There are six types of ChangeLabs in which teams work together. Each lab with a specific purpose and outcome.
On-location or on-line?
ChangeLabs can be facilitated on-location and on-line or blended. We use inspiring locations and advanced frameworks, canvases and software to reveal the wisdom of the group.
An innovation lab provides your team with a space for experimentation and discovery, where we collectively try to explore and find solutions to our most pressing challenges through new ways of thinking and organizing. This approach is of particular relevance today as we find that our existing ways of organizing are not designed for the complex challenges we face. We need a new approach for individuals and organizations to engage in open-ended and unknown transition processes.
Your team will create an idea about what might work. We then create an agile experiment to see if it works as we think - expecting to fail because that is the nature of experimenting. From this safe to fail experiment we then gain feedback about the social system and how it responds. We take the feedback and we study it to try and find what it is telling us about our approach and the nature of the issue we are dealing with. We now use this learning to adjust our idea about what might work or the best way forwards.
In a Futuring Lab your team is engaged in a systematic process to think about the future; framing and forming possible scenarios for the future to gain insight into the best actions to take in the present. Your team use what they see in the present as a view on to the future; they watch trends and try to envision what may happen, but they are also aware that the future does not yet exist and thus is something to be created through the stories we tell.
During the lab-sessions we use advanced databases and tools to collect and analyze signals and trends from the past and the present, to create scenarios about probable, possible, or desirable futures. A Futuring Lab involves looking at both large scale drivers of change but also weak signals as pointers of change beginning to emerge on the horizon - at the same time remaining conscious of 'wild cards' and 'black swan' events that involve great uncertainty and can’t yet be known.
In a Strategy Lab your team will learn how their organization can absorb and respond to the unexpected. Nurturing shock-resistant organizations and cultures starts with understanding the essential capacities that can be actively cultivated to strengthen responsiveness in the face of unknowns. Focusing on specific capacities that have been shown to enable organizations to thrive in VUCA environments such as being adaptive, sensitive to subtle changes, resilient, interconnected, diverse and cooperative.
The Strategy Lab that’s been distilled from years of research on the dynamics of biological and social systems, provide your team with powerful self-assessment tools for calibrating these capacities.
In an Identity Lab your team will use advanced tools to shape a collective identity for the organization. This is required to engage people in change. Identities can be created, and have always been created, with not much more than a story. Ford, Apple, Nokia are stories that were created when a group of people started to connect due to innovations in communication, transport, technology and cultural change.
Identities are created when there is a fertile ground of connectivity and shared experience, it is the story that builds upon that to give it coherence. The defining feature of those organizations that have lasted a very long time is a sense of identity. They had a sense of who they were that transcended what they did. Because they were secure in this core identity they were more open and adaptive.
In a Agile Lab your team will experience that the current wave of connectivity is having an effect on your organization. As we see production processes, business processes and organizations get unbundled from their traditional monolithic form and distributed out into networks. By no longer being dependent upon centralized organization for connectivity and coordination, operations can now be decentralized across an ever-larger network of peers.
In the Agile lab your team will use canvases to create networks and platforms that connect and harness the resources of others towards a common purpose without there being a traditional organization in the center.
In an Urban Lab your team is organized around the development of a particular innovation focused on dealing with an urban challenge. In practice, we also organize labs that are defined by a geographical area that forms the arena for innovations focusing on various challenges.
These area-defined labs can better be referred to as a collaboration platforms. Such a platform aims to form a breeding ground for innovation, rather than directly developing innovations. The facilitation of a collaboration platform is giving rise to multiple initiatives within a particular urban area, and creating supporting conditions.