Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Empathy drives innovation... how

I have written stuff about empathy before. But seeing this interesting book through the frog design blog it has given me a different angle to the same problem.

So there is a lot on looking at empathy for your customers outside the company walls ...which is great. But what about empathy inside the company walls. What about your staff and understanding what motivates them. How about walking a day in their shoes to gain a better understanding of how to truly connect and engage them in your future. Staff can often be the most tangible elements of your business. Gaining empathy for them and their situation will have the roll on affect to your customers. Everybody has dealt with someone who doesnt want to be in their job and someone who does. The difference is often small things like having a better understanding of the mission of the business. They feel they have been listened to, that their is an open culture to share opinions, that they have a sense of input in their future. Similar to the Hawthorne Effect which I have brought up before. So maybe you should start by looking at your staff first.

BUT... why cant we treat our customers with similar style ideas. How can we have a regular monthly staff meeting with customers. Innocent in the UK invited anyone and everyone to their annual general meeting. What about the company newsletter or the company away day. What about an employee performance review.. how would you do those for your customers.

Could be an interesting way to show your empathy for both groups of people...