Play it as a living lab
Photo : Sebastien Glapinsky
A Living Lab always puts the clients, patients or citizens at the heart of the process.
Build your team as a living lab team. This means that you must ensure that each of you play one of these three roles:
• PROJECT LEADER
He (or she) ensures that deadlines are met and that everyone contributes, the project leader is responsible for the overall process and aspects more 'business' like, making sure that it remains economically viable.
Those who deepen the issue at different stages and ensure all the innovative and sustainable aspects, who make sure that it's technically feasible (how do you obtain the desired results). The ones who are responsible for testing the concept with people and include the comments in the iteration phases.
Those who play the role of the users by bringing new perspectives and concrete practices, they are the clients of your innovation, and they participate in its co-creation! They are the co-developers, making sure the product, the service or the application is always optimised to satisfy the final users.
Make sure to cover all the important elements of an innovation project. To inspire you, think of the story of some innovations.
INNOVATION LIFE CYCLE
Every innovation has a life cycle. Get inspired by the Theory of Evolution.
Innovation by 'Exaptation' involves several earlier structures in a new function.
An example in Nature is a functional evolution of feathers in birds. Many scientists are indeed of the opinion that feathers of birds had a primary function of thermoregulation. It's only later in evolution that feathers were used to fly (theropod ancestors of birds).
Examples of innovations are the invention of Apple II, the first personal computer manufactured on a large scale, and of I-Phones that was obtained by bringing together innovations from various fields of electronic industries and information technology.
'Transadaptation' is the optimisation of existing structures to increase their efficiency and sometimes with new functions.
Examples in nature are Man bipedalism that led him to dance and to practice sophisticated gymnastics.
Examples of innovations How the cart became a car? And the plane came from innovations in the automotive field and then influence the car industry, which influences came afterwards in both directions (like in sports cars and everything related to aerodynamics). The 3M Post-it, a failed product that has found a new use.
'Maladaptations' are characters or functions that are not in harmony with the environment.
Examples in nature are the mammoths of African origin that have adapted to glacial regimes of Eurasia (larger body sizes, thick fleeces), arrived the interglacial period, mammoths migrated to Siberia to finally disappear. The giant Irish deer. Its evolution has favoured males growing wood of considerable magnitude to attract females and mostly exclude other males. But the expansion of forests after glaciation turned the advantage into a handicap.
Examples of innovations are the traditional taxis industry challenged by models like Uber, better adapted to citizens.
'Maladjustment' is a deterioration leading to structural changes.
Keeping an activity or services tailored to a previous situation.
Examples in Nature are the evolution of horses (the number of fingers of horses fell from 5 to 2 and horses have a space between incisors and premolars called "bar". This is where the riders put the healthier to control their mounts. This bar is a paradigmatic example of a character appeared passively, by design constraint, and without an advantage regarding natural and sexual selection.
Examples of innovations are the vinyl records were replaced by compact discs (CDs) in the digital era, but were fashionable in the 1990s in disco (only turntables had an adjustable speed, prerequisite to chain pieces in a mix) some DJs use them in turntablism. 2
The turntablism is an American word for the art of creating music with vinyl turntables and vinyl discs. 3
An invention must above all be adopted than adapted. All those who have patents pending to find investors to develop their innovation know it. The Fax machine was invented in the nineteenth century (the name at the time was belinograph). This is called a Pre-adaptation, arriving too soon on the market.
Any attempt to protect an older model inhibits its ability to be transformed and ultimately makes it vulnerable, incapable of reinventing itself. Innovation is also, above all, the questioning of what seems well established. It's the creative destruction cycle of Schumpeter .
AN INVENTION IS ALIVE AND GROWS WITH AND IN A WORLD
IN CONSTANT MOTION
The Design Thinking approach applied in a living lab gives excellent results. The process is not linear. It is built by successive iteration loops with the participation of researchers, manufacturers and users. It is never perfect, it is always improving, it is a living model, as in a petri dish. You cannot predict everything that will be discovered, it must be open to incorporate elements that you had not thought of yet.
Use the collective intelligence of the group to properly analyse the original problem from all angles.
Do not settle for a single analytical framework, think simultaneously engineering and design. Anticipate all possible collaborations around your project, innovation should fit within a contemporary marketing. Whatever your solution, make sure it is sustainable. Consider also the manufacturing process. What is ergonomics? Do you respect ecology? Think about those who will produce and sell your innovation, add value at every stage.
In recent years, the most disruptive innovations have been in the area of services and business models. Think about the marketing of your product or innovation, what type of services? If you develop an application, ergonomics and quality of the interface are paramount. Think of your innovation in a world of the future. Be creative. Make us dream of a better world!