The Sd Worx Innovation Lab

Facilitating Innovation Lab teams at SD Worx

innovation, facilitation, Service Design | April 2019

At SD Worx all employees get the opportunity to pitch ideas at the internal Innovation Lab. If the idea meets enough innovation criteria, the employee may form a team and further explore his/her idea. In this exploration phase, Peel guides the team from idea to concept or prototype, including business model and a pitch to the Executive Committee.

Rob Luyten (International Innovation Manager at SD Worx):

As Innovation manager my time is completely absorbed by interesting ideas. I’m very happy that Jenthe, as my right hand, ensures that these ideas are explored and evaluated according to the right methods so that the ideas reach the pitch moments. Engaging people and stimulating them to think creatively are important components of the process, in which Peel succeeds well. Generally, the SD Worx strategic pillars serve as shared objectives to bring ideas to the right direction.”

One step back, two steps forward

An innovation lab project essentially starts with exploring the problem that the idea wants to solve. We tend to quickly think about solutions (and that’s okay), but first identifying and understanding the underlying customer need is crucial. Although this step might feel like “standing still” at firsthand, it often leads to more ideas & opportunities. Digging deeper in the problem scope and customer journey results in a more holistic understanding of the context and breaks with silo-thinking. Ultimately this stimulates more creative & integrated solutions.

Hi Mr. Customer!

There is one step we never skip during the exploration phase: validation. At this point we test all our assumptions and first ideas with the customer (and end-user, if those two might be different). Getting feedback from multiple customers is a principal factor of a good exploration. Even if our assumptions are countered, this is still a valuable insight. It prevents us from spending too much effort on the (first) idea, and stimulates to maybe pivot to different strategies. Or as others often frame it: failing is a learning experience. Depending on the case, we customize our validation techniques to maximize customer insights. With those insights we iterate to a final prototype.

No business without a viable model

The last exploration sessions focus on creating a viable business model. How do we plan to deliver our value proposition? What core activities and resources are needed to sustain it? Which partners might be interesting to work with? How much investment do we need to build a first MVP? And which revenue model do we want to apply in order to be profitable in the long run?

Pitch time

The final act in the exploration phase is pitching the new concept towards the Executive Committee. As innovation coach, Peel helps in creating the pitch but doesn’t take part in presenting it. The ownership lies entirely with the Innovation team, since they will also take up responsibility for implementing the idea when their solution concept gets a go.

Peel has been working with SD Worx for over a year now, and multiple projects have successfully passed on to the next Innovation lab phase. Facilitating Innovation lab teams has been great fun already. Next to supplementing the existing SD Worx product & service portfolio with new and innovative solutions, it also stimulates employee intrapreneurship. Two great evolutions if you ask us!

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