Item 5 of 9
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Active looking

The core skill for an innovator is seeing a gap, problem or opportunity – which is harder than you think. Often, we only observe what we expect to see and miss other important details which might reveal a need.

Watch the following video: 

What did you learn from it? Here are some insights:

  • When we focus on one thing, we can be blind to anything else.
  • Looking at something doesn’t mean we’re paying attention to it.
  • We’re surprised when we miss things. We mistakenly believe we’re better at observation than we are.
  • The power of expectation means that it’s easier to see things we expect to see.
  • While it’s positive to be able to focus, it’s also positive to widen our lens so that we see things that we are not expecting or looking for.
  • We can use tools to help us see thing which we otherwise might miss.
  • Finding gaps and problems for users means seeing what everyone else doesn’t see. You must be an active looker.

You can be an active looker by looking at things as if you are new to them. Here are some tips for doing that:

  1. Concentrate on observing a process, a person or a situation. Just sit and watch and take notes.
  2. Take notes or sketch of what you observe.
  3. Look through someone else’s eyes. Imagine you are a child, an adult, your client. What would they observe?
  4. Take photographs and study them.
  5. Ask new employees what they observe and listen and process what they say.