A systematic, talent-led approach to innovation

Our safe place for experimentation. It’s here where we explore and play at the frontier to discover how emerging technologies will transform our world and to create what’s next.

The Process

Driven by our talent’s desire to be pioneers and our clients’ trust in us to be their Innovator of Record, FunLabs was created to ensure we continue to be part of the force that creates each new tech wave. Through FunLabs, internal teams work on self-directed hypotheses focused on new and frontier technologies.

Step 1

The Considerations Report

Our practices scan the horizon with a focus on frontier technologies and trends that look to be game-changers, what our talent are interested in diving into, and what we think will benefit our clients.

Step 2

The FunLabs Committee

An ever-changing committee made up of talent from across practices and locations is formed for each FunLabs cycle. They are tasked with narrowing our focus and guiding the selection process.

Step 3

The Outcomes Menu

The FunLabs Committee reviews and debates the Considerations Report. The result is a focused Outcomes Menu with three potential technologies or themes that the next FunLabs cycle should focus on.

Step 4

The Proposal

The Outcomes Menu is shared with the entire company. Everyone at Robots & Pencils is given four weeks to put forward proposed experiments for consideration.

Step 5

The Top Three

The FunLabs committee reviews, debates and narrows down the proposals to the final three that move forward to a company-wide vote.

Step 6

The Pitch

Top three finalists pitch their idea to the company PechaKucha–style. They make their case in just 6 minutes 40 seconds and with 20 slides.

Step 7

The Vote

The team votes on which project should go forward. This is not American idol-esque – it’s a weighted coin game with nuances around tenure with Robots & Pencils and interest in being on the experiment team.

Step 8

The Lab

Once selected, a team of three is given 16 weeks to test their hypothesis. Guided by Rita Gunther McGrath’s classic innovation framework, Discovery Driven Planning, assumptions are tested monthly to ensure the experiments get smart before they get big.

Step 9

The Disengagement

Key to ensuring our wider team, clients, partners and friends benefit from the experiment, the FunLabs team is given two weeks to document and share their learnings through presentations, blogs and our Quarterly Learning Report™.

Step 1

The Considerations Report

Our practices scan the horizon with a focus on frontier technologies and trends that look to be game-changers, what our talent are interested in diving into, and what we think will benefit our clients.

Step 2

The FunLabs Committee

An ever-changing committee made up of talent from across practices and locations is formed for each FunLabs cycle. They are tasked with narrowing our focus and guiding the selection process.

Step 3

The Outcomes Menu

The FunLabs Committee reviews and debates the Considerations Report. The result is a focused Outcomes Menu with three potential technologies or themes that the next FunLabs cycle should focus on.

Step 4

The Proposal

The Outcomes Menu is shared with the entire company. Everyone at Robots & Pencils is given four weeks to put forward proposed experiments for consideration.

Step 5

The Top Three

The FunLabs committee reviews, debates and narrows down the proposals to the final three that move forward to a company-wide vote.

Step 6

The Pitch

Top three finalists pitch their idea to the company PechaKucha–style. They make their case in just 6 minutes 40 seconds and with 20 slides.

Step 7

The Vote

The team votes on which project should go forward. This is not American idol-esque – it’s a weighted coin game with nuances around tenure with Robots & Pencils and interest in being on the experiment team.

Step 8

The Lab

Once selected, a team of three is given 16 weeks to test their hypothesis. Guided by Rita Gunther McGrath’s classic innovation framework, Discovery Driven Planning, assumptions are tested monthly to ensure the experiments get smart before they get big.

Step 9

The Disengagement

Key to ensuring our wider team, clients, partners and friends benefit from the experiment, the FunLabs team is given two weeks to document and share their learnings through presentations, blogs and our Quarterly Learning Report™.

Step 1

The Considerations Report

Our practices scan the horizon with a focus on frontier technologies and trends that look to be game-changers, what our talent are interested in diving into, and what we think will benefit our clients.

Step 2

The FunLabs Committee

An ever-changing committee made up of talent from across practices and locations is formed for each FunLabs cycle. They are tasked with narrowing our focus and guiding the selection process.

Step 3

The Outcomes Menu

The FunLabs Committee reviews and debates the Considerations Report. The result is a focused Outcomes Menu with three potential technologies or themes that the next FunLabs cycle should focus on.

Step 4

The Proposal

The Outcomes Menu is shared with the entire company. Everyone at Robots & Pencils is given four weeks to put forward proposed experiments for consideration.

Step 5

The Top Three

The FunLabs committee reviews, debates and narrows down the proposals to the final three that move forward to a company-wide vote.

Step 6

The Pitch

Top three finalists pitch their idea to the company PechaKucha–style. They make their case in just 6 minutes 40 seconds and with 20 slides.

Step 7

The Vote

The team votes on which project should go forward. This is not American idol-esque – it’s a weighted coin game with nuances around tenure with Robots & Pencils and interest in being on the experiment team.

Step 8

The Lab

Once selected, a team of three is given 16 weeks to test their hypothesis. Guided by Rita Gunther McGrath’s classic innovation framework, Discovery Driven Planning, assumptions are tested monthly to ensure the experiments get smart before they get big.

Step 9

The Disengagement

Key to ensuring our wider team, clients, partners and friends benefit from the experiment, the FunLabs team is given two weeks to document and share their learnings through presentations, blogs and our Quarterly Learning Report™.

The Projects

Every FunLabs cycle, we set out to introduce something that’s never been done before. Something that shapes what comes next. Find out what we’ve built so far.

Hi

If you want to get it right, innovation needs to be continuous, ongoing, and systematic.

Rita Gunther McGrath

Globally recognized expert on innovation and Robots & Pencils Fellow

Want to learn more about how we can help drive innovation within your organization? Get in touch. We’d love to chat!
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