Reflect Before You Innovate
There are many interviewing and observational techniques that help inventors and teams learn about the customer environment. These techniques provide the structure to discover hidden problems ripe for innovation. The excitement of finding real hidden problems or unmet needs can entice the innovator or team to skip an important step in the innovation process: reflect before you innovate.
This reflection step can be very helpful in determining which areas in the customer environment “deserve” innovation. In other words, where in the customer environment can I achieve high impact results? Not all problems or unmet needs are of equal pain or value and surfacing the right bundle of unmet needs is the key to high impact innovations.
One way to gain these critical insights is to work directly with select customer teams to learn how they think while they review a holistic picture of their environment. Guiding customer teams through a deeper learning experience of their own environment helps them articulate what they value and what areas in their environment actually deserve the effort to innovate.