Learning to see the Whole Elephant in Innovation

April 3, 2013 By Jeffrey Phillips

We, today, are a lot like the blind men when it comes to innovation, especially when we are focused on discovering new customer needs and expectations. In many discussions about what "customers" want, it often seems like we have a group of learned blind men who know only their particular perspective. Some speak about EXISTING customers and their needs. Some speak about POTENTIAL customers and their needs. Some speak about the firms internal CAPABILITIES and TECHNOLOGIES, as if this matters. Some talk about future SCENARIOS and TRENDS that may occur. Some talk about specific SEGMENTS of customers, ignoring others. Some will talk about what they believe to be true, not what customers have told them. In the end, many clients often have very narrow, segmented and biased interpretations of customer needs, often influenced by current market conditions and the existing capabilities of the business, rather than what they've learned by interacting with customers.


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