A change of scenery can inspire people to change the way they think about things and come up with fresh new ideas. It’s so important to encourage employees to get creative and giving them a chance to step outside of their usual surroundings is a great way of doing just that. That’s why we have officially opened up our Innovation Lab here at MANN+HUMMEL in Ludwigsburg.

Our plan is to invite colleagues and project teams along, so they can get away from their usual workplace and hold creative workshops in this new and adaptable space.

moveable furniture

With flexible furniture, movable walls, an electronic whiteboard and a whole host of ‘toys’ both big and small to play with, the equipment in the lab is deliberately completely different to what you would expect to find in the other meeting rooms on site. What’s more, adjoining rooms give teams the option to split up into smaller groups and get down to work.

moveable furniture

There’s no need to worry about a strict seating plan, as there is the freedom and flexibility to move everything round as desired. Whilst all this might not seem that out of the ordinary at first, the success stories speak for themselves. After all, you need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to see things differently and come up with innovative ideas.  Plus, we have the technology available here to work in teams interactively, so even country borders can’t stand in our way anymore.

As of April 2018, the Innovation Lab is open to all employees for all sorts of creative workshops sessions, giving teams chance to get together for some design thinking or scrum workshops. My colleague Lena Scheible and I look after the space as part of our work on the Innovation Management team. We have been on hand to help prepare for and run workshops in the Innovation Lab since it opened.

The new space is incredibly popular and we are thrilled to hear such positive feedback from our colleagues. A lot of the teams have been back to use the Innovation Lab more than once, finding that the relaxed setting feeds their creativity.

moveable furniture in the new meeting room

As part of the Open Innovation Challenge 2018, we are going to be using the space with suppliers for the first time, so we can evaluate potential innovative collaborative projects within the field of additive manufacturing. We can’t wait to see what creative ideas are going to come out of the Innovation Lab!