Today’s guest is the multi-faceted and uniquely talented Adam Richardson. He is the author of the book Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantage, and is a contributing writer for the Harvard Business Review. Adam was formerly a design lead at Frog Design focusing on strategy and user research practices and today, he works as a product manager at Financial Engines. He shares his insights on how companies can continually bring innovation to the market, start solving ‘wicked’ problems and truly understand the customer experience.
[1:14] There are common problems within certain business segments. If your company is able to solve the problems you have the advantage.
[5:44] Instead of attempting to solve problems with a purely internal, operations perspective, bring in an external, customer-oriented perspective for a balanced solution.
[11:48] A wicked problem is a type of problem that is very systemic in nature. You know there is a problem, but the fundamental challenge is trying to figure out what the problem actually is.
[12:26] To understand wicked problems you need to first start forming solutions. It’s an iterative process where your understanding of the problem develops as you come up with initial solutions.
[15:35] Ethnographic research is working with a small number of customers in an intimate, emotional way.
[23:08] How can leaders adopt the challenge of the unknown to solve wicked problems?
[27:37] ‘Design Thinking’ is neither universal among designers nor exclusive to them.
[38:11] Leaders have to manage internal and external communications, and reinforce the company’s vision.
[40:54] Customer journey mapping is one of the most powerful tools a company can use.
[45:44] Relinquish some control in order to provide the customer a unique experience.
[50:06] Contact information for Adam Richardson