Design thinking calls for involving stakeholders early and often so that the resulting product or service accurately reflects their desires, capabilities and commitment.
In practice this means imposing on their time. Often the majority of these stakeholders are on company time and they will be coaxed to attend with some combination of fat, sugar and caffeine, be it doughnuts and coffee, or pizza and cola.
I recently held a series of meetings intended to identify a problem to pursue. Six people. Four hours each. A notional $50/hr (including benefits) per person. That’s $1,200 just to identify a problem!
At least I didn’t have to buy them food. I hope they aren’t reading this.
It’s what we’re for
The thesis of this blog is that nearly everything that is not innovation will be automated. The time it takes to collaborate around innovation is not only justified, it will soon be one of the very few justifications for our salaries.
The challenge is not to spend less time innovating, it is to get the best results from innovation.