When faced with a challenge, ingenuity often leads to innovative solutions. And with the current world health crisis, it is no different.

May 4th, 2020 was scheduled to be a milestone date for CoLab. We had planned the launch of our second CoLab in Aberdeen, Scotland, following a successful launch in Houston, Texas last year.

CoLab, Wood’s innovation hub, is aimed at facilitating collaboration amongst the right people in order to co-create the right solution to a defined challenge. Turning ideas into actions, through CoLab we help solve our clients’ biggest challenges – “together”. Over the last couple of months, we have been experiencing such unprecedented times in the world and now more than ever the understanding of what is possible “together” has exponentially evolved.

“It is no longer possible to think in adversarial terms of a ‘buyers market’ or ‘sellers market’. We’re all in this together”

This quote by Tim Brown is from his seminal book Change by Design. Tim is one of the founding fathers of modern ‘design thinking’. Design thinking is the process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to find alternative strategies and solutions. The quote is my go-to reference when someone asks me why we are developing our design thinking capability across the globe – it is in fact one of the key pillars of CoLab. I like that there is no longer a ‘them’ and ‘us’ between the client and vendor – there is a focus on ‘we’.

There is no better time like the present to come together, and help the world navigate these challenging times. Now is the time to focus on the impact technology has on industry, people’s lives, and collectively recognise the critical role innovation plays in collaboration and business success.

So how do you bring people together to collaborate when we have never been so apart?

We reached out to the ingenious minds within Wood through CoLab Online to generate ideas on how we can continue to support our clients in these challenging times. Developing some of these great ideas using Microsoft Teams for communication and an online digital platform Mural for facilitation – virtual CoLab was born.

Over the last few weeks, we have facilitated multiple virtual CoLab sessions with people across the globe all hosted from the desk in my daughter’s bedroom in Galway, Ireland. Surrounded by Abigail’s Lego pieces for inspiration, we have not agreed yet if my new office is in her bedroom or her bedroom is in my office.

Virtual CoLab has allowed us to bring peers, clients and partners from across the globe together in a way we couldn’t have imagined previously. We are currently planning CoLab sessions with a number of our clients located in UK, Australia, United States and China, to understand their issues so we can unlock solutions to their critical challenges together.

CoLab is not limited to just a platform or a facility. It is about co-creating solutions that are future ready- online, offline… anywhere! That for me is the true essence of CoLab: Let us solve together.

I would be thrilled to hear more from you about your business-critical challenge. Reach out to me or our team to find out how CoLab can help solve your challenges.

Gavin Rogers,
Director of Innovation

Gavin Rogers, Director of InnovationGavin Rogers has over fifteen years of experience in software development, engineering and innovation management

As Wood’s Director of innovation, Gavin is responsible for overseeing the creation of our new innovation hubs in strategic locations across our global business. He works closely with each business unit to deliver innovative solutions that support their strategic goals and help solve our client’s biggest challenges.