Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to do research to get innovation - and not just another piece of statistics

“Innovation that starts with what people want leads to incremental improvement of products, not to breakthrough innovation.” says Italian academic Roberto Verganti, author of Design-Driven Innovation (Harvard Business press)

In media we often read "research shows" or "according to research" - and yeah, I use research to write my blogs too! But the key to make all the data useful and meaningful for a company is to combine studies, to make sense of a huge amount of data collected through time and by different firms and brands, for different reasons.

A brand that rocks up at a research firm and orders a quant or qual study should not rely on just those figures. If the researchers are not humble enough to also bring in knowledge from other sources you´re in trouble. Questions get certain answers depending on how they are asked, and I always keep an archive, collecting all the various studies, to feel the nuanses. People say a lot of stuff, and sometimes you need to dig through the words to find the meaning...

Australia´s level of innovation is definitely slowing down (according to research lol), and I believe more senior executives should start meditating, listening to their gut - and back up their intuition with a large stack of wisdom.

Or as Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice says: "Back up your instincts with customer research and take a calculated risk."

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