Innovation Labs, either accelerators or corporate bunkers, are now becoming commonplace. As a result, workspace design is booming.
Browse around the web, and you’ll quickly see articles about startups that have designed their workspace to resemble their culture. For established companies trying to create a culture of innovation, this means copying the same design mantra of most startups, but more interesting is how they are using gimmicks to get people to collaborate.
Up there with “innovation”, “lean startup”and “design thinking”, the latest word to make it to buzzword-bingo is “Lab”. Whatever you think the definition of a Lab is, it is not what you think. I see them more as a workspace that let’s people collaborate right there on the spot, not at an offsite space where only a special few congregate. If a company calls their workspace a lab, it means anyone can take their gear, desk, and move it to be close to their collaborators.
This means that what in the corporate world used to mean that the R&D guys were the ones responsible for creating the future (aka innovation), they no longer hold the distinction of being the official innovators. No longer is everyone else, just everyone else.