Have a Lab Instead of an Office

The space to create new innovation is dearly missing from today’s work environments.  Creating a space to really encourage great leaps in innovation requires a few things:

  1. Space and time to think.
  2. Freedom to implement or test an idea quickly
  3. Collaboration to help get over hurdles

Recently I had the opportunity to work in a lab.  It was a bit of a mess – wires strewn everywhere, breadboards, toolboxes, soldering stations all around and within reach.  The mess actually encourages quick testing of crazy ideas. It creates an environment where there’s no limits and its easy to bend the rules to get something working.  If you want to drill a hole in your desk to attach something, go ahead. Run a wire into the next room – poke a hole in the wall.

This lab was in stark contrast to the IT management in which PCs were locked down. In the software world computers are our entire space in which to invent and create. Yet within the constraints of corporate IT the freedom to innovate can be severely restricted.  Without the ability to install software, tweak settings, plug in new devices our hands can be tied. Rather than call and IT admin to get a password to install something we avoid the confrontation and continue on with the status quo.

3507422366_c85fc9b9e2_zIn many ways the modern office is too restrictive to create truly game changing innovation.

I encourage everyone to strive to turn their office into a lab. Create a space where anything is possible!