This is one of a series of postings in which I'm sharing some thoughts and implementations on how to empathize with customers and use design thinking to get ideas and products out to the world.
Successful companies realize from their early stages that one of the main success factor is their ability to create widespread empathy for the world around them. Many understand empathy at the individual or personal level as the ability to reach outside of ourselves and walk in someone else’s shoe, to get where they’re coming from, to feel what they feel. Widespread empathy, on the other hand, is about getting every single person in an organization to have a gut-level intuition for the people who buy their products and services.
How many times you missed an opportunity to a competitor because that competitor was connected with its customers and was able to get it into the market fast? Connecting with your customers will get your ideas faster to the world since your team will have a shared and intuitive vibe for what’s going on in the world. You will be able to take more risks rather than waiting for others to validate it for you. You will gain inherit higher quality levels even if not the whole company is turning on its cylinders to build new products or services. Think of Nike hiring runners to build its shoes.
This isn’t about market research or doing analytics. It is not about the Voice of the Customer. It is about the strategy and culture of your team and company. Visualize a place where everyone has the same intuitive connection to the world, not only marketing, design, or sales, but people in finance, HR, engineering systems, etc. This should blur the line between inside the company and outside. There is no us and them. It is all within the same tribe or team.
Next post about design thinking loop coming up soon. Stay tuned!