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Why Innovation Labs Fail and How to Make Them Succeed

It is the ultimate in innovation dreams: being able to test out creative new ideas in a safe, risk-free environment. That is exactly the opportunity innovation labs create for organizations. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels cautions against the obstacles that can cause innovation labs to fail and offers advice on how to make them succeed.

Isolate and Innovate

What causes an innovation lab to fail? Ian Cohen, a former CIO and current digital advisor, believes it comes down to the frustration the core members of the business feel. When people working for the core of the business see a snazzy new innovation lab that is not restrained to typical corporate protocol, they can feel frustrated. Why should they do all of the work while someone else has all of the fun?

CIOs must be very careful in navigating this minefield of resentment. Talented CIOs will be able to ensure tangible, quality results so that the entire business can benefit. Additionally, those who are working in the lab should be solely dedicated to working in the lab. Having this commitment will procure success. CIOs should be able to give strong directions to their team on both sides.

Labs should not be established purely for the sake of innovation, according to director of technology at Reed.co.uk Mark Ridley. Innovation should not be an entirely separate entity; rather, it should be integrated into the heart of the business strategy. At Reed.co.uk, the employees are given innovation labs to receive the opportunity to flesh out their ideas in a sterile environment without interruptions.

Innovation labs, when utilized properly, can inspire a collaborative effort that results in phenomenal results. Ridley believes that “Innovation is often about being in the right place at the right time.” Always encourage innovation, but understand how to manage it well.

You can read the original article here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-innovation-labs-fail-and-how-to-make-them-succeed/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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