When setting up the lab our co founders Paul and Vicky debated what kind of space would work for our kind of organisation. They were very careful to craft a lab that fitted Bromford.
Should we have a separate space or be integrated into an existing office? Should it be a physical place or just an idea, a way of thinking?
They opted to have a physical space that sat next to our existing ICT and Project teams. A move which allowed for key stakeholders to have knowledge of what we do ready for if and when we need their help to implement it.
The physical space enables different feelings, thoughts and interactions. It unlocks a level of imagination within them and we encourage that as much as we can. Speak to any (good) educational professional and they will talk of ways to differentiate their lessons for different abilities and ways of learning - something we strive for too.
Not everyone that comes to the lab is ready to tackle a problem - some need coaching to get there, a way to break the ice in order to move forward. The lab space (and what we have in it) gives us the stage to do that. It gives a platform to work from and a strong identity which instills the way innovation works.
So why is this significant now?
Over the last week or so we have had a remodel of the lab space.
New work we are doing across Bromford meant now more than ever break out zones were crucial in the lab - we needed more group working.
It's now easier to count the surfaces you can't write on then the ones you can and we love a bit of drawing so you can bet we have every type of felt tip you can think of.
A colleague once quipped that being innovative is having chairs with no backs. It's true not a lot of the chairs have backs but they are chosen to stop visitors getting too comfy - we want agility and quick paced meetings, not a cup of tea with your feet up! Movement is so important. Just look at all the studies which say physical exercise contributes to better cognitive function. Now look across your office and see how many people are moving more than their hands across a keyboard.
What is considered as office work has been pushed into a very limited box with a screen and mouse attached. Work can be drawing, thinking, laughter, talking, making and moving (and yes every now and then its lifting the lid off the playdough tub because it smells like childhood).
Anything to spark imagination and think differently. It doesn't have to be staring at a screen pressing buttons. That's what the lab space is. That's what it stands for.
Movement. Creativity. Identity. All set the stage for innovation