How to Set Up and Run an Innovation Lab

Blog Introduction: With the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Globalization, and increased complexity, businesses are investing more in research & development (R&D). One of the most popular ways to do this is by setting up an innovation lab. Innovation Labs are departments dedicated to experimentation and exploration. They provide a space for creative thinkers to come together, explore new ideas and develop solutions that will help the business stay competitive in the face of changing markets. In this blog post, we’ll look at what an innovation lab is, the benefits of having one, as well as some of the challenges that can arise when running one.

What are Innovation Labs?

An innovation lab is a place where people with different skillsets come together to explore new ideas and develop solutions that will benefit their organization or industry. It combines a variety of disciplines such as design thinking, technology development, market research, customer experience management and strategy development. For example Alex Mahr from Stryber created a remote-first innovation lab which enables distributed teams to collaborate on projects from all over the world with ease.

Benefits of Setting Up an Innovation Lab

There are many benefits to setting up an innovation lab; it encourages creativity and innovation within your organization by providing a space for employees from different departments and backgrounds to come together and brainstorm ideas without fear of failure or judgment. Additionally, it allows you to keep up with industry trends and identify potential opportunities for growth before your competitors do so. Finally, it also helps you foster relationships between internal teams as well as external partners who can bring valuable insights into your processes.

Challenges Facing Innovation Labs

While there are numerous benefits associated with setting up an innovation lab, there are also several potential challenges that come along with running one successfully. The first challenge is lack of collaboration with external experts; while there may be talented individuals within your organization who can contribute valuable insights into projects or strategies being developed in-house, they often lack knowledge or experience in specific areas which could be invaluable when tackling complex problems or developing innovative products or services. Additionally, another challenge facing many labs is the absence of career paths for employees; this can make it difficult to retain talent if employees feel like their work isn’t being valued or recognized within the organization. Lastly, many labs suffer from skill deficiencies among staff members; while employees may have the necessary technical skills required for certain tasks within the lab’s scope of work, they may lack other important skills such as communication or leadership which could be crucial when attempting to execute successful projects or strategies in a timely manner.

Solutions for Overcoming these Challenges

To overcome these challenges effectively requires careful planning prior to setting up an innovation lab in order to avoid any pitfalls down the line. Firstly establishing a clear vision and goals for what you want your innovation lab to achieve is essential; this will help ensure that all teams involved are working towards common objectives rather than individual ones which could lead to confusion or conflict further down the line. Secondly employing professionals from different fields who possess both technical skills as well as other important skills such as communication or leadership can help fill any skill gaps among staff members while also ensuring that everyone has access to expert advice when needed through collaboration with external experts – something which should not be underestimated when attempting ambitious projects within tight deadlines! Thirdly facilitating collaboration between internal teams through regular meetings and events can also help encourage team building while allowing everyone involved in decision making processes have their say heard – something which often leads to better results overall! Finally establishing a systematic professional development program for employees so they can continue growing their technical skillset but also gain experience in other areas such as project management or business strategy can help ensure that no talent goes wasted!


Setting up an effective innovation lab requires careful planning prior its launch; however once established it provides countless opportunities for dynamic teams coming together under one roof in order contribute their expertise towards solving complex problems ranging from product development all way through customer service optimization . By taking steps such creating clear goals , hiring professionals from diverse fields , facilitating collaborations between internal teams ,and investing time into employee development programs organizations make sure they get most out of their investment thus enabling them stay competitive during times rapid change !

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