The Good Lab

Karen Searle: My key learnings

10 March 2017

By Thomas .

Karen Searle: My key learnings

I had asked to work on prototyping, because I wanted to understand more about how this process worked from an innovation specialists' point of view. I wanted to gain learnings which I could take back to my 'day job' and I wanted to immerse myself in an innovation space – which isn't how I normally work.

At the end of my 6-week secondment I can honestly say that I achieved all of the below and more...

· I learned NOT to feel bad because getting a new product out the door is taking a long time (at Guide Dogs): Good Lab has a team dedicated to doing just this, and it isn't a quick process.
· I fell in love with Post-It notes again – great for planning with as you can (shock horror) move them about until you get everything where you want it to be.
· I enjoyed planning a process from scratch; looking at what the idea was rather than what would be possible – by far the right the best way to do it!
· I discovered how to get live tests out of the door quickly, relatively easily and inexpensively.
· I saw truly agile meetings in practice - experts dipping in for their part and then dipping out again.
· I experienced the thrill of an expert within the sector hearing about the idea and saying what an amazing idea it was.
· I did my first ever Doodle Poll and tried out Google Forms.
· I realised that planning using a pen and paper, away from the laptop screen, encourages free thinking and a different approach.

It was definitely a good decision to apply for the secondment, and it was a really useful experience. 

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