The ONE question that true innovators ask themselves

Innovation processes have for many years been centered around the question: “Can we build this?”. Consciously or unconsciously driving an inside-out innovation agenda with the focus on technological possibilities rather than discovering emerging customer needs.

Bringing the customer at the centre of attention is essential in succeeding with innovation efforts. Most companies today recognise this challenge - but what does it really mean, and how do you become customer centric?

There are plenty of takes on how to approach it - Henry Chesbrough advocating the concept of Open Innovation, Eric von Hippel stressing the importance of User Innovation, just to mention a couple. But as it is often the case, the issue is not that nobody ever wrote about becoming customer centric - if you ever tried to Google it, you will know what I mean - but what is really the essence?
Simplicity is often the key to making change happen, and when we advise companies on innovation we always challenge them with ONE key question.

As mentioned, most companies are very focused on “Can we build this?”, but the issue with that question is that it promotes a

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