Tag Archives: empathy

Avoiding An Unamazing Customer Experience

Avoiding An Unamazing Customer Experience

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

NICE isn’t just the right way to treat people. It’s the name of a software company that specializes in helping businesses improve their customer and agent experience. NICE has analyzed billions of customer interactions to better understand customer behavior. They know what customers like and dislike. They know what frustrates customer support agents and what gets them excited about helping their customers. But often, it’s not an agent experience that gets customers to come back.

A recent study from NICE found that 81% of consumers today start with a digital channel when they have a question, a need or want to buy something. They don’t call the company. They go to a website, YouTube, Google search, etc. They want and expect the companies and brands they do business with to have answers readily available. What they don’t want is to call a company, be placed on hold for what seems like an unreasonable period of time, talk to a rep who transfers them to another rep, etc., etc.

I recently interviewed Laura Bassett, Vice President of Product Marketing at NICE, and had a fascinating conversation about how customers’ expectations are changing. She said many experiences are unamazing. They simply disappoint, which doesn’t give a customer the incentive to come back for more. Bassett said NICE’s mission is to rid the world of unamazing customer experiences. Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom Bassett shared on how to do exactly that.

1. Customer experience is the entire journey.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that customer experience is customer support. It’s much more than that. While customer support is part of the experience, it really starts when a customer initiates a Google search, finds your company and interacts with your website. The service begins with how easy it is to do business with you regardless of where they are in the customer journey.

2. Customer experience involves every person in the business.

Just as customer experience includes the customer’s entire journey—not just when they reach out for customer support—it also involves every employee. If you aren’t dealing directly with a customer, you support someone who is or is part of the process that will impact the experience. Even people behind the scenes, who never interact with the customer, have impact on the experience. Everyone must understand their role and contribution to the customer experience.

3. Proactive communication is essential to the customer experience.

Companies know many of the questions that customers ask. So, why not be proactive about giving customers information before they have to make the effort to get answers? Bassett said, “Companies should understand and predict when they can answer a question before customers even realize they have it.”

4. Walk in your customer’s shoes.

This is an old expression, yet its meaning is timeless. You must understand what the customer is going through at every step of the journey. Then compare it to the experience you would want. When designing an experience that makes customers want to come back, think about what would make you come back. Is the experience your customers receive different than what you want?

5. Agents are consumers too.

Their expectations have accelerated. They compare what they should be able to deliver to what they experience with other businesses. When they have an amazing experience with another company, they want to repeat that experience for their own customers. They must be equipped with the tools to deliver what they consider to be an amazing experience.

6. Make your customer support agents knowledgeable.

This is a great follow-up to No. 5. Help them understand that they don’t have to follow a script when it is unnecessary. They don’t want to feel held back. They don’t want to feel over-managed or under-enabled. After you hire good people and train them well, you should empower them to do their job. Bassett said, “Turn agents into customer service executives who can really own that experience.”

7. Amazing customer service doesn’t need to have fireworks.

Seamless and simple wins every time. This is the perfect concept to close out this article. Nothing shared in this article is rocket science. It’s common sense. It’s what every customer wants. To be amazing, you don’t have to go over the top and WOW the customer with the most incredible service they have ever experienced. Delivering the simple and seamless actually creates the WOW factor so many businesses believe is unattainable. Just be easy. Eliminate friction. Easy and seamless isn’t that hard—and for customers, it’s the opposite of unamazing!

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Shep Hyken

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Empathy: The Currency of Human Connection and Innovation

Empathy: The Currency of Human Connection and Innovation

GUEST POST from Soren Kaplan

Having worked with innovation teams from global companies like Visa, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, Disney, Medtronic and many others, there’s one consistent success factor when it comes to innovation, no matter what you’re doing: it all starts with the customer.

Companies spend oodles of time and money trying to understand customers. They conduct surveys, hire market researchers, run focus groups, analyze social media, and the list goes on. What’s often missed, however, are customers’ deeper needs and underlying pain points that really matter to them. Quantitative surveys, for example, might give you a sense of a market’s overall sentiment about a topic, but you won’t get to know someone’s personal struggles and underlying motivations from checkboxes on an online form.

Instead, you need to truly put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s not just about intellectually understanding their situation. It’s about tapping into the emotions they feel, and even feeling them yourself as part of the process of connecting to their experience.

Empathy Reveals New Opportunities

I recently led a leadership development program for a large health care provider with hundreds of hospitals. They wanted to understand their patients better, so they could come up with innovations to help them stay healthy and avoid costly visits to the doctor and hospital. Initially, the team had ideas to provide promotional materials on how to eat healthier and exercise.

As part of the process, a small team went to visit patients at their homes in rural areas. At one house, they discovered a giant water tank had been built by a company that towered over their patient’s home–and it was slowly dripping water on the roof, creating a whole variety of problems, including causing the beginnings of respiratory issues for the woman living in the house due to mold. The team was shocked.

The team realized that pamphlets about healthy eating and exercise wouldn’t do much to help. They also recognized that in certain cases they might need to provide radically different types of support to their patients as part of ensuring their overall health, beyond just providing traditional health care. They helped the woman contact the water tank company to fix the leak. They have also since expanded their approach around prevention to address various “social determinants of health” in communities like poor quality water, lack of healthy food, and other issues that lead to health issues long before someone shows symptoms of a formal medical issue.

Immersing yourself in the world of your customers through visits, observation, interviews, and other interactions can provide a new perspective around issues, problems, and assumptions.

Capture Concrete Observations

Empathy is a core element of “design thinking,” a common approach used for product and service innovation. It’s also a concept that can be hard to understand when it comes to translating what you might see and hear into something meaningful about the customer. Here’s a template for doing just that from Praxie.com.

Customer Empathy Map

The next time you connect with a customer, consider the following to help capture concrete observations:

  • Say: What does the customer explicitly say?
  • Feel: What are the customer’s emotions?
  • Think: What occupies the customer’s thoughts?
  • Do: What does the customer do in public?

By providing a structure for cataloguing your observations, you can turn what might seem as ambiguous into something tangible.

Turn Observations into Insight

It’s one thing to observe customers. It’s another to translate what you observe into real insights that help catalyze new ideas.

Once you’ve cataloged your observations, take a step back. Consider the ultimate “pain points” that your customer experiences. What are the customer’s top problems or frustrations? Also be sure to consider the “gain” the customer hopes to achieve. What does the customer hope to accomplish or achieve?

Answering these questions helps move general observations into insights that can be used as the basis for generating new ideas.

Give the World Your Empathy

Empathy is the currency of human connection. We all crave it. And when we give it to others, we build and deepen relationships. Try empathizing with others. You’ll see the returns in the form of a better world, and greater innovation.

Image credits: Praxie.com, Pexels

This article was originally published on Inc.com and has been syndicated for this blog.

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Importance and Ethos of Empathy in Business

Importance and Ethos of Empathy in Business

GUEST POST from Douglas Ferguson

Why is empathy important in business? The reality is that though empathy focuses on identifying others’ emotions and connecting with your team in the workplace, true empathy has powerful results for every facet of an organization.

Organizational Ethos: Why is Empathy Important in Business?

Why is empathy important in business? The reality is that though empathy focuses on identifying others’ emotions and connecting with your team in the workplace, true empathy has powerful results for every facet of an organization.

Empathy makes it possible to center each other’s needs, desires, and emotions at the heart of what you do. From navigating your intuition to working to identify and meet the needs of clients, workplace empathy is essential to effective leadership and future success.

Below, we explore why is empathy important in business as we discuss:

  • Empathy in the Workplace
  • Empathy as Empowerment
  • The Ethos of Empathy
  • Why Empathy is Important for Business
  • Applications of Organizational Empathy

Empathy in the Workplace

Allowing empathy in the workplace encourages leading from the heart. By centering emotional intelligence in your organization, you’ll prioritize a people-first approach to leadership.

Empathy allows us to recognize others’ emotions and to understand their point of view in a situation. When employed in the workplace, empathy offers insight into how to understand and respond to others’ needs. While empathy can be confused with sympathy, the two aren’t the same. Empathy focuses on identifying and sharing the emotions and experiences of others.

By practicing emotional intelligence, organizations can use empathy to better navigate and support their employee’s well-being, while driving innovation and collaboration. As life constantly ebbs and flows, employees need empathetic leaders that understand the nuances of navigating life’s changes. This allows team members to craft the best work-life balance that lets them do their best work while maintaining a positive home life.

Empathy as Empowerment

Why is empathy important for business? The simple answer is that empathy empowers. As leaders and fellow team members extend empathy to each other, they are allowing one another to feel a sense of validation and respect. Considered to be an organizational superpower, empathy can positively impact employees’ engagement, motivation, and well-being.

The true power of empathy lies in your ability to envision yourself in a team member’s position, or a position of leadership. Once empathy becomes part of the organizational culture, it empowers employees to center their fellow members and work collaboratively.

From a leadership perspective, empathy invites employees into the decision-making process. This communicates that leaders value and trust the opinions and positions of their team members. As such, more employees feel a sense of validation and are driven to engage with their work and their teams’.

The Ethos of Empathy

Workplace empathy is part of a larger conversation about organizational ethics. The ethics of an organization refer to how the leadership and team members respond to their external environment. These ethics dictate the principles and guidelines that determine how the company and its employees conduct business in the workplace.

Leaders should work to translate empathy into their organizational ethos to ensure that every decision is guided by a commitment to uplifting and connecting with others. To make an impact with empathy and ingratiate it in your company culture, ensure that your organization has a clear code of ethics. By building empathy into your ethos, you’ll train your leaders and employees to constantly prioritize each other’s feelings and perspectives in the workplace.

Why Empathy is Important for Business

Empathy has a multifaceted impact on the workplace. From enhancing leaders’ capabilities and improving the way team members relate to one another to prioritizing clients’ needs and customer relations, empathy is undoubtedly an important part of any business.

Empathy benefits businesses in the following ways:

1. Empathy is your  leadership superpower.

  • Maintain Top Talent: Leaders that connect with their team in a genuine way are able to foster a sense of loyalty and retain the best people.
  • Boost Morale by Instilling Motivation: Empathetic leaders can successfully encourage their teams and motivate them to perform at their best.
  • Increase Sales and Productivity: Leaders with empathy can better understand customers’ needs and address their desires, pain points, and fears.

2. Empathy is essential for teams.

  • Develop a Community: Through empathy, team members can develop stronger bands and build trust in each other. This allows team members to become a true community both in and out of the workplace.
  • Increase innovation: Empathy is linked to innovation as it allows team members to practice curiosity, generosity, and equality towards their colleagues’ ideas. By entering another’s perspective, team members develop a sense of compassion that allows for creative thinking.
  • Create a safe environment for collaboration and learning: Teams that practice empathy are leading with their heart. This encourages a sense of psychological safety, allowing others to feel vulnerable and open to learning and collaborating.

3. Empathy is transformative for clients.

  • Forge connections with customers: Empathetic organizations put their clients first. This human-centered approach allows teams and leadership to build real bonds with their customers that can last a lifetime.
  • Prioritize clients’ wants and needs: Why is empathy important for business? Empathy makes it easy to identify and prioritize clients’ wants and needs. By walking a mile in their shoes, an organization will have a better understanding of customers’ expectations.

Applications of Organizational Empathy

Discovering why empathy is important for business is the first step in cultivating an empathic culture. The next challenge is learning to apply empathy in every facet of your organization.

Implement empathy in your workplace with the following practices:

1. Listen to Others

Listening to others is the first step in implementing empathy in the workplace. Listening goes beyond hearing what someone says; empathic listening requires one to actively listen and pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and similar nuances.

2. Use Empathy Maps 

Empathy maps allow organizations to take a human-centered approach to problem solving and ideation. Essentially, this helps one to get inside the user’s head. Organizations use empathy maps to determine what the user is thinking or feeling, and how they may experience the product.

3. Design User Personas

User personas identify the skills, goals, attitudes, background information, and behavioral patterns of your target audience. This allows your team to better explore how to relate to users and which solutions would benefit them the most.

4. Practice Empathy Immersion

Use an activity called empathy immersion to encourage your team to understand their perspective and opinion of others.

  • Change Your Perspective

Challenge your team to adopt another’s perspective.

  • Limit Yourself

A major part of having empathy for another person is understanding the challenges and struggles they face. By limiting yourself, you’ll be able to experience the same type of challenges as you empathize with their experience.

  • Do It Yourself

Oftentimes in the field, it makes the most sense to wait for management or a qualified leader. However, this shouldn’t limit one from problem-solving on their own. Under empathetic leadership, team members will feel a sense of self-motivation and confidence that allows them to take agency and create solutions of their own.

  • Similar Experience

Team members can empathize with each other and their clients by recreating an experience similar to what their colleagues or customers are going through.

  • Day-in-the-Life

A day-in-the-life activity allows team members to walk in another’s shoes and navigate the successes and pitfalls from another person’s perspective.

Want to adopt empathy in your organization? Connect with us at Voltage control to learn the ways you can implement empathy in your workplace. Our courses on Change Management and Master Facilitation will teach the art of leading with empathy as you learn how to shift your company culture to one that embraces an empathic ethos.

Article originally seen at VoltageControl.com

Image Credit: Pexels

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A How To Guide for Overcoming Procrastination

A How To Guide for Overcoming Procrastination

GUEST POST from Janet Sernack

I often wonder why some people procrastinate by delaying, postponing, or avoiding solving problems, or by withdrawing from making smart decisions, taking calculated risks, or taking intelligent actions?

  • Why do they become paralyzed and unable to take the actions necessary to solve some of their key problems?
  • Why do they often resist making even the most necessary changes to support the delivery of their creative solutions?
  • Why do so many also avoid taking personal responsibility and being accountable towards achieving their desired outcomes and goals?
  • Why do people disengage, even when the situation or problem may be critical to their own, their teams, or their organizations success?

Despite knowing that there may be a range of negative consequences for procrastinating, involving a crippling, overwhelming, and paralyzing combination of reactive responses?

Which then typically impacts negatively on people’s self-efficacy and self-belief, self-worth, and self-esteem and diminishes their motivation, disengages them and immobilizes their ability to take the necessary actions and as a result, spiral downwards?

How do we help people overcome procrastination?

  • Why is this important?

It seems that procrastination is a challenge we and many others have faced at one point or another, where we struggle with being indecisive, delaying, ignoring, avoiding taking actions to initiate, progress, or completing tasks that may be important to us, as well as on issues that really matter to us, our teams, partners and organizations.

Ultimately leading to failures, and an inability to mitigate risks, or be creative and inventive and decreasing possibilities for innovation and increasing engagement, productivity, and improving performance.

Also potentially leading to feelings of loss, insecurity, inadequacy, frustration, disengagement, and depression and in extreme cases, client, project failures and job losses, and even burnout!

Why do people procrastinate?

  • The need for security and self-protection is the key root causes of procrastination

Procrastination is most often a self-protection strategy, a way of defending ourselves, rooted in fears that result in anxieties around feeling unsafe, vulnerable, and being judged or punished, especially in times of uncertainty, unpredictability, uncontrollability, and when feeling overwhelmed.

In most organizational contexts, procrastinators are likely to respond be risk-averse by:

  • Being apprehensive and even withdrawing energetically (dis-engaging) from people as well as from the creative conversation, coupled with a lack of commitment to the change process or towards achieving the agreed goal (lacking conviction and being worried about the future).
  • Not showing up and spending a lot of time and energy zigzagging around and away from what they feel is consuming them or making them feel threatened or uncomfortable (avoidance).
  • Blaming external people and factors for not “allowing” them to participate or succeed (time, workload, culture, or environment).
  • Denying that achieving the goal really matters, bringing up excuses, and reasonable reasons about why having the goal doesn’t really matter to them, as well as a willingness to take risks (non-committal).
  • Being fearful of the future, dreading what might be the range of possible negative and overwhelming events and situations (pessimism).

What are the key signals of an effective procrastinator?

The first step in noticing the key signals is to tune into our own, and peoples’ effective avoidance default pattern as to what is really going on from a systemic perspective.

By paying deep attention, and being non -judgmental and non evaluative to the range of signals outlined as follows:

Behavior Signals

  • “Playing it safe” or “being nice” by being unwilling to challenge and be challenged.
  • Resisting any change efforts, disengaging, and being reluctant to disclose and share authentically what is really going on for them.
  • Unwillingness to take risks.
  • Shying away from engaging with their partners, families, colleagues, group activities, and from having candid conversations.
  • Being overtly indecisive and non-committal.

Neurological State Signals

  • Increased anxiety and “attention deficit” syndrome.
  • Low motivation and self-confidence.
  • Diminished ability to self-regulate and self-control.
  • Diminished self-efficacy and self-concept.
  • Onslaught of the creeping doubts and the imposter syndrome.

Extrinsic or Environmental Signals Occur When Fearful of Perception of Others

  • Performing poorly, making mistakes, or failing.
  • Fearful of doing too well, or in being too successful.
  • Losing control, status, or role.
  • Looking stupid, or being disapproved of.
  • Avoids conflict situations.

Fear of Success Signals

Some of us are unconsciously afraid of success, because irrationally we secretly believe that we are not worthy of it and don’t deserve it, and then self-sabotage our chances of success!

  • Being shy, introverted, and uncomfortable in the spotlight.
  • Being publicly successful brings social or emotional isolation.
  • Alienating peers as a result of achievement.
  • People may think you’re self-promoting.
  • Being perceived as a “tall poppy”.
  • Believing that success may not be all it’s cracked up to be, and that it might change you, but not for the better.

Fear of Failure Signals

Some people’s motivation to avoid failure often exceeds their motivation to succeed, which can cause them to unconsciously sabotage their chances of success.

  • Cognitive biases or irrational beliefs act as filters distorting reality.
  • Past pains felt from being vulnerable, abandoned, punished, blamed, or shamed in front of others, or of being disapproved of, envied, rejected, or disliked by others.
  • Fearful of looking “bad” or incompetent, in front of others.
  • Feeling threatened, a sense of danger or potential punishment, causing them to move away (freeze, fight, take flight) from confronting dangerous, painful situations as threatening.

Overcoming Procrastination Tips 

  • Co-create a safe, compassionate, and collaborative relationship

As most people find safety in procrastination at some point in time, to be an effective leader, manager, or coach in these situations, it’s important to be empathic and compassionate and “work with” where they may be coming from in terms of underlying self-beliefs:

  • “I don’t want to get hurt”.
  • “I don’t want to expose myself to risk”.

As well as respond constructively to their thoughts about how others may see them including:

  • Lacking confidence,
  • Hesitant.

Noticing how they may perceive themselves:

  • “I am nowhere near as good as I should be”.
  • “I am inadequate.”

Then by paying deep attention, and being intentional in co-creating a safe creative, and collaborative conversation that builds safety, permission, rapport, and trust by being:

  • Gentle and non-threatening, being both kind and courageous,
  • Aware of being both too direct, fast, and too laid back.
  • Providing gentle guiding, assurance, and lots of patience.
  • Focused on encouraging engagement, commitment, and confidence towards setting and achieving the desired outcome.

Ultimately enabling and equipping people to overcome procrastination creates openings and thresholds for learning and growth, to become the best person, to themselves and others, they can possibly be, and achieve the changes they wish to make in the world.

Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate, and deep personalized innovation coaching and learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8-weeks, starting May 2022. It is a blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles, and applications of a human-centered approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.

Contact us now at mailto:janet@imaginenation.com.au to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt, and grow your business, team and organisation through disruption.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Are Innovation and Empathy in the Cards?

As part of the leadership team for a new human-centered problem-solving offering for select Oracle customers, I’m always on the lookout for new tools to integrate into our flexible problem-solving process to help clients innovate, grow or transform.

Because our dynamic team of experienced professionals has a diverse range of knowledge, skills and abilities we’re able to co-create solutions to a wide range of business challenges and leverage a wide variety of tools. This means I’m always on the lookout for new tools to better serve our clients, in addition to pursuing my hobby of creating new tools and methodologies in my spare time throughout my career.

My passion for empowering others to succeed in overcoming their business challenges has led to the publishing of two business best-sellers Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire (John Wiley & Sons, 2010) and Charting Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and the creation of the powerful, visual and collaborative Change Planning Toolkit™, my Nine Innovation Roles™ card deck, and the Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit™ (featuring tools like The Experiment Canvas™).

I create new tools, methodologies and frameworks when I see opportunities to make people more efficient and effective in their jobs and leverage the work of others when I find others have created good solutions. I leverage the Business Model Canvas for business model prototyping, I leverage The Play-to-Win Strategy Canvas v3.0 to help people work through strategic choices, along with other tools when the challenge is appropriate.

Recently I have been looking at a variety of card decks to evaluate their suitability to use alongside design thinking and other methodologies that form the basis of the Oracle FUEL approach.

Here are a few I’ve been evaluating lately:

Killer Questions Cards

1. Killer Questions – Volume 1 from Phil McKinney, author of Beyond the Obvious and CEO of CableLabs
(More info at https://innovation.tools/)

Brainstorming is a fairly useless exercise the way that most people facilitate it. There are much more effective ways to get ideas and most of the approaches that work better share at their core a more targeted and collaborative approach. The Killer Questions card deck is composed of just that, a collection of questions if left unanswered or unexplored, could lead to blind spots and disruption opportunities for new entrants (or your competition). The questions are categorized into three types:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. How

And the questions include things like:

  • Who does not use my product because of my assumptions about their skill or ability
  • What emotional, psychological, or status benefits could people derive from using my product?
  • How could users avoid interacting with my product or service but still get the same value?

But the cards don’t just contain a single question. These are examples of guiding questions on the front of a few cards, but on the back of each card you will also find 3-5 supporting questions to help your team explore the guiding question more fully.

Overall, I consider the cards a useful tool for groups including: product teams wanting to continuously stretch themselves as they revaluate product direction, or for expanded innovation teams looking to broaden their search horizons.

Innovation Deck cards by Andrey Schukin

2. The Innovation Deck by Andrey Schukin, CTO at Interprefy AG
(More info at http://www.innovationfast.com/)

Where the Killer Questions deck is organized around questions, The Innovation Deck is organized around topics/tactics and triggers. For each topic/tactic there is either a set of instructions or a set of questions.

The Innovation Deck is composed of three different types of cards that will help you:

  1. Examine
  2. Explore
  3. Evaluate

Examine Card example:

EMOTION

  • People don’t buy things they need. They buy things they want.
  • How do you make sure that the product will trigger an emotional response from the customer?
  • What elements of your product will make the customer want to use it?

I would almost include the triggers cards as a fourth card type, because instead of a topic and questions the cards have a collection of words to see if any of the words inspire thought or conversations rather than giving people a guiding topic or tactic.

Overall, I consider these cards as a useful tool for product teams looking at a product to challenge or stretch the existing product direction for the future.

Nine Innovation Roles cards from Braden Kelley

3. Nine Innovation Roles – a card deck by Braden Kelley, author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire
(More info at http://9roles.com)

The following is an excerpt from my book that explains some of the thinking behind The Nine Innovation Roles™:

“Too often we treat people as commodities that are interchangeable and maintain the same characteristics and aptitudes. Of course, we know that people are not interchangeable, yet we continually pretend that they are anyway — to make life simpler for our reptile brain to comprehend. Deep down we know that people have different passions, skills, and potential, but even when it comes to innovation, we expect everybody to have good ideas.

I’m of the opinion that all people are creative, in their own way. That is not to say that all people are creative in the sense that every single person is good at creating lots of really great ideas, nor do they have to be. I believe instead that everyone has a dominant innovation role at which they excel, and that when properly identified and channeled, the organization stands to maximize its innovation capacity. I believe that all people excel at one of nine innovation roles, and that when organizations put the right people in the right innovation roles, that your innovation speed and capacity will increase.”

The Nine Innovation Roles™ are:

  1. Revolutionary
  2. Conscript
  3. Connector
  4. Artist
  5. Customer Champion
  6. Troubleshooter
  7. Judge
  8. Magic Maker
  9. Evangelist

To make my Nine Innovation Roles™ framework accessible to as many people as possible inside organizations all around the world to explore and improve innovation team dynamics and success, I am happy to announce that I have now made the print-ready files for the cards available here for FREE download, and you can either work with the vendor I use – adMagic – or work with a local printer in your part of the world.

LPK Roadblocks Cards

4. LPK Roadblocks by LPK, a brand and innovation consultancy
(More info at https://roadblocks.lpklab.com/)

The LPK Roadblocks deck is focused on innovation roadblocks and helping organizations whose innovation efforts might have stalled, get unstuck. There are six kinds of cards in the deck:

  1. Voting cards
  2. Question cards
  3. Create Your Own Roadblock cards
  4. Organization Roadblocks
  5. Project Roadblocks
  6. Idea Roadblocks

There are two main ways to use the cards, with selection and voting integrated into both:

  1. Root Cause Discovery
  2. Beginning, Middle and End

Organization Roadblocks include things like “Unrealistic Revenue Hurdles” and “Lip-Service Leadership,” while Project Roadblocks including things like “Untested Assumptions” and “Unclear Objectives”, while Idea Roadblocks include things like “Risk/Reward Imbalance” and “No Route to Market.”

Overall, I find these cards to be a useful tool when you run into a client that says they are struggling to innovate or that they’re not innovating as much as they’d like.

Questions & Empathy Cards

5. Questions & Empathy – a card deck by SubRosa, a brand strategy and design practice
(More info at https://www.questionsandempathy.com/)

SubRosa’s Questions & Empathy cards are composed of seven empathy archetype cards and a set of exploratory questions for each archetype. The seven archetypes are:

  1. Sage
  2. Inquirer
  3. Convener
  4. Alchemist
  5. Confidant
  6. Seeker
  7. Cultivator

Overall, I find these cards to be a useful tool for better understanding yourself and your own empathetic style and over time they could help you approach empathy from more angles than you would without them, but I struggle to see as is how they can actually help you practice applied empathy. The archetypes are useful, but I think I might create my own question cards to help my team better apply empathy within the empathize/understand phase of design thinking.

Conclusion

Whether you’re trying to innovate or just to build up your empathy muscles, I hope you see that there are some great, extremely portable resources to help with either. Of course, there are other card decks out there, but these will give you a few to explore and see whether there is a fit for your design thinking or innovation undertakings. If you’re pursuing a digital transformation or business transformation you can:

If you missed the links to the cards decks above, here they are again:

  1. Killer Questions – Volume 1
  2. The Innovation Deck
  3. Nine Innovation Roles (English/Spanish/Swedish)
  4. LPK Roadblocks
  5. Questions & Empathy


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Innovation Quotes of the Day – April 30, 2012


“Albert Einstein wrote, ‘Everybody is a genius! But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid!’
We are all capable of doing one thing better than any other person alive at this time in history!”

– Matthew Kelly


“In order for innovation to reliably happen at every level of the organization, it will be extremely useful for all members to have access to the voice of the customer.”

– Braden Kelley


“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power to that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

– J.K. Rowling


What are some of your favorite innovation quotes?

Add one or more to the comments, listing the quote and who said it, and I’ll share the best of the submissions as future innovation quotes of the day!

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