Digital Innovation Labs

Innovation Labs are a short term investment for a long term success

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Innovation is crucial to the success of business growth, revenue and protection from competition. Innovation takes place when actions are generated from ideas. In order for a business to innovate, it must recognise and break out of the typical ways of doing things – technology is always changing and staying relevant is key. Here are some signs you might need a digital innovation lab

Book an Innovation Lab – the diagnosing doctor. Receive the diagnosis for you and your colleagues to deliver the best possible solution.

Innovation Labs

A group of employees who are in the middle of an Innovation lab with Encompass Innovate and are enjoying the process.

So, what are Innovation Labs? Our Innovation Labs provide access to a safe place in which we diagnose and work with you to begin to solve your organisational dilemmas by:

  • Understanding your business and user needs
  • Identifying areas of improvement
  • Leveraging untapped digital opportunities
  • Designing innovative solutions
  • Maximising staff skills
  • Driving measurable, positive outcomes

Innovation Labs identify the ‘What’. Labs tease out what needs to happen (however big or small). The ‘How’ comes later… when we use our research from the lab to inform powerful and compelling creative ideas, maximise impact, transform your business and give you the power to move quickly.

Examples of the ‘How’ could be as small as implementing new products such as DocuSign to manage paperless signatures or they could be on a larger scale, for example migrating operations to Google Workspace to create a paperless organisation.

Employees who are in the middle of an Innovation lab with Encompass Innovate and are making notes as part of an exercise.

Case Study

A customer got in touch with us as they suspected they could do things better in their accounts and finance team but were not sure what to do or how to do it… they just had a desire to change. They were interested in how they could improve their internal process for approving purchase orders.

During a half day Innovation Lab we mapped out the current process, captured pain points and user stories. Over the course of the workshop and a subsequent Innovation Lab report, we identified that the process was open to human error, encouraged rework / duplication of effort and included more people than necessary.

We created recommendations for simple process changes including enhanced use of Google Sheets with a bespoke add on designed to specifically meet their identified needs.

Our team developed the custom add on, and worked with the customer to introduce the new process and system. The work was completed within 3 days of the Innovation Lab  and saves our customer an average of five hours of staff time per week.

The Innovation Lab and subsequent development work paid for itself within three weeks.

What Innovation Labs do

Three smiling employees who've just finished an Innovation lab with Encompass Innovate and have embraced the new trends.

Get the right people in the room

Innovation Labs are all about the people, culture and getting the right people in the room to form a consensus of pain points and learn about specific business processes and operations. That’s why we push for multicultural Innovation Labs that require a diverse mix of people. We support you to validate your genuine unique business problem in a safe environment with no preconceived notions and no hierarchy.

Embrace change

Everyone is encouraged to talk about their work and most importantly, be willing to change! We often find that by involving the people from the get go, they embrace change and do not resist it. If they are not willing to change, well guess what – we are here to help them change! We are change nerds so let’s change together and find new ways of working.

Make work better

Through innovation, we aim to always make work better. We do this by streamlining processes and systems. It’s easy for processes and procedures to grow (in the wrong way) over time and no longer work for your organisation. Innovation Labs are a network to start to explore new technologies, start up new ideas and define notable projects.

Influence the bottom line

Sometimes companies are so busy growing the business and enjoying faster growth than expected, that they don’t have time to get all the systems right the first time.  Some businesses will focus on innovations that match their current business model.

By working with an external partner, you can protect your business from corporate antibodies (complacency) and a business-as-usual mentality. We enable further growth to sustain the business. We are experts in our field and we can help you to deliver results and protect your organisation from the competition.

Digital Innovation Labs

Digital transformation is at the heart of everything that we do in our Innovation Centers. They are the starting mechanism to digital transformation. 

Digital Innovation Labs focus on encouraging digital transformation within a business by identifying areas where various technologies can make an improvement and bring change. They creatively explore new ideas to achieve different outcomes.

That being said, Innovation Labs are not about technology (yet) they are about consulting to guide you through a series of sessions to uncover staff / team pain points and challenges. We find new ways to make changes to processes, people or technology to better align the company with its business strategy and vision. Outcomes do not mean that you will have to transfer your whole entire business or IT systems, they can be small, quick, affordable fixes that make a huge difference.

What is the process of an Innovation Lab?

In our Innovation Labs, attendees contribute their thoughts and ideas on what currently works and what doesn’t. We then unpick these complex motivations and behaviours and their relationships with systems and processes (or lack of) in your business.

This is broken down into a six step process:

1. Free 30 min chat

Our Innovation Specialists will discuss your organisation’s challenges, aims and reasons for engaging with our digital innovation consultancy.

2. Prep work

Following the consultation, our team will go away and plan a bespoke half or full day Innovation Lab that will encourage delegates to share the challenges or frustrations they face.

3. The Lab

Our Innovation Specialists discover and listen to delegates’ needs and requirements by opening up topics, brainstorming and introducing new ideas.

4. Recommendations

Following the Lab you will receive a report detailing each unique user story coupled with our recommended next steps on how to start reshaping and transforming your business.

5. Outcomes

Outcomes can be quick, low investment fixes that can be swiftly deployed or, the design, build and implementation of advanced bespoke systems.

6. Change

You decide how to proceed and implement our recommendations. You may decide to implement some immediately or prioritise certain tasks over others.

Innovation Lab benefits

Innovation Labs offer a fresh perspective to start the development of new ideas that are backed by research, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Improve product and service quality

Learn how to use new technology and where to focus your improvement efforts for immediate solutions. It’s hard for companies to make changes when they have been doing their current process for years. Industry and academic experts have studied how investing in Innovation Labs can have a recognisable positive effect on business models and improve product and service quality.

Save businesses time and money

Innovation Labs save businesses time and money by increasing employee productivity and job satisfaction. An example could be using automation to manage big data sets therefore saving time. This results in a positive impact on the service that you provide to your customers which increases your customer satisfaction, inevitably increasing revenue.

Introduce an innovative culture

With the changed world we now live in, it’s easy to forget that the biggest driver of human behaviour (our emotions) remains the same. If processes are done well, people want to work and engage with them. If the people are involved in creating processes, the more enthused they are about working with them.

Innovation Lab client success

One of our customers recently migrated to Google Workspace and was experiencing reluctance among some staff to use Google Sheets. Staff felt that Excel could better meet their needs and that Google Sheets did not have the functionalities they required to perform their role. 

We held Innovation Labs with a number of teams to identify frustrations and challenges that they faced. Through brainstorming sessions and group discussions, we were able to tease out what was actually happening. 

Following the Innovation Lab, we presented a report detailing each unique user story and our recommended next steps. Recommendations included training sessions, building bespoke solutions to automate tasks within Google Sheets and providing online training resources. 

The customer was able to use the report as a “shopping list”  and purchased a series of training sessions, innovation labs and consultancy days from us as part of a large piece of work to take place of period of several months.

What can participants expect?

In the Innovation Lab, participants can expect a safe space to brainstorm and complete group tasks to generate ideas and get them onto paper. We provide guidance to get staff thinking about what they are struggling with and what they do not want to do anymore (within reason of course!). 

Innovation Labs offer a fresh perspective to start the development of new ideas that are backed by research, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Innovation Lab investment

Innovation Labs are a short term investment for a long term success. You will benefit from rewards not only in streamlined efficiency and cost effectiveness but also pure professionalism for the benefit of customers as well as staff morale.

There is often resistance to introduce new ways of working into core business. In order to succeed, you need external experts mixed with employees who have a passion for innovation. Our neutral perspective means buy-in from internal stakeholders is welcomed meaning new innovations evolve and real change starts to occur.By investing in Innovation Labs, breakthrough products or business models that result in an increase in ROI present themselves – making the investment in the Innovation Lab totally worthwhile! We are convinced our Innovation Labs will pay for themselves.

Innovation Lab locations

Innovation Labs can be held either in person, or virtually via a Google Meet / Zoom / Teams meeting.  We have refined and perfected our Innovation Labs during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that you’ll achieve great outcomes while working remotely.

Our Innovation Labs have been held all over the world. You choose how we collaborate together in the future, in person or virtually, it’s up to you – New York, Hong Kong we got you!

Our experience

Our clients come from all backgrounds. We have experience working within a variety of industries in both the private and public sector from universities to financial institutions to small community startups. Any business is right for an Innovation Lab.

Following the lab, we have the experience and knowledge to build and implement recommended solutions. We scope, design and create amazing user focused solutions at low cost to meet your needs, budget and timelines (we don’t make you walk before you can run).

Choose Encompass Innovate for your Digital Innovation Labs