“Observation is the big game changer in our company.”
—Scott Cook, founder, Intuit
MOST INNOVATORS ARE intense observers. They carefully watch the world around them, and as they observe how things work, they often become sensitized to what doesn’t work. They may also observe that people in a different environment have found a different—often superior—way to solve a problem. As they engage in these types of observations, they begin to connect common threads across unconnected data, which may provoke uncommon business ideas. Such observations often engage multiple senses and are frequently prompted by compelling questions.
Consider, for example, how Ratan Tata, chairman of India’s Tata Group, gained a powerful ...