Where is your Lab?

You want innovation at work and there is no Lab at workplace? What a tragedy.

Simplest thing to do is to replicate a school formation, which is designed for learning & innovation, isn't it. So you got the workrooms, washrooms and canteen. What about the library and the lab? Add these two and now your talk on innovation would make more sense.

Fortunately, a workplace lab is much simpler to set up because most of the equipment are brains that you have hopefully hired already. So just mark a spaces, allow usage and bend rules here. Do not set targets but do set a target to publish the on goings of the lab at least fortnightly if not weekly. 

You will be surprised what human minds can achieve right in your backyard, when allowed to innovate. Lot of times we see leaders talking about training staff on innovation and similar blah. Truth is that most humans are innovators in their default mode, its the curb on innovation that needs fixing. 

So is this space a free zone with no expectations or direction? No, purposeless pursuits do not interest people, a little curation would go far in creating value. The usual suspects are your client's problems. Let the lab deal with each of them one by one at academic level and come out with options. Each positive development will enhance business results directly. Second suspect is talent development. That's pretty much it.

Think about it, just a space, some freedom and some rule bending. There may be fortune on the other side. But remember there is a "may be" in there, its a lab after-all.

plugHR drives HR that’s innovative and strategic, exactly what HR should be
— Ashwin Naik, Founder, Vaatsalya