Tag Archives: design thinking

Until You Have Creative Skills, Innovation Tools Are Useless

CreativityCheck out this insight:

The same holds true for innovation: Innovation tools can’t help if you don’t have certain skills mastered.

Design As Strategy: How Design Can Improve Your Business Outcomes

design as strategy

Design thinking. is it a methodology, mindset, trend, the new must in business acumen, or all of the above?

Regardless of your interpretation, it has been around for quite a while. The bottom-line is most leaders still don’t understand how exactly it helps improve or drive new business outcomes.

Why?

The best—and the worst—way of learning about market demand is to ask the customer

experimentation leads to innovationWant to know what customers want? Ask them, but don’t believe them; rather observe them in their environment.

It’s the best way because potential customers can answer this question better than any self-proclaimed marketing experts can with their fancy reports, focus groups and all.

It’s the worst because customers don’t really know what they want. They know what their problems are, what they like, and what they don’t need. But they don’t know what you can develop for them that they really want. Don’t believe them if they tell you; they have less imagination than you do.

Everything is ripe for innovation

The titles of this post might seem a little simplistic, and to a certain degree it is because it isn’t that easy. But, let’s consider the following story:

Ten years ago, Diane Brown found herself in a dreary hospital room, shocked that this kind of bleak environment was supposed to help her get well. Using her art-world connections, she persuaded a few friends to liven up some of these walls. A decade later, RxART is a thriving nonprofit that brings the work of world-class artists to patients whose spirits are lifted by the presence of colorful, inspirational contemporary art in their daily lives. Since then, artists like Jeff Koons, Matthew Ritchie, Alexis Rockman and William Wegman have lent their expertise to hospitals across the country.

A hospital room designed to heal kids. How cool is that?!

How do you source ideas for innovation out of customers?

How do you source ideas for innovation out of customers?

Phil McKinney asks: are customers a source of ideas for innovation?

Two years ago The Economist published a report where it indicated that by 2020 customers will replace R&D as the main source of new ideas. Well, apart from customers, there are many sources where companies can get ideas for innovation; partners, competitors, non-competing companies and employees.

Some of the most innovative ideas can come from customers themselves. But, you must involve them.

3 criteria your business ideas must have for them to work

idea selection in innovationThis is part three of the series on how to leave small thinking behind. In the first post, I showed you a simple technique for coming up with radical ideas. On the second part, I showed you how to evaluate ideas so they don’t fit into “me-too” territory. Here, I’ll tell you how to determine which ideas might work.

A short recap from part 1 and part 2:

In part 1 of this series I elaborated a little bit on how to shift from “me-too” thinking to “radical thinking” by taking your existing strategy and stretching it to an extreme, and scaling them back a little bit. This technique yields ideas that are impractical, super expensive and dangerous. But you can scale them back a little bit to make them doable.

In part 2, I showed you how to further filter those initial ideas by using an evaluation criteria of creativity, business, and people impact.

Great, but after you’ve developed a list of radical ideas how do you decide which ones to pursue?

5 reasons why ethnography is not going to become mainstream anytime soon

It seems that since design thinking and lean startup methodologies have a “talk to potential customers to validate” component, it may seem that ethnography is becoming mainstream.

It isn’t.

In my opinion, of all the innovation techniques available to an innovation practitioner, entrepreneur, marketer or business leader none is more important than getting out on the field and observing people in their domains. And, we have ways to go before this ever becomes mainstream.