Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate: 2. Savour Surprises

Cook's 5 Ways to Innovate
|| 1. Mindset Changes || 2. Learn from Surprises ||
|| 3. Focus on Customer Metrics ||

Cook's second principle is that we should savour surprises – and learn from them. Here are ways to actively look for surprises and act upon them:

1. Look for the incongruous – things that are inconsistent, shouldn't be happening together and don't make sense. Akio Morita conceived the Walkman by observing teenagers lugging huge radios with them to the beach. Properly done, ethnographic research like Nokia's Everything-I-Touch study can uncover previously unknown behaviours and habits and more importantly, analyze the underlying beliefs, assumptions and thought patterns.

2. Act on the unexpected. What if people are using your product for something other than what you designed it to do? Don't turn up your nose – that may be the unexpected application that creates a huge market for your product! Arm & Hammer found that people were using its baking soda not just as a baking product, but also as a cleanser, a deodoriser and even as relief for an upset stomach! They continue to seek and publicise the unexpected uses to which people are putting their product. Another great example is Blue-Tack – a putty like adhesive which can be used to hide the spare key, among many other creative uses!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Cook’s 5 Ways to Innovate || 1. Mindset Changes || 2. Learn from Surprises || […]

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