“If you think design thinking is a cookie-cutter, templatised way to “safely” be creative, think again.” Absolutely! This is a quote from my friend Sunil Malhotra. It’s a topic we’ve talked about extensively, and one that still gets talked about it.
Companies with a restricted view of innovation can miss opportunities to create new value for customers and themselves. The restriction is their perspective on innovation, like believing that technology by itself is innovation; it’s not.
All it takes is one. But you have to pick the right one. One of the big challenges of every entrepreneur is getting that first client, because it means validation; that first client is and should be an early adopter (check out my post on what early adopters look like). This is even harder in the B2B space where you have to deal with bureaucracy and other obstacles that require lots of patience and follow through.
Just like innovation and artificial intelligence, design thinking is a buzzword. There is a cottage industry of practitioners who, with good intention or not, are hoping to get their pockets full from enterprises who want a step by step process that reduces the uncertainty behind innovation.
Is empathy overrated? As I posted a few weeks ago, empathy is the greatest creator of human energy; so I don’t believe it to be overrated. Still, there are those who believe too much empathy is not good. One of those people is Psychologist and author Paul Bloom, who wrote a book about the topic. I’ve found it interesting and have been reading and listening to his counter arguments to empathy; the main argument is it’s narrow, biased and therefore puts it ahead of rational thinking.
What’s the most powerful technique available to innovators? Observation.
Tony Fadell, the creator of the iPod and Nest thermostat, shared his mantra for innovation at a recent TED conference:
“It’s seeing the invisible problem, not just the obvious problem, that’s important,” Fadell said onstage. “There are invisible problems all around us. First we need to see them. To feel them. Then we can solve them.”