Build creative stamina
Article

Build creative stamina

Caroline Beck
  • Caroline Beck
  • Senior Service Designer

Innovative propositions must overcome a wide variety of challenges on the path to market success. Technology, markets and customers change so quickly that the only way to develop is in market. This requires creative stamina. The way to build it is through rapid learning cycles with customers and staff.

Real world testing leads to real change

Testing in the real world means trying things out with customers and staff. This is vastly different from simply asking for their opinion. This is also a great way to lower organisational resistance to new ideas. Real world testing requires everyone to get involved – feeding back and collaborating on improvements.

Make ideas tangible

Visualising the customer experience from day one brings power to an idea. Visual and tangible ideas have incredibly high value.  Designers have a wealth of techniques to help communicate a customer experience. Ideas can be fragile, but gain power and stamina when they can be seen and touched by partners and colleagues.

Test before you develop

It is very human to believe you can anticipate all problems that arise with an innovative idea. However, most problems are invisible until you put concepts to the test. Rapid cycles of testing during development make a huge difference in mapping out the unexpected. This ensures failures are small-scale and are used for learning and improvement. The more you know, the more solid is the business case.

Make the risks visible

When managers need to make decisions that involve effort and risk, it is invaluable to see what a service will look and feel like for customers.  Seeing how ideas work in reality drive concrete actions and engagement. It also makes evident the risks that often go unseen in a business case; Will staff be able to deliver it? Will customers adopt it?

When managers need to make decisions that involve effort and risk, it is invaluable to see how a service will look and feel like for customers.  Seeing how ideas work in reality is important to validate concrete actions and also drives engagement from the organisation. This process also asks the questions; Will staff be able to deliver it? And, will customers adopt it? – making evident the risks that often go unseen in a business case.

Small details can make all the difference

There is a big difference between describing an innovation and experiencing it. The success or failure of an innovation is hidden in the details. It can be very expensive to only notice crucial details when you have already launched a new product or service onto the market. Fortunately, there are ways to simulate new business concepts. Early simulation practices enable the understanding of critical factors from the day the idea is born.

Visualise it, simulate it, try it with customers and test it with staff.  It will help you exorcise the devil in the detail before it is too late.

Innovate in the real world

Customers and staff are the real world. The toolbox to involve them in innovation processes is well stocked. Customers and staff often generate insights for new ideas and they can help to refine existing ones. Innovate in the real world and you will succeed in the market.