By Andrea De Muri, International Programs Faculty Member
In a traditional view, Creativity happens because of special people, in special places (elite university, R&D departments, innovation labs, etc.) who create special ideas. Their ideas flow down the pipeline to final consumers to wait for their approval and disapproval. And of course, if you do this right, then your product will be a success. Wouldn’t it?
Well... not exactly so. There is a big difference between doing things and doing “the right things”. Most of the time, your first idea will not work as expected. It’s not the exception, it’s the norm. And the reason has nothing to do with the idea itself, or bad execution.
The point is that any idea works when it can satisfy the needs, the desires, the aspirations of a final customer. When your hypothesis about the value of the product hold. And of course, when you can build the product you have promised. Your customers are the final judge of your ideas. And your ability to give them an answer creatively is the key to success.
For these reasons, Creativity can’t work in a vacuum. You need to incorporate -from day one- the customer perspective in your project. You need a human-centric approach to guide your creative process, an highly collaborative environment where ideas flow back and forth the pipeline with users. You need to make the user an active part in the development of sizeable, disruptive innovations. You need a management system to govern Creativity.
Methodologies such as Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile are answers to those needs. They are guard-rails that keep you on track in your discovery journey. They can guide you in the discovery and validation of your creative effort. They will change your attitude about the innovation process, and they will increase your chances of success dramatically.