You know ALL the innovation tools and frameworks:
- Design Thinking
- Lean Startup
- Disruptive Innovation
But knowing and doing are two different things. When I first learned Jobs to be Done, it felt painfully obvious, exactly like the customer research I did for five years at P&G. Then I had to do it (conduct a Jobs to be Done interview), and it was difficult (ok, it was a disaster).
And teaching others to do it is a third entirely different thing. Because by the time you have the skills and expertise to teach others, you’ve forgotten what it was like to start from the beginning.
It’s easy to forget that before you can read a sentence, you must know how to read a word. Before you can read a word, you must recognize a letter.
So let’s go back to basics. Back before the methodologies. Before the frameworks. Before the theories. Let’s go back to the letters and words that are Innovation’s essence.
Let’s go back to the Innovation Alphabet.
Assumptions, every innovation has them, and every innovator tests them to reduce risk
Brainstorming, a great way to get lots of ideas and maybe even some new ones
Customers, the people we innovate for
Disruptive Innovation, cheaper, lower quality products that appeal to non-consumers
Experiments, how you test assumptions and reduce risk
Fun, what innovation should be
Hope, it springs eternal in the heart of every innovator
Ideas, where most innovations start
Jobs to be Done, the problems people have/the progress they want to make (and the hill I will die on)
Leadership, the most crucial element in innovation (and often the biggest barrier)
Mistakes, how we learn, grow, and make progress
No, the start of a conversation, not the end
Opportunities, a nice term for “problem”
Problems, where all innovations should start
Quiet, what we sometimes need to think big and create something new
Team, how innovation gets done
Uncomfortable, what innovation should make you (especially if you’re a senior executive)
whY, the one question you can never ask enough
Zzzz, what you finally get to do when you’ve changed the world
As you can see, some letters still need words. What should they be?
Are there better words for some letters?
Let me know in the comments!
Love the alphabet! Suggestions for some of the lonely letters:
– Solutions, what can happen when starting with the Problem
– Why, the one question you can never ask enough
– Value, what innovation creates
– (Amended) whY, one question you can never ask enough deserves two letters
Love ALL of these, Heather. Thank you! W and Y made me laugh and I can’t believe I didn’t think of V. Further proof that teamwork makes the dream work