Like any other structure, innovation labs are designed in ways that reflect the styles of the people who designed them — creative and social, exclusive and methodical, or agile and practical. They will focus on projects that they turn around quickly or deep dive on.
How about using labs to also support teams test out they want to work differently and test out self-management (i.e. Wellbeing Teams, Policy Lab, Safer Camden) or on an issue where there’s a need to mobilise people (i.e. Finance Innovation Lab, U Lab, North Camden Zone) or in a neighbourhood (like Bologna’s Civic Imagination Lab, Camden’s Think & Do.
What can we learn?
- Start thinking like a system
- Create bandwidth for bigger thinking
- Move out of business as usual
- Account for the whole, not just the parts
- Convene and create legitimacy
- Create accountability across the many actors
- Account for the cost of coordination
- Amplify participation
How do we balance needing to invest time in understanding people’s lives & building relationships with testing & learning in a quick & agile way?