Innovation Articles

By Ludwig Melik

The Blind Men & The Elephant: An Open Innovation Blueprint


“It’s a wall,” “It’s a snake,” “It’s a rope,” “It’s a spear,” “It’s a fan,” no, “It’s a tree,” and so goes the story of “The Blind Men & The Elephant”. The tale is a great example that shows how you and your team can manage your innovation efforts. You can hold onto your current belief or become open-minded to other points of view, which can help shape a new understanding as additional facts help reveal a new truth.

Uncovering the root cause of a problem or discovering a problem worth solving because it can lead to a breakthrough opportunity often feels exactly like the blind men in this parable searching for answers. The choice is yours: you can settle for what you see (or touch in their case!), or you can cast a wider net looking to diversify your data points and get a complete 360 perspective on the possibilities.