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Innovator’s Playbook

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Innovator’s Playbook

How to Create Great Products, Services and Experiences That Your Customers Will Love


15 min read
7 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Innovate by picking the right team, listening to customers and testing different ideas to find solutions.

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International design thinking expert Nathan Baird gives the lowdown on how companies can create innovative products with the right team of diverse specialists. He explains how to demonstrate empathy toward your customers; immerse yourself in their daily lives; clarify customer insights; let your ideas marinate; hold workshops to develop creative briefs to select your best ideas; create prototypes; and test and tweak your final product.


Successful innovation starts when you put together the right team.

Create a cross-functional team of specialists, six to 10 people of diversity in thinking, backgrounds, cultures, age and gender. Teams will vary by industry, but will likely include a project – or innovation – leader and a project manager. Involve specialists in research, marketing, sales, development/technology, packaging, supply chain, finance and design. A dedicated project manager should oversee the project so specialists can focus on their individual roles without worrying about the big picture.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, creating and innovating demand focus. Having a project kick-off builds energy and encourages cohesiveness among the new team. Discuss your “innovation opportunity” – a space for ideas to nurture. This can be a customer group or occasion, market insight, technology, trend or some combination.

For example, innovation opportunities may include an airline re-imagining how customers experience long-distance flights. Break this vague goal down into subsets with different teams that work on, for example, planning/booking trips; pre...

About the Author

Founder and managing director of Methodry Nathan Baird is an expert on design thinking.

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