Listen, Watch…Then Do
I’ll argue that while most do the first two , very few get to the last – the do part. That’s the single most important thing. It’s through the do, through direct experience that one develops and picks up on the most important thing.
Only through a never ending, ecosystem wide and even beyond, persistent and consistent set of observations, inquiries, listening and then actual doing will allow one to develop the context necessary to place what’s heard into context.
Over time, groups can then note the varied trends, discern what’s real from what’s simply said or observed.
Critical to all of this is an enthusiasm for placing oneself into the varied perspectives or situations – actually experiencing what the various players do.
Too often listening itself is erroneous. Folks say one thing, tech another bit then actually do things that are different than both.
Big data often makes a big mess here. It often has no context, on a mass or a personal or segment level.
Doing changes all that.
Listen, observe, and do. That develops said context. Context delivers abstracted specifications. That’s then where innovation transforms into ideas, invention and delivery. That’s where the “What Must Be Trues” come from that drive great insight.
That’s where innovation starts…and never ends. Where did I truly realize this?
I honed that insight from a design colleague. He was working with a group who had engineers having issues with assembly equipment and it’s efficiency.
First, he interviewed the group and asked them what they did, were concerned about and desired as individuals. Ok.
Next, he interviewed them as a group. Things were not the same. Different issues, complaints, needs pointed out, emotions, etc…
Next, he watched each one train a new engineer and observed from afar. Now things got even more different.
Next, he watched the experienced folks do the job. Nothing like what they had initially said came out. This was remote and unknown to them. Amazing.
Finally, my friend and his colleague were trained, and they did the job dozens of times. Learned from everything actually experienced tremendously. The gears fell into place. The perspectives, emotions, changes made sense. They could now authentically relate.
Circled back to it all. Great new products. Best in class
We then took this one step further – from the tactical to the strategic. We conduct this with our partners and clients constantly, persistently with the relevant whole ecosystem.
Boom – over the last twenty years award winning products that dominate the market rapidly – typically within 18 months at a 75% share of new orders in the space at industry leading, value derived margins.
Bottom line – innovation is more than a mindset and a bunch of rules. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about appreciation and authentically experiencing context and thus needs truthfully.
That’s how real transformational and even most incremental innovation effectively, efficiently and rapidly happens.
Few do this. I’m curious why?
Anyone have their own insights here to share?
We’d love to hear from you!
Image credit: Pixabay
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Adam Malofsky, PhD is the Managing Director of Elemence, a cwhere they don’t just tell stories, they uncover them, experience them with you and together translate that into actual profitable products and services that fly off the shelf and change peoples lives. Reach Adam directly at 513-518-3550 EST!