Empathy in innovation

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Jan 19, 2017

What role does empathy play in innovation generally, in our adoption of specific innovations, and in our development of innovations for adoption by others?

We have feelings, and make decisions, about innovation and innovations. And how are those feelings affected by your empathy with the people who provide or consume those innovations?

We tend to expose ourselves to risks that we understand (or think that we do), and to insulate ourselves from risks that we don't understand. That's the rational explanation (or rationalisation). Emotionally, we tend to do things that feel right, and not to do things that don't feel right.

But what are those feelings based on when adopting an innovation? Some feelings are likely to about the nature of the innovation itself. But to what extent are we affected by our empathy with the person or people providing the innovation?

Conversely, when providing innovative products, we might be satisfying a need through rational development of a solution, but empathy with the people who will use the product might open whole new avenues of opportunity. How important and effective is that?

Let's discuss this during #innnochat on Twitter for an hour starting at 12 noon Eastern time on Thursday January 19th, in a free-ranging discussion without prepared questions.

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