking. workshop for new ideas.•• Provide for abundant natural lighting and •• Consider the wall architecture as a way to views organize and display information in a way•• Include natural elements and materials that links to group processes throughout the space •• Make sure active and stored work tools are•• Consider color carefully in terms of its ability easily accessible to excite or sooth •• Think of every vertical surface in terms of its•• Provide settings that are casual, informal, potential for information displays and comfortable •• Consider layered storage that can serveAllow for artwork and meaningful objects double-duty by keeping materials handy andthroughout the space that can support defining zonesindividuals and culture •• Provide a responsive infrastructure that supports technologiesMake the space collaborativeInnovation teams require a shared mind. Make the space a reflection of cultureIndividual insights and memory need to and brandbecome group learning and memory — the An organization’s identity and culture providesooner, the better — and the history of the reassuring context and meaning to innovators,project needs to be readily discernable to and space can be a way to authenticallyreduce unnecessary backtracking and errors. underscore important values and processes.•• Position individual workspaces around group Reflecting brand and culture within a spaces to maximize visibility space is a way that design can underscore•• Provide group areas for informal organizational support for innovation. brainstorming and informal information •• Reinforce tone and culture authentically in swaps the design of the space, recognizing that•• Plan for extensive dialogue with digital what works for one organization doesn’t information and intense collaborations automatically work for another around computers that can involve both collocated and virtual team members •• Allow for displays of products and other collective achievements that will inspire pride•• Provide for vertical content displays with and risk-taking whiteboards, tackable surfaces, foam core boards, projection surfaces, etc., that allow •• Allow for team customization and users to actively affect and engage with personalization to reflect ownership and information identification8 | Innovation
  9. 9. How place fosters innovationthought starterMake the space social INNOVATING THE WORKPLACE FOR INNOVATIONSocial capital between co-creators is Everyone wants more innovation, yet organizations definecrucial for innovation to occur. It builds it differently in the context of their business processes,trust, especially important when teams culture, technology, and tools. Supporting and aligning allare doing intense work. Open and these components can cause innovation to flourish, oftenrelaxed areas for informal conversations in unforeseen ways within all the patterns of innovation.are critical components for successful Space provides places for people — both from within andinnovation spaces. outside an organization — to come together and invent new•• Provide convenient access to food solutions for both ordinary and extraordinary challenges. and beverages As a result, design is emerging as an innovation imperative as it continues to show how hard-working spaces can reinforce•• Provide comfortable lounge seating, and align the other organizational components that contribute café tables, and other furniture that to a company’s ability to invent new solutions. invites mingling As organizations work to become or remain relevant and•• Locate casual collaboration areas in meaningful, rethinking the workplace can support, inspire close proximity to work areas so it’s and enable innovation. In so doing, it can make a significant easy to take a break, swap stories, etc. contribution to any organization’s current posture and future potential for success.•• Provide welcoming areas for guests with appropriate views into the space One square foot at a time, more and faster innovation is within and work in progress every organization’s reach.9 | Innovation
  10. 10. How place fosters innovationACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ENDNOTESSteelcase conducts ongoing research on 1 H arvard Business Review, March 2010work and the workplace, and this research 2 M cKinsey Quarterly, Article 2008-12-12forms the basis of our perspective oninnovation in the workplace. We are especially 3 N oteworthy books on innovation include:thankful to our colleagues in the real estate The Sticking Point Solution: 9 Ways to Moveand design communities who share their Your Business from Stagnation to Stunninginsights and experience with us. Several Growth In Tough Economic Times by Jayindividuals contributed thoughtful perspective Abrahamon these issues and helped shape our insights.Our sincere thanks to: Change by Design by Tim Brown The Innovator’s Dilemma by ClaytonTim Brown, IDEO M. ChristensenBethany Davis, Nokia The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, SmartlyJosey Duke, Accenture Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion byDan Johnson, Accenture John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and LangJan-Peter Kastelein, YNNO DavisonLauri Lampson, Planning Design Research The Design of Business by Roger MartinRoger Martin, University of Toronto The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills:CoreNet Global Unlocking the Creativity in You and Your Team by Paul Sloane 4 Steelcase 360 Magazine, August, 2009 5 eeing Differently: Insights on Innovation, S John Seely Brown, Harvard Business Review book series, 1997 6 teelcase 360 Magazine, August, 2009 S 7 he Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. T Christensen, Harvard Business School Press, 1997Call 800.333.9939 or visit©2013 Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. All specifications subject to change without notice.Trademarks used herein are the property of Steelcase Inc. or of their respective owners.