Currently viewing the tag: "Observation and blind spots"

Observe how people experience the world

We know that there is a classical distinction between experimentation and observation, but that can easily be translated differently.

Traditionally, we can say that to try we need to isolate, prepare and handle things hoping to produce useful evidence.

And observe would meet the interesting details of things perceived in more or less natural conditions, or, by extension, the things perceived in the course of an experiment.

This made me remember the words of Tim Brown:

“The design thinkers must act as anthropologists or psychologists investigating how people experience the world emotionally and cognitively.”

Observation is the fundamental food to creativity and innovation. However in this feeding process of ideas and ways of thinking often appears the “blind spot”.

Blind spots occur due to peculiarity of design in the architecture of our eyes. Cells at the back of the eye, in a layer called the retina, gathering light through a lens of what’s in front of us.

Just out of sheer curiosity, a recent study suggests that the visual system of the brain may create a physiological representation of visual information, around blind spots, painting a coherent scene, i.e. filling the void.

What about business? Are there blind spots that could potentially be fatal to the success of companies?

Interestingly the blindness disappears often when we talk about a business that is not ours and we are able to change our radar and identify a number of small things that “jump ahead”.

If this happens in relation to the activities of third parties why it does not happen with our activities?

It is essential that we are able to see the blind spots in our business and then do something for them. The best way to minimize the negative impact of blind spots is to seek the advice of those who think differently from us.

For example, for large organizations the unknown is always uncomfortable and for this reason there is a tendency to “illustrate” and justify with data anything that is not seen. On the other hand design thinkers, instead, have enviable curiosity and looking to explore intersections of information and possibilities, so they see the technologies and social networks as an enabler of innovation and new business models, and not as a way to make the current model more efficiently.

This is collaboration and this is at the heart of today’s business processes but most organizations are still using hands as if they were in the dark or blind.

Often there is a misinterpretation of the term focus and when it says that the greatest successes of entrepreneurs are due to focus on business processes we can’t forget informal networks that gravitate around the companies.

The new architectures for business processes and total quality management have been effective to measure and improve the effectiveness of people and organizations.

But, what about the invisible networks that help to develop the business?

The ease and low cost of communications, globalization and the growing specialization of knowledge work based on collaboration within and among organizations are more important than ever.

We should not forget that “Focus is the core reasons for blind spots. Through constant scanning and reading weak signals, we can then recognize and seize upon that moment when luck aligns the forces of the universe to unite need and opportunity in such a way that the connections between unconnected dots can be seen.  Strategic Innovation is not about creativity or design, it is about organization agility and constant organization realignment.” – Idris Mootee

It is not in the modes of thought that most distinguished design thinkers, but in their actions. Design thinkers act differently from traditional decision-makers and analysts. Design thinking is an activity of extremes and borders and tends to recur at all faculties of the people who are in each context.

The design thinker uses the mind and the body, the left and right brain, hand and heart, the analysis and the like.

Experience Design Thinking is participating in a dance between four states of mind: analysis, synthesis, divergence and convergence!

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–          This article is a review of a previous post of this blog.