Your office design plays a pivotal role in implementing culture change. We look at how your office design can promote innovation to find the next best thing.

More and more companies are striving to create a culture of innovation within their organisations. We all know how the leading global innovation companies like 3M, Apple and Google have this culture in abundance, but how does a well-established company change their culture from a follower to a leader?

For years the construction industry has been guilty of not evolving and progressing at the pace expected by our changing world. I often hear the comparison between how the automotive industry has changed vastly in the last 100 years embracing technology compared to construction which hasn't changed significantly. These comparisons aren't isolated in one or two industries. Look at the financial sector and how they have failed to evolve their service offering; they've been strangled by regulation and failed to capitalise on the huge amounts of data at their fingertips. This in contrast to companies like Google and Facebook who flirt with the privacy laws but actively use all the personal data they can extract to help maximise their revenue. Larry Page, Google's CEO, said recently that companies have been doing the same thing for 50 years and it's time for them to start thinking big.

But who's to blame for all this? Is it down to the CEO to change things? For me personally they can provide the foundations and the environment to build the culture but ultimately it comes down to the people.

At Morgan Lovell, we are at the beginning of an initiative to create a culture of innovation. From cross-departmental monthly workshops to team-specific projects, innovation is touching every part of our business. We are providing our staff with dedicated time to work on projects outside their daily function, which has worked successfully at Google and 3M. We are quantifying our innovations monthly so that year on year we can monitor real progress. We are training staff to learn innovation tools and apply a beta approach to launching new innovations so that we get things out in the market to learn and adapt quickly. Failure is something not traditionally accepted in large corporates but is vital for innovation, so we're trying to change that mind-set so that our staff embrace and learn from failure.

But how can you measure innovation? In truth sometimes it's difficult maybe even impossible, but for most incremental innovation there should always be a common link that portrays what it was like before and what it's like after. Whether it's sales, processes, efficiencies or a new industry, take a snapshot of what happened before and then regularly after and see how successful the innovation is or isn't doing and adapt.

Taking inspiration from Team GB's Olympic cycling team and their marginal gains philosophy, if every person in your organisation added just 1% to their productivity, isolated it may feel like a small contribution but combined that becomes a powerful organisation. Our staff are starting to create incremental innovations regularly and the initiative is gathering pace and traction. The important thing with any culture change initiative is that it only succeeds when it becomes the norm and at Morgan Lovell we may be at the beginning of this journey, but we are already taking giant steps in changing our business.