Innovation Labs: Essential or ‘innovation theatre’?

“Given all the ways that innovation labs can go wrong, should your company hesitate to set one up?” Asks Simone Bhan Ahuja in her fascinating article titled Why Innovation Labs Fail, and How to Ensure Yours Doesn’t in the Harvard Business Review this month.

My own experience with innovation ‘spaces’ of all sizes and descriptions reflects the conclusions she reaches: often there are multiple problems with the way innovation spaces are created, focused, staffed and measured. Little wonder that in a Capgemini report an industry expert estimated that 80-90% of innovation spaces fail to deliver on their promise.

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