Tag Archives: research

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of September 2022

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of September 2022Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are September’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. You Can’t Innovate Without This One Thing — by Robyn Bolton
  2. Importance of Measuring Your Organization’s Innovation Maturity — by Braden Kelley
  3. 3 Ways to Get Customer Insights without Talking to Customers
    — by Robyn Bolton
  4. Four Lessons Learned from the Digital Revolution — by Greg Satell
  5. Are You Hanging Your Chief Innovation Officer Out to Dry? — by Teresa Spangler
  6. Why Good Job Interviews Don’t Lead to Good Job Performance — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  7. Six Simple Growth Hacks for Startups — by Soren Kaplan
  8. Why Diversity and Inclusion Are Entrepreneurial Competencies
    — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  9. The Seven P’s of Raising Money from Investors — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  10. What’s Next – The Only Way Forward is Through — by Braden Kelley

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in August that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last two years:

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Top Five Reasons Customers Don’t Return

Top Five Reasons Customers Don't Return

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

Whatever you sell, be it a product or service, your customers expect that it will do what it’s supposed to do. If you sell a car, the car should work. If you sell a service, the outcome should meet expectations. That’s table stakes.

So, let’s assume that whatever your customers are buying from you will meet their expectations. However, that’s not always why the customer buys from you in the first place, let alone comes back to buy more. It’s the customer experience that drives that.

In our 2022 Achieving Customer Amazement research, more than 1,000 American consumers were asked, “How likely would you be to switch companies or leave a brand after experiencing any of the following bad customer service experiences?” They were asked to rate several reasons using a scale that ranged from “not likely” to “very likely.” Here are the top five reasons customers would leave:

1. Rudeness or Apathy From a Company or Brand Employee

This was the No. 1 reason, coming in at 75%. What’s interesting is that in the late 1970s a study was commissioned by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, and the top reason for customers leaving (over 70%) was the same. It’s hard to believe that the numbers haven’t changed for 40 years, but this continues to be the No. 1 reason customers don’t come back.

2. Inconsistent Information

There is no excuse for inconsistent information. Obviously, this is very frustrating to customers, with 72% saying this would drive them to find someplace else to do business. Have you ever called a company’s customer support number with a question and didn’t like the answer? If you truly believed the answer was incorrect, you may have called back to ask someone else the same question, hoping for a different answer. And it’s amazing how many times you get a different answer.

3. Inability to Connect with Someone From Customer Support

Self-service or digital support is becoming more popular. Customers are learning that it’s often quicker and easier to visit a website, read the frequently asked questions or interact with an AI-fueled chatbot. However, there are times when you want to talk to a human. It should be an easy, seamless transition, but some companies hide behind a wall of digital support and make it difficult for a customer to connect to a live agent. Furthermore, some companies bury their customer support number on their website, making it difficult, if not impossible, to find. This third reason customers leave comes in at 71%, just four percentage points off the No. 1 reason.

4. A Bad Customer Service Experience

I would think this would be at the top of the list, but at 68%, it takes fourth place. A bad customer service experience is exactly that. It’s just bad. But survey participants considered dealing with a rude or apathetic employee worse than an overall bad experience. My interpretation is that you might get a second chance following an overall bad experience. However, if customers are treated with disrespect (rudeness and apathy), it’s more than likely you won’t see them again.

5. Inconsistent Experience

You can’t be great one day, not so great the next day, average another day, etc. Inconsistency erodes confidence. Fifty-nine percent of the customers we surveyed would walk if they didn’t know what to expect. Customers want a consistent and predictable experience. That gives them confidence that they know what to expect every time they do business with you.


As you look at this list, you might think, “I knew that.” Of course, you did. You’re a customer. You don’t want to deal with employees who are rude or apathetic. It bothers you to get inconsistent information, and it’s upsetting when you want to talk with someone from a company but can’t. You get frustrated when you have a bad customer service experience. And you get irritated with an inconsistent experience. Who wouldn’t?

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Shep Hyken

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What Latest Research Reveals About Innovation Management Software

What Latest Research Reveals About Innovation Management Software

GUEST POST from Jesse Nieminen

Our industry of innovation management software is quite an interesting one. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still not a mainstay that every organization would use, at least not in the same way as CRM and team communication software are.

Hence, there’s quite little independent research available out there to prove its efficacy, or even for determining which parts of it are the most valuable.

So, when I saw a new study, conducted jointly by a few German universities, come out on the topic, I was naturally curious to learn more.

In this article, I’ll share the key findings of the study with you, as well as some personal thoughts on the how and why behind these findings. We’ll also wrap up the discussion by considering how these findings relate to the wider trends within innovation management.

About the Study

Before we get to the results, let’s first briefly cover what the study was actually about and how it was conducted.

First, the focus of the study was to analyze the role of Innovation Management Software (IMS) adoption for New Product Development (NPD) effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the factors (software functionality and offered services) that actually led to successful adoption of said innovation management software.

The data was collected with an online questionnaire that was answered by innovation managers from 199 German firms of varying sizes, 45% of which used an Innovation Management Software, and 55% of which didn’t.

While this is the largest independent piece of research I’ve yet seen on innovation management software, we should remember that all research comes with certain limitations and caveats, and it’s important to understand and keep these in mind.

You can read the paper for a more detailed list, but in my opinion, this boils down to a few key things:

  • First, the study uses NPD performance as a proxy for innovation outcomes. This is an understandable choice to make the research practical, but in reality, innovation is much more than just NPD.
  • Second, while the sample size of companies is respectable, the demographic is quite homogenous as they are all German companies that employ an innovation manager, which obviously isn’t representative of every organization out there.
  • Third, the results are analyzed with regression analyses, which always brings up the age-old dilemma: correlation doesn’t imply causation. In other words, the study can tell us the “what”, not the “why” or “how”.
  • And finally, while the chosen variables are based on validated prior research, the questions still require subjective analysis from the respondent, which can introduce some bias to the results.

So, let’s keep these in mind and move on to the actual findings.

The Main Findings of the Study

The authors have done a great job in summarizing the hypothesis and respective results in a table, which you’ll also find reproduced below.

Innovation Management Software Research Results

Let’s break the results down by hypothesis and cover the main takeaways for each.

Innovation Management Software Adoption Leads to Better NPD Performance

The first hypothesis was that using an Innovation Management Software would lead to better New Product Development performance. This can further be broken down into two parts: efficiency and effectiveness.

The results show that IMS adoption does indeed improve NPD efficiency, but the impact on NPD effectiveness wasn’t significant.

Innovation Management Software improves New Product Development efficiency, but the impact on effectiveness isn’t significant.

Intuitively, this makes sense and is also well in line with our experience. Innovation, especially in terms of NPD, is hard and requires a lot of work and difficult decisions, usually in the face of significant uncertainty. No software can magically do that job for you, but a good tool can help keep track of the process and do some of the heavy lifting for you.

This naturally helps with efficiency which allows innovators to focus more of their efforts on things that will lead to better results, but those results still aren’t a given.

Functionality That Leads to Higher IMS Adoption

The second hypothesis is focused on the functionality provided by the innovation management software, and the impact of said functionality on overall IMS adoption.

To be more specific, the respondents were asked how important they considered each functionality to be for their firm.

Here, Idea Management was the only functionality that had an impact for these firms.

Idea Management was the only functionality that had a significant positive impact for the surveyed firms.

Again, that intuitively makes sense and is well in line with our experience. Idea management is the part that you embed in the organization’s daily processes and use across the organization to make ideation and innovation systematic. And as mentioned, it’s the part that does a lot of the heavy lifting, such as increasing transparency, communication and collecting and analyzing data, that would otherwise take up a lot of time from people running innovation, which naturally helps with efficiency.

So, while Strategy and Product Management capabilities do have their uses, they are not nearly as essential to IMS adoption, or innovation success for that matter.

In our experience, this primarily comes down to the fact that most companies can manage those capabilities just fine even without an IMS. The value-add provided by the software just isn’t nearly as high for most organizations there.

Services That Lead to Higher IMS Adoption

The third and final hypothesis focused on the importance of the services offered by IMS vendors for the respective firms.

Here the spectrum covered consulting, training, customer support, customizations, as well as software updates and upgrades.

Here, the only factor that made a positive difference for the respondents was software updated and upgrades. This category includes both minor improvements as well as new functionality for the software.

Interestingly enough, for consulting that relationship was negative. Or as the authors put it, adopters more alienate than appreciate such services.

Software updates and upgrades were the only service with a positive impact, whereas consulting actually had a negative one.

Let’s first cover the updates and upgrades as that is probably something everyone agrees on.

Good software obviously evolved quickly and as most companies have embraced the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, they’ve come to expect frequent bug fixes, usability and performance improvements, and even new features for free. Over the lifetime of the product, these make a huge difference.

Thus, most understand that you should choose a vendor that is committed and capable of delivering a frequent stream of updates and new capabilities.

Let’s then move on to consulting and discuss why it is detrimental to adoption.

While we’ve always kept professional services to a minimum at Viima, this still came as a bit of a surprise for me. As I’ve raised this point up in discussions with a couple of people in the industry, that do offer such services, they seem to respond with varying degrees of denial, dismissal, and perhaps even a hint of outrage. When such emotions are at play, it’s always a good time for an innovator to lean in and dig a bit deeper, so let’s do that!

Looking at this from the point of view of the customer, there are a few obvious problems:

  • Misaligned incentives
  • … which leads to focusing on the wrong issues
  • Lack of ownership

Each of these could be discussed in length, but let’s focus on covering the keys here.

First, it’s important to understand that every software company makes most of their profits from software licenses. Thus, while generally speaking modern SaaS models do incentivize the vendor to make you successful, that isn’t the whole picture. The focus is actually on keeping the customer using the software. With the right product, that will lead to good outcomes, but that isn’t necessarily always the case.

However, when you add consulting to the mix, it’s only natural that it focuses primarily on the usage of the software because that’s what they know best, and what’s also in their best interest.

And, while making the most out of the software is important, it’s usually not the biggest challenge organizations have with their innovation efforts. In our experience, these are usually in topics such as organizational structure, resource allocation, talent, culture, as well as leadership buy-in and understanding.

And, even if the vendor would focus more on some of these real challenges the customer has, they rarely are the best experts in these matters due to their experience coming from matters related to the product.

Advice on Innovation Management

Now, once you have a consultant come in, you of course want to listen to them. However, a consultant’s job is to give advice, it isn’t to get to the outcomes you want or need, and there’s a big difference there. That is one of the fundamental challenges in using consultants in general, and a big reason for why many don’t like to use them for long-term issues that are core to your future success, such as innovation.

Having said that, if you do use consultants, you can’t lose track of the fact you still need to take ownership for delivering those results. The consultant might be able to help you with that, or they might not. It’s still your job to make the decisions and execute on the chosen plan.

Put together, these reasons are also why we have been reluctant to do much consulting for our customers. We simply think the customer is best served by taking ownership of these matters themselves. We do, on the other hand, seek to provide them with the information, materials and advice they might need in navigating some of these decisions – with no additional cost through channels such as this blog and our online coaching program.

How do these findings relate to wider IMS trends?

Now that we’ve covered the key findings, let’s discuss how these are present in the wider trends within the Innovation Management Software industry.

In addition to what we hear in our discussions with customers and prospects, we’ve also discussed the topic quite extensively with industry analysts and would break these down into a few main trends.

Focus on enterprise-wide innovation

One of the big trends we see is that more and more companies are following in the footsteps of the giants like Tesla, Amazon, Apple and Google, and are moving innovation from separate silos to become more of a decentralized organization-wide effort.

This isn’t always necessary for pure NPD performance, which is what the study was focused on, but it is certainly key for scaling innovation in general, and one where efficient idea management can play a key role.

Once you embark on that journey, you’ll realize that your innovation team will initially be spread very thin. In that situation, it’s especially important to have easy-to-use tools that can empower people across the organization and improve efficiency.

Simultaneous need for ease of use and flexibility

That enterprise-wide innovation trend is also a big driver for the importance of intuitiveness, ease of use, and flexibility becoming more important.

In the past, you could have an innovation management software that is configured to match your stage-gate process for NPD. You might still need that, but it’s no longer enough. You probably want more agile processes for some of your innovation efforts, and more lightweight ones for some of the more incremental innovation many business units need to focus on.

If people across the organization don’t know how to use the software, or require extensive training to do so, you’ll face an uphill battle. What’s more, if you need to call the vendor whenever you need to make a change to the system, you’re in trouble. Top innovators often run dozens or even hundreds of different simultaneous innovation processes in different parts of the organization, so that quickly becomes very tedious and expensive.

Reducing operational complexity and costs

A big consideration for many is the operational complexity and running costs associated in running and managing their infrastructure and operations.

Extensive configuration work and on-premises installations significantly add to both of these, so even though they can be tempting for some organizations, the costs do pile up a lot over time, especially since it requires a lot more attention from your support functions like IT to manage.

What’s more, if you want to make changes or integrate these systems with new ones you may introduce, typically you only have one option: you need to turn to your IMS vendor.

As IMS tools have matured and off-the-shelf SaaS services have become much more capable, the compromises in increased rigidity, complexity and running costs, as well as less frequent updates are no longer worth it and off-the-shelf SaaS is now the way to go for almost everyone. With SaaS, you benefit immensely from economies of scale, and you are no longer held captive by the sunk cost fallacy of up-front license payments and extensive configuration and training work.

Commoditization in Idea Management

As the study pointed out, idea management is at the core of most innovation management software. However, in the last decade, the competition in the space has increased a lot.

There are now native SaaS platforms, like Viima, that are able to offer extremely competitive pricing due to efficient operations and a lean organizational structure. This has put a lot of pressure on many vendors to try to differentiate themselves and justify their higher price tags with additional professional services, as well as adjacent products and capabilities.

In our experience, while these might sound good on paper, they aren’t often leading to more value in real life, and the respondents of this study would seem to concur.


So, to conclude, what did we learn from the research?

In a nutshell, no innovation management software or vendor will miraculously turn you into a successful innovator. A good software, however, will help you become more efficient with your innovation efforts, as well as lead to softer benefits such as improvements in communication, knowledge transfer and culture. Put together, these can make your life a lot easier so that you can focus on actually driving results with innovation.

What then should you consider when choosing your innovation management vendor?

Well, the evidence shows that you should focus on idea management, as that’s where the biggest impact on the factors mentioned above come from. And therein, you should focus on vendors that continuously update and evolve their software with the help of modern technology and that has made all the above so easy and intuitive that they don’t need to sell you consulting.

And of course, ask them the tough questions. Ask to test the software in real life. If you can’t, that is a red flag in and of itself. See how flexible and easy-to-use their software really is. Does it require consulting or configuration by the vendor?

This article was originally published in Viima’s blog.

Image credits: Unsplash, Viima

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Five Keys to Doing Good Ethnographic Research

Five Keys to Doing Good Ethnographic Research

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Ethnographic research is a powerful tool for understanding the beliefs, behavior, and culture of a given population or group. It is a powerful tool for gaining insight into the lived experiences of a particular group and can be used to inform policy, decision making, and marketing. Ethnographic research involves observing and recording the social interactions and activities of a particular group in their natural environment. The following are some key tips to help ensure a successful ethnographic research project.

1. Specify Your Objectives

Before embarking on an ethnographic research project, it is important to set out clear objectives. Having a clear goal and objectives will help to ensure that the research is conducted in a focused and productive way. It is also important to consider the time and resources available for the research project, as these will have an impact on the depth and breadth of the research that can be conducted.

2. Choose the Right Location

Choosing the right location is essential when doing an ethnographic research project. The researcher should select a location that is accessible and provides an opportunity to observe the target group in their natural environment. It is also important to ensure that the location is safe and secure, as well as respectful of the privacy of the participants.

3. Develop a Research Plan

Developing a research plan is essential for successful ethnographic research. The research plan should include a timeline for data collection, an assessment of the resources available, and a detailed method for data collection. It is important to consider the ethical implications of the research and to develop a plan for protecting the participants’ rights and privacy.

4. Gather Data

The data gathering stage of an ethnographic research project is arguably the most important. Ethnographic research should involve the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data. This includes gathering data through observation, interviews, and other methods. The researcher should strive to gain a deeper understanding of the target group and their culture through the collection of data.

5. Analyze the Data

Once the data has been collected, it is important to analyze it in order to gain insights into the beliefs, behavior, and culture of the target group. This can be done through a variety of methods, including statistical analysis, content analysis, and thematic analysis. The researcher should strive to draw meaningful conclusions from the data that can inform policy, decision making, and marketing.

Ethnographic research can be an invaluable tool for gaining an understanding of the beliefs, behavior, and culture of a particular group. However, it is important to ensure that a well-thought-out research plan is in place, and that the right data is gathered and analyzed in a meaningful way. Following these tips should help ensure a successful ethnographic research project.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What is Ethnography?

What is Ethnography?

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Ethnography is an important method of research in the social sciences, used to gain a detailed understanding of groups of people and their cultural practices. It involves the observation of a group’s behavior, language, beliefs, values, and interactions with their environment. Ethnographers often conduct interviews and surveys in order to gain a deeper understanding of their subjects.

The goal of ethnography is to provide an in-depth understanding of the culture of a group of people. This includes looking at the group’s history, language, and material culture, as well as its social and political structures. Ethnographers also examine the group’s rituals, beliefs, and values. By looking closely at the different elements of a culture, ethnographers can develop an understanding of how the group interacts with its environment and with other groups.

An ethnographer’s primary tool is observation. Ethnographers must observe their subjects in their natural environment and take note of their behavior, language, and interactions. They may also conduct interviews and surveys in order to gain a better understanding of the group’s beliefs and values.

Ethnographers need to be aware of their own biases and preconceptions, as these can influence the results of their research. They must also consider the ethical implications of their research and ensure that their subjects are treated with respect.

The primary purpose of ethnography is to gain an understanding of a particular culture and its people. This understanding can be used to inform policy decisions and to improve the lives of the people being studied. Ethnographers may also use their research to create educational materials or works of art.

Ethnography is an invaluable tool for understanding the diversity of cultures around the world. By observing and recording the behavior, beliefs, and values of a group of people, ethnographers can gain an understanding of their culture and how it interacts with its environment. This understanding can be used to inform policy decisions and improve the lives of the people being studied.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Five Keys to Doing Good Secondary Research

Five Keys to Doing Good Secondary Research

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

The success of any research project is determined by the quality of the research conducted. Good secondary research is essential for any research project, as it helps to provide background information, develop hypotheses, and identify gaps in knowledge. Here are some key tips to ensure you’re conducting effective secondary research:

1. Identify a clear research question

Before you start any research, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re looking to learn. Having a clear research question will help to guide your research, and ensure that you’re focusing on the right sources.

2. Choose reliable sources

The quality of your research is only as good as the sources you use. When conducting secondary research, it’s important to use reliable sources such as peer-reviewed journals, government documents, and scholarly books.

3. Consider credibility

As well as using reliable sources, it’s important to consider the credibility of the authors you’re citing. Are they experts in the field? Do they have any biases or conflicts of interest that could affect the quality of their research?

4. Analyze data and trends

Secondary research is all about analyzing existing data and identifying trends. It’s important to assess the data critically, and look for patterns, correlations, and inconsistencies.

5. Draw conclusions

Once you’ve collected and analyzed the data, it’s time to draw conclusions. Make sure to consider all of the evidence you’ve gathered, and draw conclusions that are supported by the data.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your secondary research is of the highest quality. Good secondary research is essential for any research project, and following these key tips will help you to ensure that your research is successful.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What is an Online Research Panel?

What is an Online Research Panel?

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

An online research panel is an online platform that is used to collect data from a specific group of people. This data can be used to gain insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and other types of research. It can be used to gain insights into a variety of topics, such as consumer preferences, product development, and marketing strategies.

While online research panels can be used to gather data from a variety of sources, they are typically used to gather data from a specific group of people. This group is often made up of a panel of individuals who are chosen based on their demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, location, and education level.

Once the panel of individuals has been selected, they are asked to participate in a variety of research activities. These activities can include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other forms of data collection. This data is then used to gain insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and other research topics.

Online research panels provide a variety of benefits to researchers. First, they can allow researchers to collect data from a large pool of people quickly and easily. This is because the data collection process is automated, which saves the researchers time and effort. Additionally, online research panels can allow researchers to gain access to a wide variety of data sources, which can provide a more comprehensive view of the research topic.

Finally, online research panels can be used to quickly and easily test hypotheses and gather feedback from a variety of sources. This can help researchers develop better insights into their research topic, which can help them make more informed decisions.

Overall, online research panels are a great way for researchers to quickly and easily collect data from a variety of sources. They can provide a comprehensive view of the research topic, allow researchers to quickly and easily test hypotheses, and provide feedback from a variety of sources. For these reasons, online research panels are an invaluable tool for researchers.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What is Qualitative Research?

What is Qualitative Research?

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Qualitative research is a type of research that deals with the collection and analysis of non-numeric data. This type of research is used to explore and understand the experiences, beliefs, and motivations of individuals or groups. Qualitative research is often used to gain insights into social, cultural, and even political phenomena.

Qualitative research is used to explore a variety of topics, including culture, values, beliefs, and behavior. By using qualitative methods, researchers can capture the complexity of human experience. For example, qualitative research can be used to investigate how people make decisions, what motivates them, and how they interact with their environment. Qualitative research can also be used to uncover deeper insights into how people think, feel, and behave.

Qualitative research can take many forms, including interviews, focus groups, and observational studies. Each of these techniques has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all involve collecting and analyzing data from participants. Interviews involve asking questions and gathering responses from participants, while focus groups involve gathering a group of people together to discuss a particular topic. Observational studies involve observing participants in their natural environment.

Qualitative research is an important tool for gaining insights into social and cultural phenomena. By using qualitative methods, researchers can capture the complexity of human experience, which is often difficult to measure using quantitative methods. Qualitative research is also useful for exploring emerging trends and developing new theories. Ultimately, qualitative research enables researchers to gain deeper insights into their topic of interest.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What is Quantitative Research?

What is Quantitative Research?

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Quantitative research is a type of research that focuses on the collection and analysis of numerical data. It is used to assess relationships between variables, measure changes over time, and develop predictive models. Quantitative research is often used to generate statistically significant results, which can help inform decisions and guide strategies for businesses, organizations, and governments.

Quantitative research typically involves collecting large amounts of data from a variety of sources and then analyzing it using tools such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and experiments. The data is then analyzed using statistical methods to measure relationships between variables and assess trends.

Quantitative research is often used to answer questions such as “What is the average age of customers in my store?” or “What percentage of my customers are female?” It can also be used to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns or to predict the success of a new product.

Quantitative research is an invaluable tool for understanding and predicting human behavior. By collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, researchers can gain insights into trends and relationships that would otherwise remain hidden. The results of quantitative research can help organizations make better decisions and develop more effective strategies.

Image credit: Pixabay

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What We Can Learn About Innovation From Crows

What We Can Learn About Innovation From CrowsCrows are everywhere. There is no denying it. What is fascinating is that unlike many animal species, crows live in harmony with humans (along with rats and cockroaches), and in fact choose to live with humans instead of away from them, continuing to evolve in order to thrive in areas where humans dominate the landscape.

I came across an interesting Ted video with hacker and writer Joshua Klein about his fascination with crows. It is about ten minutes long and documents examples of a variety of academic research and observations highlighting the intelligence of crows, including his own experiments with a crow vending machine.

What’s also evident in the video and interesting is how much we underestimate crows, which may go back to the popular saying ‘bird brain’. Joshua Klein highlights in the video that far from being ‘bird brains’ crows have the same ratio of brain power as a chimpanzee and possess complex communications, socialization, and memory capacity.

If you watch the video above you’ll see that crows are creative problem solvers (creativity having also been proven as a trait of dolphins) and much more persistent than a squirrel (and many humans for that matter).

So, what can we learn about innovation from the crows in the video (or in real life)?

Well, two things for sure:

1. Goals help.

Crows are inspired to use their creativity in the pursuit of food. Rewards are not a panacea for humans, but can be useful from time to time, when properly framed and reinforced with the right inspiration.

2. We must encourage people to be persistent.

If we let people be squirrels, people won’t push through the difficulties that wicked problems present, and won’t get to the other side where wicked solutions are achieved. Look at how the crows in the video were led step by step to overcome smaller challenges that accumulated into a complex solution that people wouldn’t normally think the crows would have been capable of.

These are the links between the crows and innovation that I identified from the video.

What did you see?

Image credit: HuffingtonPost.com

This article was originally featured on Linkedin

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