Collaborative Culture = Innovative Thinking

If companies are thinking about doing more “innovative thinking”, there is a lot of supporting material to provide evidence this is the right way to go – literature, studies, articles and examples out there that focus on innovation rather than maximising profit. Take a look at John Kay’s “Obliquity”, Why our goals are best achieved indirectly [2010], and if you aren’t convinced by this, then just take a look at the ubiquitous Apple company.

Customer-facing IT innovation should not simply be left to a department, a team or even an individual. Innovation is a culture that every employee has to immerse themselves into. This is where traditional graphic designers are really “stepping up to the board” – they think very differently to your traditional middle management and are a good starting point to drive innovation throughout your company.

At Caplin through our head of UX and a little leadership we have now completely redirected our teams to collaborate using Personas and Narrative Journey Maps, rather than the traditional requirements gathering techniques. This takes us into the lives of our users where we feel their pain and empathise with them. This helps us to generate lots of ideas, making their lives that little bit easier by reaching their goals more directly, engaging more with the solutions and making it a little more enjoyable along the way.

This collaborative experience with business, technology and clients can feel fuzzy for those that aren’t used to it, however if you relax and go with it you will be totally surprised with the innovative output your team can achieve. To find out more about this I recommend reading the “The Designful Company” by Marty Neumeier…a few quotes from the book…

  • In an age of accelerating change, HOW you learn is vastly more important than WHAT you learn. The ability to acquire new knowledge quickly is the fundamental skill that underpins a culture of innovation
  • Your can’t DECIDE the way forward you have to DESIGN the way forward
  • The biggest hurdle to innovation is the corporate longing for certainty about costs, market size, revenues, profits, and other quantities, none of which can be known when an idea is new

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