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Innovation Cards a Sample Deck for The M-Prize Competition on Innovating Innovation Mark Clare Northwestern University New Value Streams Consulting January.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation Cards a Sample Deck for The M-Prize Competition on Innovating Innovation Mark Clare Northwestern University New Value Streams Consulting January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation Cards a Sample Deck for The M-Prize Competition on Innovating Innovation Mark Clare Northwestern University New Value Streams Consulting January 2013

2 Innovation Cards The best innovators are able to: – Find and be energized by an innovation calling – Reframe thinking to find new ways of creating value – Learn rapidly and deeply from experience – Influence others to adopt new practices. We have developed five decks of knowledge cards to help you master each of these competences and develop the innovator’s habit. 1.Find Your Innovation Calling 2.Reframe Your Thinking 3.Sharpen Your Observation Skills 4.Sharpen Your Interpretation Skills 5.Sharpen Your Influence Skills Decks 3 and 4 cover the competency of learning rapidly and deeply from experience. Innovation cards are a new way to develop the habits of successful innovators. They can be used by individuals looking to improve their own abilities or by leaders, educators, consultants and others that seek to improve team innovation or establish a culture of creativity. 2

3 Sample Deck Sharpen Your Observation Skills is one of five decks of innovation cards. It teaches you how to use all five senses to drive the deep learning necessary for innovation. Techniques include: – Engage sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell – Master mindfulness or being fully in the moment – Study surprise, special moments, emotions and intense beliefs – Field work, immersion, questioning and recording. 3

4 Observation Cards 1.Focus Your Mind to Enlarge Your Senses 2.Practice Watching Daily and Learn to See the World 3.Listen for the Sounds of Innovation 4.What You Smell Shapes Product and Service Experience 5.Explore Touch to Find New Ways to Enhance Products 6.Taste and Flavor Offer New Ways to Experience the World 7.Stress Your Senses to Build New Observations Skills 8.Study Surprise to Gain Insight into How Minds Work 9.Special Moments and Objects Reveal the Human Heart 10.Catalog Metaphors that Reveal How Others Think 11.Read Emotions and Unlock New Opportunities for Innovation 12.Intense Beliefs and Feelings are Needs to Be Met 13.Collect Images and Videos to Dig Deep 14.Map out Surrounding Artifacts to Understand the Ecosystem 15.The World is a Learning Lab – Use it! 16.Watch People Work to See Ingenuity and Opportunity 17.Experience the World: Ask for and Give Help 18.Immerse Yourself in the Community that Uses Your Innovation 19.Move from Observer to Participant for Empathetic Insights 20.Always Be on the Hunt for a Good Story 21.Get More from Questions That Show Respect and Interest 22.Think About the Questions You Failed to Ask 23.Record Observations Before They are Lost or Distorted 24.Use a Camera to Capture Context, Beauty and Detail 25.Collect Samples to Generate Insights and New Questions Sharpen Your Innovation Skills includes 25 cards all backed by research and designed to build the habits of astute observers. 4

5 Use Guidelines Get started by picking any card that interests you Play a card every day or every few days Expect to play a card multiple times You can play the same card repeatedly or pick a new card Try each card in the deck at least once unless it is already a habit To master a card play it as many times as it takes to become a habit You don’t need to master all the cards to see big improvements Expect to play a deck for at least 90 days You should see improvements or gain insight every few days Jot down ideas for new cards or decks Share your cards 5 You can play the cards by yourself, with a partner or in groups. Use them as standalone program or to augment other training, development and coaching materials.

6 Focus Your Mind to Enlarge Your Senses “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk THINK: Innovators make the richest observations when they are fully in the moment. For example, thinking about the past or worrying about the future distracts you from immediate experience. DO: When eating today practice focusing on the sensations of the moment. Take a full minute to scrutinize, breath in, touch, chew, swish, savor and swallow one bit of food or drink. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 6

7 Practice Watching Daily and Learn to See the World “Watch with glittering eyes the world around you.” Roald Dahl, writer and fighter pilot theorist THINK: Innovators watch with their eyes wide open. For example, designers watch carefully for gaps and inconveniences as we use products. DO: Take part of your day, say a meeting, riding the bus or eating lunch and practice seeing. Look at the objects, people and motion, see details about size, color, shape and texture. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 7

8 Listen for the Sounds of Innovation “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and best-selling author THINK: Innovation flows from listening carefully. For example, a clerk might hear an angry customer and an entrepreneur might hear an opportunity. DO: Take part of your day, say a meeting, riding the bus or eating lunch and practice listening. Hear each of the words, coughs, laughs, mechanical noises, chirping birds and other sounds. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 8

9 9 What You Smell Shapes Product and Service Experience “Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Fireside poet THINK: Innovators create breakthroughs by adding scents to products. For example, Febreze® remade the cleaning experience by adding scents that reward. DO: Each day use your nose to identify a product or service that has been differentiated by scent. Record the results and imagine how they can be applied to your innovation. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

10 Explore Touch to Find New Ways to Enhance Products "Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain." Carl G. Jung, founder of analytical psychology THINK: Shape, texture and adhesion define our tactile experience. For example, tapered utensils, tight-grip tools and fine fountain pens feel good in our hands. DO: Use your hands today and find at least one object that delights your sense of touch. Document your findings and include detail on shape, size, materials and overall feel. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 10

11 Taste and Flavor Offer New Ways to Experience the World “…taste can be categorized into five basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami” Wikipedia THINK: Innovators find new ways to activate taste buds. For example, flavored envelopes and pen caps and edible accents engage the sense of taste in new ways. DO: Find one object or experience – other than food and drink – that creates a taste for you today. Document the sensory details include what you smell and see. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 11

12 Stress Your Senses to Build New Observation Skills “Hong Kong…. it will feed your senses.” discoverhongkong.com THINK: Environments rich in complex and novel stimulus challenge our senses. For example, waterfalls, crowded urban centers and action video games develop our senses. DO: Each day immerse yourself in at least one environment that overloads your senses. Pause to savor it and identify specific perceptions and new associations. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 12

13 Study Surprise to Gain Insight into How Minds Work “The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.” Karl Von Clausewitz, soldier and military theorist THINK: We remember, learn from and can be delighted by surprise. Magic, jokes, games, sudden good fortune, chance encounters and things out of place all set off our novelty detectors. DO: Watch carefully today for small events that create pleasant surprises for other people. Document how they work and how they could be used in your innovation. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 13

14 Special Moments and Objects Reveal the Human Heart “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Hilary Cooper, artist THINK: Life is made special by certain people, events and objects. For example, a childhood teacher, a chance sighting of a rare animal and a family heirloom all make us feel special. DO: Take time today to experience something that is truly special to you. Make notes on how your innovation could reproduce the feelings of specialness. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 14

15 Catalog Metaphors that Reveal How Others Think “We mutter about six metaphors a minute.” James Geary, TED talk THINK: Innovators tap into metaphors to discover needs, communicate new ideas and encourage adoption. For example, this process is like pulling teeth. DO: Catalog the metaphors used by the group you are innovating for. Listen to conversations and read documents looking for sentences that use one thing to explain or describe another. 15 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

16 Read Emotions and Unlock New Opportunities for Innovation “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.“ Plato, a founder of Western philosophy THINK: Successful innovations produce strong emotions. For example, movies make us laugh, people love their iPhone and lottery tickets deliver a hope of making it big. DO: Take time out today to observe one emotionally charged event in detail. Make note of the facial expressions, hand gestures, posture and vocal tones of the people involved. 16 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

17 Intense Beliefs and Feelings are Needs to Be Met “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” E. M. Forster, writer THINK: Customer’s intense beliefs and feeling are opportunities innovators. For example, a strong belief in the value of self-expression drives the popularity of blogging. DO: Listen carefully today for “I believe” or “I feel” that is stated with verbal or gestural intensity by those you are innovating for. Make notes and include related beliefs and justifications. 17 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

18 Collect Images and Videos to Dig Deep “Have you ever wondered what your subconscious mind looks like?” David Icke, writer of conspiracy literature THINK: Hidden assumptions and complex emotions can be expressed through images. For example, collages of pictures are used to uncover metaphors and mental models. DO: In preparing for an innovation meeting today ask participants to Google an image or video that best expresses the key issue of the meeting. Take time to examine one in detail. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 18

19 Map out Surrounding Artifacts to Understand the Ecosystem "A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system.” Edwards Deming, statistician and quality guru THINK: Products and services don’t work by themselves they are part of an ecosystem. For example, dinner out includes, a table, chairs, menu, food, wait service, music and many other artifacts. DO: Take time today to map out the ecosystem for your innovation. Identify the objects, people and processes involved and diagram how they connect. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 19

20 The World is a Learning Lab – Use it! “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner THINK: Daily routines are filled with opportunities to test ideas and learn. For example, travelers on long flights can interact with others they might not otherwise meet. DO: Each morning identify questions, observations or simple requests you can make that day to refine your innovation or expand your thinking. Carefully record the results. 20 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

21 Watch People Work to See Ingenuity and Opportunity “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Aristotle, philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great THINK: Every day best practices and needs are showcased to alert innovators. For example, new businesses have started from watching people wait for cabs or struggle with reservations. DO: Today study happy drug store clerks, restaurant workers, bus drivers or others. Make note of practices and emotions and how to adapt them to your innovation. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 21

22 Experience the World: Ask for and Give Help “Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him.” Albert Schweitzer, medical missionary and philosopher THINK: Small kindnesses reveal needs and opportunities to innovate. For example, holding a door, giving directions or showing someone how to work a gadget are kindnesses or services. DO: Help someone that does not expect it today. You will need to watch closely for people that need assistance and appear open to help. 22 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

23 Immerse Yourself in the Community that Uses Your Innovation “A little experience often upsets a lot of theory.” S. Parkes Cadman, Clergyman and writer THINK: The best innovators observe needs, problems and opportunities first-hand. For example, both Steven Jobs and Tim Cook of Apple spend time responding to customer s. DO: Define one small but new way to immerse yourself in the customer’s world today. Be sure to record what you see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 23

24 Move from Observer to Participant for Empathetic Insights "Empathy… seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another." A. Adler, founder of individual psychology THINK: New observations flow when you are the customer. For example, you have new observations about bikes learning to ride them than you do just watching others. DO: Work today for at least an hour in the area your problem or innovation comes from. Document new and interesting thoughts, feelings, sensations or other empathetic observations you have. 24 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

25 Always Be on the Hunt for a Good Story “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser, American poet THINK: Innovators like good reporters can sniff out the important story. For example, conflicts can be a great source of insight if you get the whole story. DO: In a casual setting today ask someone for their opinion on healthcare or education. Listen carefully and ask questions to get the full story - who, what, when, where, how and why. 25 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

26 Get More from Questions That Show Respect and Interest “Never take a person’s dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you.” Frank Barron, psychologist THINK: The best innovators ask questions that open people up. For example, “That’s fascinating, how did you make that work?” DO: Write out one question you need to ask today. Preface it with terms that show respect, give kudos, demonstrate keen interest or otherwise affirm the other person. 26 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

27 Think About the Questions You Failed to Ask “Innovators not only ask provocative questions, but constantly work at asking better ones.” Jeff Dyer, The Innovator’s DNA THINK: The best innovators think about questions. For example, they craft specific questions ahead of time and identify questions that go unasked and unanswered. DO: This morning review a recent meeting or call and make a list of the questions you wished you would have asked. Identify an upcoming meeting, call or visit where you can use a wish-I-had-asked question. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 27

28 Record Observations Before They are Lost or Distorted “Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.” Wallace Stevens, Insurance executive and poet THINK: Innovators capture observations as they occur. For example, Richard Branson the famous British entrepreneur is well known for taking copious notes. DO: Take daily field notes to capture the context and details on behaviors, work processes and objects you find interesting or unique. Make your notes in real-time or as you observe. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 28

29 Use a Camera to Capture Context, Beauty and Detail "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange, documentary photographer THINK: Innovators use cameras to automatically capture detail for later study. For example, photos and videos from the field are intensely reviewed by design teams for insights. DO: The camera in your mobile phone is an important innovation tool. Take two pictures today that capture photos worthy of further study. 29 Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization

30 Collect Samples to Generate Insights and New Questions “Nearly every artifact has a story connected to it….” Stephen Ambrose, historian THINK: Samples from site visits or field work can reveal important clues later. For example, defective parts, example forms, scrap, packaging and screen shots are a rich source of detail. DO: While otherwise making observations today collect a relevant sample. Later in the day study it closely and generate a list of follow-up questions. Innovation as an everyday everywhere capability in your organization 30

31 End of Sample Deck Please send comments, questions and requests for other innovation decks to


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