We work with businesses, public agencies, and non-profit organizations to identify and thoroughly understand important problems, the first step in disruptive innovation. We offer our partners three possible methods of collaboration:
1. Strategic problem analyses
Partners identify large scale industry or corporate challenges and the Problem Lab conducts thorough problem analyses. Benefits include:
- Challenge long held assumptions and biases to address overlooked areas of a problem.
- Reveal new insights from parallel industries, utilizing Problem Lab expertise.
- Offload the proportionate effort required to analyze complex strategic problems.
- Obtain unbiased, meticulously researched, and sourced analyses.
2. Train an innovation team
The Problem Lab trains corporate and co-op innovation teams by providing background research and a thorough understanding of a specific employer problem. Benefits include:
- Discover new perspectives to explore the problem with briefing materials from the Problem Lab.
- Increase the team's solution effectiveness through a comprehensive understanding of the problem.
3. Corporate and co-op workshops
Attendees will be trained in rigorous problem analysis and learn how a deeper understanding of complex problems encourages more aggressive innovation. Benefits include:
- Differentiate how your organization views problems.
- Understand the Problem Lab’s methods through examples drawn from your specific industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Strategic problem analyses
Q: What is the process for problem analysis research?
We work with our partners to determine the exact problem to be explored, then prepare an introductory report designed to show range and areas of inquiry. Partners will then have the opportunity to suggest other areas for exploration, and confirm if the direction of the analysis is in line with their expectations.
Once the direction and any additional areas of inquiry are confirmed, we begin the problem analysis. The Problem Lab will prepare interim reports for review and each report is designed to provide actionable information. The interim reports will culminate in a final report encompassing all aspects of the problem.
Train an innovation team
Q: What training does the Problem Lab provide to innovation teams?
The Problem Lab prepares a briefing document for the innovation team. Content will include: a background on the external partner, background on the industry, links to parallel industries or topics, a historical overview of the identified problem, and past failed attempts to solve the problem. We will work with the innovation team to quickly establish a fundamental understanding of the problem. In addition, we will educate the team in employing effective research tools and databases.
Q: How much time is required to train an innovation team?
The time required to train innovation teams is proportionate to the complexity of the problem and the size of the team. We will work with partners to agree to a mutually sufficient timeframe.
Q: Why would an innovation team require training?
Many task forces, or innovation teams assembled, have time restrictions and are under pressure to deliver results quickly. Team members may not be able to fully research a problem beforehand. We train innovation teams in order to introduce background and contextual information about the problem before the team works toward a solution. Team members will also acquire knowledge of applicable research tools and databases which they can use to conduct additional research during the course of their project.
Corporate and co-op workshops
Q: What workshops are offered? What are the learning objectives?
Currently we offer three types of workshops:
Half/full day customized co-op problem analysis workshops are conducted for employers as an on boarding initiative to help prepare a cohort of students for their upcoming work terms. Workshops are industry/function specific and students learn how to apply Problem Lab methodology to work related use cases. Training can be conducted at the employer’s site, and students can be enrolled in any academic institution.
- Half/full or two day customized corporate workshops are prepared for management seeking to improve their organization’s approach to understanding problems. The Problem Lab methodology will be showcased in industry and existing corporate use cases. Attendees will apply the methodology to current corporate issues for immediate impact. The workshop will also help management discern priorities for various innovation suggestions/ideas.
- Full day general problem analysis workshops are for corporate sponsored individuals pursuing improved problem analysis skills and potential career development through strategic problem identification. Attendees learn how to apply The Problem Lab's methodology to a wide range of industry/functional use cases.
Ready to analyze a problem? Get in touch with us.