A quick scan of any LinkedIn article about innovation and/or disruption will reveal tools, best practices and ideas for HOW to innovate and what model to follow. And these are mostly, solid, useful things.

However, having a shed full of tools to make something nice doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not in the right frame of mind.

One of the key factors that people and businesses overlook when it comes to innovation and change is that you can’t just expect it to happen in a Sprint overnight. It’s a process. And like any process, the setting that it takes place in is incredibly important.

A quick glance around most corporate offices and you’ll feel right at home. They all look the same. Which means that it’s unstimulating for change. Uniform cubicles, uniform décor, uniform outfits. They call it company culture.

But if you want to innovate and change, the environment you and your people exist in is massively important.

Simply put, if the day to day environment doesn’t encourage and support a diversity of thought and practice, then innovation will be very slow to arrive, if at all.

The LA Times recently ran an article about a music producer who churns out hits for top artists. In it, he says that his studio plays a huge part in his ability to repeatedly create new and exciting work because of how it stimulates him

If you’ve read about continuous innovation, agile and the need to change fast and continually, you need to start thinking about the space all this work takes place in. It is a practical and straightforward part of reinforcing your teams need for stimulation and inspiration.

You need points of difference, content, inspiring talks… anything that gives those people a place to jump off from.

Putting 7 people in a boardroom for a week with more of the same that they see every day will achieve nothing.

Change the environment, change the ideas.

It’s simple.