Our approach to innovation projects is characterized by a reinterpretation of Design Thinking processes, adding a pre- and post-phase to the creation process
Design thinking is a methodology consisting of group co-creation workshops, with users and employees of the company, aimed at generating innovative ideas for products/services that better meet the needs of users. However, this methodology was originally in the hands of designers who, despite demonstrating a great mastery of creative techniques, had, in my view, serious shortcomings:
QUESTION 1: Does the problem have the 3 key elements of a challenge?
1) WHAT: what problem or opportunity are we addressing?
2) FOR WHOM: what customer or user are we solving the problem for?
3) WHY: what benefit do we get from solving the problem?
QUESTION 2: Is it a Project or a Problem?
PROJECT: the need can be met using known tools and routines, or by hiring an expert.
PROBLEM: we cannot meet the need with standard tools, and must apply creative ones.
QUESTION 3: What level is it?
If our challenge is of a very high level, very general, we have to work a little more, we can certainly divide the challenge into parts and find more specific challenges. Working on a very generic challenge leads to very vague solutions.
QUESTION 4: Can the challenge be understood when we explain it?
The final test is to explain the challenge to someone who has not participated in its definition, and see if they understand it.
Because it is not a matter of filling out colorful templates to make a crude portrait, but of knowing in depth what motivates your target.
Because we understand that stimuli do not limit creative capacity, but, on the contrary, give it wings and a sky in which to fly, without leaving the universe.
Because, as David Kelley, founder of IDEO, said in his famous phrase “Fail faster, succeed sooner”, it is important to learn to fail quickly.
Because it is vital to find a balance between originality and viability, avoiding technological or budgetary constraints.
Finally, we consider it essential to test the ideas that emerge among your target audience. But obviously, not just any old way.
Here, the recommendations of the ‘Lean Startup’ philosophy, so popular in design thinking, that market research should be carried out by the creators of ideas or the founders of startups themselves, seem to us to be totally inadequate. The ‘simple’ techniques that are recommended, such as Rob Fitzpatrick’s ‘The Mom Test’,which gives tips on “how to interview customers and avoid being lied to”; or techniques such as the ‘solution Interview’, to “post-test prototypes in 10 simple steps”; seem to us to be the main reasons why 9 out of 10 startups fail, since, if the creator of the idea is the one in charge of testing it, there is a risk that:
Only market research conducted by professionals can reduce uncertainty in decision making, which is especially relevant in VUCA environments (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) where innovation processes usually take place.
Some examples of the type of innovation studies we carry out applying our interpretation of design thinking are:
Special mention should be made of the new initiative we have designed to help companies meet the growing consumer demand for businesses to lead the transition towards a more sustainable world:
Sustainability Lab ©:this is a new, exclusive product, in which we offer companies the chance to create a laboratory for experimentation and innovation, formed by members of the various departments of the company, in which they will work on a new challenge related to sustainability each month, over the course of a year. Working on 12 different challenges will give rise to a multitude of ideas for improvement in many different areas, which will be gradually implemented in some departments or will be reflected in prototypes of products/services, in order to optimize and validate them.
The main advantage of this tool is the fact that it provides a space for experimentation in which teams’ fear of failure is diluted, while generating a mentality of improvement and greater involvement of the workforce, which begins to view itself as a driver of change.
Victoria is one of the most skilled and natural researchers I have met in the creative industry. She has a deep understanding of creative techniques and a natural talent for managing problem-solving oriented creative groups, even with high-level participants. She has a great organizational spirit, she always has everything under control and with her in command a group always arrives at port motivated and happy.
Market research and opinion institute
Victoria has been a valued and trusted partner for all of our projects. She is a great professional, who easily understands the needs of each project and provides high quality services. She makes sure projects run smoothly, responsibly managing any challenges we may encounter, delivering the best possible outcome.