During our time here at Slingshot labs we have been not only learning and putting into practice design thinking techniques however we have been learning about how one as well as corporations can foster a culture of innovation.
We have all read about creative culture at places like Netflix with their unlimited holidays and maternity leave. But how about in the actual space. A member of the Slinghot team was able to visit the netflix head office and have a look around at their creative environment. Netflix encourages collaboration, but more importantly it encourages autonomy- that way employees are not afraid to experiment and take chances creating new features or suggesting new marketing or content ideas. Employees have their own dedicated spaces, with desks that move, however there are also collaboration rooms, rooms full of technology they may require, every film viewing medium you can think of, even a vending machine full of every possible headphone/cable/ adaptor you can imagine so that an employee is never slowed down by lack of equipment.
In our research into innovation spaces we interviewed Pablo Quintano an Innovation specialist, and a creator of the Barcelona Innovation Hub for the renowned corporation Accenture. Pablo gave us a few key insights as what things are important when considering features to have in an innovation hub.
Firstly, they should neither be under or over funded. Overfunding leads to a superficial, flashy appearance of “innovation culture” and expensive machinery but with little substance. Conversely, and under-funded initiative can suffer from inadequate personnel.
A multidisciplinary, cohesive team is key. Pablo stressed need for exploring innovation in the “medium term,” meaning projects for eventual rollout one to two years in the future – this keeps clients coming back and continuing to generate new business. Finally, Pablo said the success of innovation spaces depends on being open and available to the whole company, not insular and isolated from employees in other departments.
“But you don’t need to spend crazy money. You need walls where you can write on, desks you can write on.. A couple of computers. You need it to facilitate collaboration and design thinking. It’s not about having a football table.” – Pablo Quintano
We have also had the opportunity to visit other innovation hubs and will take this learning forward of the key important features into our own practice and our suggestions for our clients.