Re-learning how to play: fueling innovation and disruption

Ken Reid, National Managing Partner Brand & Innovation
Ken Reid, National Managing Partner Brand & Innovation
We are opening an Innovation Lab in our new offices in Sydney. It’s an exciting project as it will provide physical space to showcase our innovation, creativity and insights. We are not the first to create an innovation space (and we won’t be the last) and we are trying to learn from others in terms of what has worked/not worked and create a space that is unique and reflects our strategy and purpose.

In designing the space and sharing the concept with others I am talking a lot about the need to “play” more. I often get quizzical looks when I talk about the importance of “play” in a professional services context but the more I dive into innovation and disruption the more I am convinced we need to re-learn how to “play” if we are to thrive in the future.

I learned a long time ago that people learn most through experience. You don’t learn in the classroom – you learn from applying classroom material in the right context – which is normally in the workplace.  Watch Charles Jennings if you want to know more.

When it comes to new technology innovation, learning in context is hard. You cannot learn about robotics in your workplace if you have no robots. You cannot learn about 3D printing if your organisation has not embraced this technology.

This is why we are creating a “play” zone in our Innovation Lab. The play zone is where you can experiment, explore, ask questions and learn about technology innovation.

I thought I knew a bit about 3D printing from reading various articles and watching a few YouTube videos….but I learned far more about 3D Printing and the potential impacts on business from seeing a 3D printer, watching it print a hedgehog and discussing with my team potential use cases.

I kinda understood what augmented reality was – again I’d read an article about its use in the property sector, but again, after playing with my Space 4D+ cards I have a long list of potential use cases for KPMG and my clients.

A priority goal for our new Innovation Lab is “re-learn how to play”. We are in Tower 3 at Barangaroo if you want to join us and have a play with technology.

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