Innovation Space: A War Room for cutting-edge products
How do you encourage your team and company to think more creatively? Having a space where you can think freely, focus and use your hands is key to successful, innovative products and thinking.
Recently, Micro Motion designed an innovation space that encourages cross-functional collaboration, ideation, and brainstorming for all employees as well as between employees and customers. The room is designed to encourage movement and challenge the orthodoxies of a traditional, siloed work space by allowing employees to write directly on the walls (which are covered in whiteboard paint) and rearrange the open space to meet their specific needs for any one meeting.
So does this new space and design actually help develop innovative products? The space has led to many improvements in processes and products, and it has become the main meeting space for teams looking toward the future of Micro Motion’s products and services. One of the main insights the room has provided is that many people think differently when they’re physically engaged in the conversation: there are tactile objects such as Rubik’s cubes, Play-Doh, and Legos placed throughout the room to encourage physical stimulation during brainstorming sessions.
In addition to providing a venue for cross-functional employee collaboration, the room is also a space where customers come and give feedback on what they would like to see in the future, what changes and additions they would like to see in certain products, and what their priorities are concerning flow measurement devices. This space is more than just a brainstorming room – it accommodates meetings with executive leaders present to yoga, and can be immediately configured to host as few as 2 or as many as 30 people at a time.
This innovative work space was inspired by the book “Make Space”, which was written about the design school at Stanford University. One suggestion in the book involved sitting on cubes rather than regular seating, which promotes more movement in the space – people getting up, walking around, writing on the walls and talking. As the only fully configurable and unbookable conference room at the facility, people feel inspired and encouraged to do good work when they are in this unique space at Micro Motion.
So how does your company promote a creative, flexible work environment? Share your stories in the comment section below.