(2012-08-23) Schrage To Create True Innovation Consider Who You Want Your Customers To Become

Michael Schrage: To Create True Innovation, Consider Who You Want Your Customers To Become. (Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become). Most innovators ask, “How can we be disruptive? How can we create new value for our customers? How can we do things that allow customers to do things that they’ve never done before?” Take the question that you’re asking and be more intense: How do you want to transform your customers?

My view is a different kind of leadership: How do we use that innovation to make our customers more valuable? Why don’t we look to creating human capital in our customers in the same way that we look to create human capital in our people?

Fast Company recently spoke with the MIT fellow about why innovation is an investment in the customer, why changing values is more important than adding value, and why the business world is getting customer centricity completely wrong.

I believe your ability to empathize increases when you look at how innovations transform who you are.

You look at how your mobile device has changed who you are, your automobile, your coffeemaker–the innovations that have changed you.

How do we want our customers to transform themselves with those offerings? Not just what value does it create but what values does it shift.

I am stealing shamelessly from the literature of user experience and interface design. People are not lab rats that we impose interfaces and innovations upon, they’re human beings of choice

Successful innovation is more of an act of empathy than an act of imposition.

So a leader is supposed to set up parallels between the customer vision, the corporate vision, and the user experience? That’s exactly right


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