As we invite people to work together, take risks, learn, test, disagree, and experiment, we mostly work inside temporary laboratories that we create and facilitate.
These physical-social-intellectual spaces are dedicated to a variety of purposes: Strategy Formulation, Innovation Design, Community Renewal, Leadership Transition, Organizational Change and Transformation, Learning Revolution, Workspace Innovation, Gathering Transformation, Board Immersion…
Every mission is different, unique to each problem and each organization.
However, our work tends to rotate around these main categories:
• Strategy Formulation > working together to redefine what the organization-community-group stands for and how it wants to use its unique power and possibility
• Innovation Design > engaging groups of stakeholders in a process of co-design to create new solutions to old or new problems, through old and new technologies
• Community Renewal > helping large groups redefine the meaning of their community, the nature of their belonging, and the structure of their relatedness to one another
• Leadership Transition > supporting teams and organizations in their efforts to reorganize their way of working when the power structure is altered or when a new leader begins her or his tenure
• Organizational Change and Transformation > working with leadership teams and representatives of all parts of the organization or community to redesign the relationship between the mission-strategy-organization in a way that can help everyone perform at their best
• Learning Revolution > helping educational institutions or training teams upgrade their approach to learning and redesign their philosophy, pedagogy, and infrastructure
• Workspace Innovation > reorganizing the thinking around “space” as a tool for the life of organizations, and embedding cutting-edge knowledge about “how we learn,” “how we think,” “how we relate,” and “how we create”
• Gathering Transformation > guiding a radical re-thinking of large scale gatherings-conferences-conventions, allowing organizations or communities to get rid of old beliefs and habits and reorganize the way large groups can meet, exchange, and connect inside a true marketplace of ideas, relationships, and possibilities
• Board Immersion > leading Board of Directors through highly critical, collective reflections on the future of the organizations they represent or through the management of a significant crisis.
The best solutions tend to be simple – but simplicity can only emerge from a deep understanding of the complexity inherent in the context-problem-situation. Inside our Labs, which typically run for three to five days with 25 to 125 people, groups can explore multiple layers of reality and different perspectives, process huge amounts of information, make sense of each person’s experience, and leverage the whole context and history of a critical issue.
We avoid any invitation to simplify problems, to create 2×2 pictures of reality, to copy and paste so-called best practices. We believe in uniqueness and trust that the group can create anew. We know individuals are exhilarated by learning, and we have witnessed the drive of genuine curiosity, the serendipity of self-organization, the liberty of choice, and the essential quality of authenticity.
These are the elements around which we build a Lab. These are the magic ingredients that create transformative outcomes. This is what collaboration – and collaboration only – can create as the group learns the value of disagreement, avoids the trap of compromise, and enjoys the gift of co-creation during a highly immersive work session.
Often, at the end of a Lab, we create and manage Local Innovation Hubs: small, flexible spaces that groups use to continue and sustain the collaborative process. These spaces are temporary, supported and facilitated by a small team, rich in content and tools, and suited for both group and individual use.
Sometimes organizations ask us to design a permanent space and create internal capacity for supporting a more advanced collaborative and co-design process.