Tag Archives: Perception

Live life at the intersection of interesting if you want to push possibilities everyday

where do new ideas come from?There a many traits that separate innovators from non-innovators, one of them is the ability to perceive differently. Put simply, perception separates the innovator from the imitator. Thus, innovations come from non-conventional views. So, if we’re to develop our own capacity for innovation, as well as create a culture that produces and delivers consistent game-changing ideas, we need to develop the ability to perceive differently.


Practice frame shifting to spot untapped innovation opportunities

drawing on the right side of the brainPerception separates the innovator from the imitator. To see anew, learn to set aside preconceptions by exploring new perspectives.

How might we shift our perspective and explore what we might be missing? This is a common question I ask myself all the time because I want to overcome our human tendency to bring our preconceived notions with us whenever we are attacking a problem; therefore limiting our view of potential alternatives.

How do we overcome that?

Innovation is more a matter of attitude and perspective than process. I’ve written previously that there are four ways we can discover new insights. Insights are unexpected shifts in the way we understand how things work, and one way to get insights is by shifting our frame.

Ed Catmull makes a poignant point in his book, Creativity Inc., that Pixar has avoided stagnation because they’ve created mechanisms that force them to constantly fight their own mental models, and put Pixar’s collective heads in a different frame of mind.

The most innovative leaders are reframers, and unleash innovation in their organizations by asking new questions, and/or immerse themselves in the environment they wish to understand. I’ve written extensively about asking better questions to get better answers, here I’ll extend on that to include immersion.

But first…

The flip side of uncertainty

When we present new ideas that are better or different to what currently exists they carry the weight of uncertainty. This is a problem we all face. . And everything right now, everyone says, is uncertain. But just like there’s a flip side to everything the same applies to uncertainty.

See this exchange between Patch Adams and Arthur Mendelson from the Movie Patch Adams:

The Two Dimensions of Market Orientation

This is a post by Ralph Christian Ohr ()

Recently, I was reading an interesting HBR article, named: “Meeting the Apple Game of Customer Perception” by Ndubuisi Ekekwe.

The key paragraphs for me were:

“But meeting customer needs is not enough. You must exceed needs if you want to remain relevant. Technology disrupts the habits of the customers so quickly that if you focus on needs, you will never be an industry leader. You can’t keep early adopters loyal by just meeting their needs. They want more from you.

They want you to understand their expectations. Even if you have met their needs, they want more. Your heating customers want green solar energy, but all they can afford is dirty coal so that is what you give them. You have met their immediate needs, but they expect you to do more, quickly. Agile firms serve that expectation and retain their customers.

While expectation can help you stay in the game, top firms meet the perception of customers. Perception is the king of business. Unfortunately, few firms get to that level. Perception is providing to customers what they never expected or imagined they needed.”

This reminded me again of the following: market orientation is two-dimensional. For companies it’s required to:

  • meet existing needs and expectations that customers are aware of,
  • anticipate needs that customers are not (yet) aware of (perception).

Both requirements correspond to distinct capabilities, timelines and approaches. Meeting existing needs tends to happen on a short term range and often leads to innovation derived from current markets. Anticipation often addresses future needs and is the basis to create new markets. Some companies have the propensity towards developing and exploiting existing markets. Others, such as Apple, are primarily targeted at tapping new markets by offering novel ‘proposals’. Successful companies of the future will most likely be able to combine both capabilities – in order to serve innovators, early adopters as well as the majority in the innovation diffusion cycle.

At the end, economic success is fueled by deeply understanding customers and empathy-driven innovation.

What do you think?

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