How to write your brief and build your team for innovation.

Most briefs:
– We are seeking to appoint a design team to design an innovative classroom / laboratory / research centre / hub / factory / community centre

Selection Criteria:
– Proven experience in the sector.
– 3 examples of similar projects.

Scoring:
– Experience counts 50% of the total score.

In the book How Innovation Works, Matt Ridley describes how most innovation is not the single brilliant person coming up with new ways of doing things, but how disparate ideas (inventions) are brought together to be used in new, beneficial ways (an innovation).

When you look at your new, beautiful, award winning facility and have a nagging feeling of an opportunity lost because underneath all that shininess is a sameness to what came before, look back at how you put together your team.

Did you build a team that will work for the future rather than relying on success in the past? Will they support innovation from the bottom up? Is there diversity of interests, experience and knowledge? What will they research for your project? And how will they use that experience you considered so essential – to support innovation or play it safe?

Consider that your brief to support innovation may actually be, unintentionally, smothering innovation from the top.

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