Why did the Lab decide to go virtual instead of simply closing like other work spaces?
We live in a world where technology has become part of our daily life. At Cookhouse Labs we invite our members to ideate on ways they can integrate technology into their solutions during our projects sprints. So, it makes sense that we do the same. It is currently, more than ever, easy for us to leverage technology to stay connected to our community.
How did the team come up with this solution?
We had already began our internal design thinking sprint with digitalizing the Cookhouse Labs experience since our season 4 is focused on Global Collaboration, which means we plan to run project sprints during this season in parallel with team from Asia and Europe. The current situation invited us to start now.
How will the new solution offer the same experience as being in the Lab?
For us, the Lab is not just a building where people come together and write on post its. It is intended to be a home for innovators and creative thinkers in our insurance community. That being said, as an innovation coach I personally focus on the empathy and human centric approach. We connect not because we are in the same building, when we truly empathize we connect at a deeper level, and that level of empathy does not stop because of location. The main ingredient for our experience is the “space” we create, and that is something I am great at because it comes from core values.
What are the perks/benefits that come with participating in an online training?
There are several – learning new techniques used online – like how to share ideas on a virtual wall, remembering how to connect as a team while being in different locations, new techniques to apply for your own virtual meetings, pick up techniques on how we deliver the messages, presentations.
How does it feel to facilitate virtually?
I love it! Outside of the lab when I run my life coaching sessions they are 90% virtual. I enjoy creating a safe space where the participants are comfortable to be themselves, share and connect.
What are some challenges that come with an online solution?
Some of the challenges include the internet sometimes dropping, family members of participants interrupting (unintentionally of course), some organizations have strict guidelines and sometimes we cannot use a tool.
What are some of your takeaways/lessons from this experience?
That as a team that shares and encourages creative thinking, solution focused approach – we are always ready to implement what we teach.
What is the Lab doing internally during this challenge?
We have watercooler breaks three times a week, where we get together before lunch and have a chat. Friday afternoon is we have after work drinks – we all bring our favorite drink on camera. We check on the team as a global entity; our CEO has scheduled weekly town hall meetings to keep us all informed on updates. We also have internal company channels (like Facebook groups).
What would you encourage businesses and employees to do/keep in mind?
Empathize, not only with customers, also employees and just as important, yourself.
What should members expect from Cookhouse Labs as this situation progresses?
We are here to support the community. To remain connected and do our part to keep the creative minds nurtured by offering complimentary trainings and project sprints during this times of uncertainty.