2B — March 24 - April 13, 2017 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic

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O wners , D evelopers & M anagers The modern response to entrepreneurial spirit Four things developers need to know about innovation

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nnovation is the word on the tip of everyone's tongue—it's unavoidable. But it's also overused and of- ten misunderstood. Not every project is innovative, nor is every Tom, Joe, or Sally an in- novator. Here's what authentic innovation looks like, and what developers need to know. 1. What is innovation and who are innovators? Innova- tion is the modern response to entrepreneurial spirit—explo- ration that recognizes needs and constructively fulfills them. Unlike traditional business models, innovation starts with the problem—what custom- ers need and want, and works backward to create a product. At its best, innovation is scal- able, with the capacity to meet people where they are and un- veil new perspectives on tools and processes already at hand. And innovation is vibrantly and fiercely empirical—a canvas where inquiry, analysis, and design come together to paint the world anew. 2. What is an innovation center? An innovation center is a hub for high-impact stra- tegic exploration. Despite the pervasiveness of technology, we are coming up with ideas more slowly than we used to. On the other side of the coin, the value of accel- erating speed-to-market is sky- high. These conditions make places for innovation more important than ever before. The world, in today’s experience- driven, disruption economy, is experiencing monumental shifts—stimuli like increased global competition, ever-rising consumer expectations, and intensifying complexity are requiring companies and insti- tutions to dedicate resources, tools, and delineated structures I

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to driving innovation. Innova- tion centers have three core strategies: 3. What kind of culture dif- ferentiates an innovation center? Innovation centers thrive on a community's thirst for knowl- edge—they're a place where natural curiosity is embedded with vital purpose. Whether an innovation cen- ter is found in a co-working space, on a college campus, in the heart of a company’s head- quarters, or as a startup part- nership, its values-based cul- ture of thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity imbue it with a sense of vital purpose. Mold- ing the space to articulate and support that purpose hinges on creating a place where out of the chaos of sketches, stickies, and tangent-driven conversa- tions comes logic, inspiration, and action. Here's how: 4. What does this mean for developers? Just as innova- tion thrives at the intersection of disciplines, innovation cen- ters can thrive at the physical intersection of a community’s

building typologies. Innovation Centers naturally thrive at the edges of typolo- gies—some of the most promis- ing sites for innovation centers are the intersections where office districts meet education & research campuses meet flex/ light industrial use. Where we’ve seen innova- tion centers shine is at these edges, taking advantage of the infrastructure industrial sites provide like access to power, space for experimentation, and infrastructure that enable the ebb and flow of moving product. The promise of innovation in cities also benefits from educa- tion & research sites—places great minds and leading-edge technology come together. Of- fices and workplaces offer an additional node for innova- tion—places where the great endeavor of commerce can respond to customers in fast iterations and with an eye to the future. In today's knowl- edge economy, adjacency to innovative labor markets and an interdisciplinary ecosystem continued on page 3B


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