Turnkey creativity

Written by Sarah Spitz, on 04 July 2018

In 2004, George Davison, CEO of Inventionland, tried to break out of a stagnation phase of his company by completely redesigning the offices. He then heavily invested in creation workshops, but how to exploit them to the fullest?

To encourage all of his designers to make the most of the equipment at their disposal, and to support their inspiration, he simply entrusted them with the keys to the offices!

All employees have total and unlimited access to this infrastructure, whether for personal or professional projects. And with all the available materials, the possibilities are endless! There are workshops for woodworking, metalworking, electronic tools, spaces for molding, painting, packaging... There are even sound and video recording studios (with green screen, cameras, microphones, mixing room...), a sewing workshop, etc.

"I can continue to learn" - Tess, employee for 12 years


The employees are all inventors: they are hands-on and passionate about their work. Thus, they also spend much of their free time tinkering at home, drawing, inventing, and creating new objects... In this context, why not give them the means to explore their wildest ideas? Davison encourages them to try everything, whether initially for a personal or professional project, because their discoveries and skills development will necessarily benefit their clients... Thus, they can unleash their ideas... any ideas really: they all use the offices to create their Halloween costumes, for example. Some of these creations were so ingenious that they are even exhibited in the offices. If that's not recognition, I don't know what you need.

Beyond the contribution of prototypes that this practice implies, there is also a strong HR dimension. It is indeed a key element in motivating employees, all of whom have remained with Inventionland for a long time. They say that this open access makes them feel more comfortable in the offices: it's a way to take ownership of the space and blur the boundaries between work and hobby.