I’ve been listening to the audiobook The Innovators by Walter Isaacson and pondering Digital Disruption.
While great companies require customer centricity — great innovations often get hamstrung when the only input is customer feedback. What you need for innovation to thrive in the disruptive digital age, is a combination of deep customer empathy and a healthy paranoia that you are probably wrong.
Checking your biases, purposefully breaking your filter bubbles and diversifying your team can help you more easily find the path to insanely great disruptive innovations. The important thing to recognize is that your expertise can work against you.
We live in an age where the ability to recognize and process patterns has never been better. We have more analysis tools and more data points than ever before. We also have faster innovation cycles, that shorten the window of opportunity for great ideas to impact the market at large.
When you know that timing is the most critical component for startup [disruptive] success, you begin to realize that the best thing you can do to prepare yourself, is to create the conditions that help you succeed before you need them.
Building good habits into your ideation framework, can help you avoid missing an opportunity.
So the next time you are tempted to just end a customer feedback session with the what (or how) and not the why — check yourself. The next time you look around the room and notice that everyone thinks, acts and looks the same — check yourself. The next time you find yourself overly confident of your analysis — check yourself.
Insanely great is rarely incremental, and disruption is inevitable. Making it work for you is the hard bit.
Cross Post: LinkedIn