Idea Laundering – The Art of “Noticing” for Innovation

At times, Innovation is not about total and absolute disruption, but about tweaking and modification. Why do we need to re-invent the wheel to make a dent? Maybe because a revolution is far more romantic than an evolution. At times, observing, reviewing or “noticing” from within the existing setup or surrounding, through an existing product or service, presents more opportunities for innovation.

Below, is a synoptic view of a recently published article in Newsweek on “The Art of Noticing”. I like referring to it as “Idea Laundering”.

Source: Original Article

The following are some snippets from Rob Walker’s book titled The Art of Noticing.

The key to creativity starts with making simple observations.

Citing the article, “Noticing things that everyone takes for granted—and that could be improved, amplified, repurposed or replaced—is often the first step toward innovation.”

Walker states that there are 3 ways to look at existing products in new ways;

  • Replace IS with COULD BE: View existing products, services and processes in new light and perspective. Explore other uses these products could provide.
  • Change your route: We get in the habit of performing certain tasks in set ways. This causes us to become habituated. Sometimes, it can pay off to change your routine, go out of your way to do something. This could lead to new discoveries.
  • Find something to complain about: Identifying “what’s broken” with the current offering (product or service). Being the devils’ advocate. What could be made better? More importantly, “The most important thing is to focus on your judgment, not the crowd’s”.
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