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Innovation labs

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There are many objectives that can be tackled in a lab type environment, not all of which involve the incubation of a totally new concept. A lab style environment should be somewhere that people can fundamentally think differently in a low risk, high support setting. Learn about the different outcomes that can be accelerated through the use of a labs style approach.

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Innovation labs

  1. 1. Published By: WZARD INNOVATION LTD INNOVATION LABS
  2. 2. INNOVATION LABS 2 | W z a r d . c o . u k Background Wzard Innovation Ltd has been launched by the multi-award-winning team who delivered a successful innovation practice for top 3 insurer Liverpool Victoria and now help organisations to accelerate their own innovation and automation programmes. The team have practical experience in the actual deployment of technologies into challenging business environments, understanding the importance of processes and toolkits for wider business implementation not just the technical delivery. We are a small team, passionate about change and accelerating your journey at a pace which is tailored to your organisational needs. Introduction Many companies have created or have been involved with innovation labs of one sort or another or are in the process of creating one in the hope of finding that unicorn solution that helps and dominate the market. Many people enter this process with a narrow view of what an innovation lab might be. In truth there are many objectives that can be tackled in a lab type environment, not all of which involve the incubation of a totally new concept. A lab style environment should be somewhere that people can fundamentally think differently in a low risk, high support setting. The “Lab” is not necessarily one big thing or place that people come to, but for some companies the objective is to have many labs running at multiple levels of the business to accelerate thinking. For this you need a central Innovation Practice (or Centre of Excellence) to provide a consistent approach and help rollout labs that achieve successful results. It is entirely possible to create a lab environment at very low cost and use the existing knowledge from people within your organisation and not only explore the future model for products and services that may take your organisation down the road, but also allow you to review the way that things that you do today might be done in a new breakthrough manner that leaps ahead of your competitors. The INCUBATION Lab Outcome Expected is a tested proposition. Incubation is typically used to describe the type of lab that explores the viability of a direction that you already know or takes a company, typically a start-up, and tests the marketability and customer demand for a known product or idea. In this style of lab the key Objective is really to see how you can adopt or adapt to the new thinking within your organisation without squashing the idea with your existing rules and concepts.
  3. 3. INNOVATION LABS 3 | W z a r d . c o . u k The SOLUTIONING Lab Outcome Expected is a Prototype. A lab that’s main purpose is to find a solution for a known or perceived customer problem is a very different beast. In many industries there are known gaps in customer need that often do not get addressed because the traditional product development cycle for an organisation typically just churned out more of the same, possibly cheaper, possibly through a different website, or about with someone in the company thinks is great but which doesn’t really address the customer need. A solutioning lab should start with a very clear problem within the market space, such as SME businesses struggle to understand the opportunities or needs of insuring their operation. This example is a real one and has been highlighted by industry reports which indicate that there is underinsurance which amounts to billions of pounds. The INTERNAL OPERATIONS Lab Expected Outcome is a cultural shift. One of the hardest things to change in a large company is the way we do things around here. An internal operations lab addresses this elephant in the room. It is one of the hardest challenges for larger organisations, as the people who have risen to the top and manage the processes tend to be very attached to the way that they’ve always done it, it has been drilled into them sometimes over many years that you do not challenge the process. In this style of Lab, one of the keys to success is allowing those people who are relatively new to the organisation to express the key pains of working for you. You not only have to allow them to tell you, but you also must create an environment where it’s okay say what’s wrong. What Next? When starting out it is inevitable that people will be insecure, and there will be a fear of failure. Addressing these challenges requires the right leadership and an environment that will allow the lab to succeed. The team will learn together as activities proceed, gaining the confidence needed to adapt the environment as they proceed. Utilise external help to facilitate, structure and identify the right approach to fit your specific needs, this is never a one-size-fits all proposition, set up for success with the right approach, effective leadership support, and the right environment, and your team will deliver the rest.
  4. 4. INNOVATION LABS 4 | W z a r d . c o . u k The Wzard Innovation Team Rod Willmott Wzard Innovation Chief Wzard rod@wzard.co.uk 07450 273103 @rwbdjr Rob King Wzard Innovation Chief Operating Wzard rob.king@wzard.co.uk 07711 250545 @Rob_King_ Rod Willmott, who started the Fast Track team in 2012, now leads Wzard. He has been involved helping organisation change the way they think since the start of his career and over the course of the past 30 years has learnt to help organisations adapt to the fact that change is ever more pressing Career focus has been on business system creation and replacement, leading the thinking on introduction / creation of an innovation practice. Rob King, a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt with 25 years’ experience in helping organisations to develop in new technologies, drive operational efficiency, deliver lean transformation programmes, manage strategic operations and aid the creation of a clear business strategy. Since 2013 the growth of Robotic Process Automation has been a key focus area, working closely with key suppliers to test and deliver a variety of solutions.

There are many objectives that can be tackled in a lab type environment, not all of which involve the incubation of a totally new concept. A lab style environment should be somewhere that people can fundamentally think differently in a low risk, high support setting. Learn about the different outcomes that can be accelerated through the use of a labs style approach.

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