Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Innovator's DNA--Post #6--Observing
Five Discovery Skills—#3 Observing. Innovators are also intense observers. They watch the world around them—including customers, products, services, technologies, and companies—and these observations help them gain a sense of perspective and vision. The major players of observation are product innovators, followed by start-up entrepreneurs and corporate entrepreneurs, and finally, process innovators. Such keen observers/innovators find better ways to innovate when they (1) watch customers to see what products they “hire” to do what jobs; (2) learn to look for surprises or anomalies; and (3) find opportunities to observe in a new environment. Scientific researchers who seek to reveal and resolve anomalies tend to advance their fields more productively than those seeking to avoid them. Thus, observing the differences in scientific endeavors is as valuable as observing differences in commercial endeavors. Also note that if, from the very start, you ask really tough questions, observe salient situations, and talk to more diverse people, you will likely need to run fewer experiments to get innovation.