Innovation Fact 9 – Learn to listen
Although we have two ears and only one mouth, we often like to talk more than we listen. As decision makers we assume we have the best knowledge of our field. So why would we need someone else’s ideas?
Listening to what is occupying and driving other people provides a strong basis. If you can really understand what others value and worry about, you can change your point of view about what is needed to achieve the goals you are striving for. By responding to the real needs and interests of your target groups, you get a better picture of where and how you can innovate.
None of us is as smart as all of us. Listen and learn from others.
- Listen to your customers. As they will buy your product, why not listen to what they want?
- Listen to your employees. They are familiar with the daily workings of your business and can give you important feedback for future improvements.
- Listen to your partners. They are part of your business ecosystem and have their own competences outside your expertise.
- Listen to your competitors. Do not blindly follow what other companies do, but try to understand why they are doing what they do.
- Listen to the world. It’s dangerous to take yourself as a yardstick for your decisions. Learn to listen to opinions from different backgrounds, generations, industries, markets or geography.
Of course, that doesn’t mean all ideas are good ones. You have to realize that people start from their own experiences and opinions. They don’t always know exactly what they want. By listening and filtering out the essence of their concerns, you can learn a lot about the future of your own business.
Technology might give you a helping hand here. By scraping, organizing and autotopicing the comments on consumer forums with CRAiN, creax is able to generate keen insights in the needs and desires of the specific target groups of our clients. The results often reveal some surprises, which lead to completely new product lines, and revamped marketing campaigns geared towards the consumers’ deeper wishes.
So, never assume you know all there is to know about your product and that consumers are morons. Learn to listen and reap the benefits of the gathered insights.