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From creative thinking to value creation

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Is there a path we can follow to move from creative thinking to value creation? Probably there are plenty of ideas out there, but because I’m a big believer in speed I have distilled this process in four digestible steps.

Download the .pdf version of this animation and start the journey from creative thinking to value creation in your organisation. Everything starts with our ability to see opportunities rather than just a problem or customer pain.

Only seeing an opportunity is not enough; we need to be able to frame an opportunity correctly. In other words, we need to clarify:

1. Who are we trying to create an opportunity for?

2. What is the current solution to the pain/problem?

3. Are the people we want to serve able to perceive the pain?

After framing an opportunity for value creation something magic happens, our brain fires up with ideas.

Now it’s critical to focus on a specific idea a time. Many organisations get overwhelmed with ideas and don’t proceed with any because unable to select just the one to get started.

After having selected an idea, we need to translate it into a set of possible concepts.

A concept is not a product or a service yet but suggests what value means for our customer and how we could deliver it. Sounds great Stefano, but what is a concept?

First of all, concepts exist only in our mind. To communicate an idea, we need to tighten it to something that we can refer and envision. Ok, this is in not getting any better, let’s use some examples.

What do you think when say:

• Skype or WhatsApp? Online communication made easy.

• Mercedes? A luxurious way to move around.

• Speedo? I’m cool in the pool.

A concept has nothing to do with the mechanics of creating a product, but rather it is connected with the feelings of the final user. The next step is prototyping. Why do we need prototyping?

First, because it is fun, but most importantly because it enables us to communicate the concept (which is still only in our heads) to a selected bunch of customers, e.g. early adopters.

Prototyping translates a concept into something tangible (an artefact). Prototyping follows a continuum, starting from the paper version to 3D prototypes.

The hint in here is that the more polished is the prototype we want to make, the more significant investment it requires.

It comes without saying that (at the beginning) is better to create multiple versions of a low-cost prototype rather than placing all the dollars in a single and more elaborate version.

After having created different low-cost prototypes, time is ready to test them with users. This step is where many of us get confused. Testing is not about proving we are right (obviously geniuses) but rather that we are somehow wrong in a part of our thinking.

Therefore, we look for hints on how to build the refined version of our artifact. Let’s say the prototyping is a way to learn rather than a way to prove us right. I’ll write more about this process of moving from creative thinking to value creation in the upcoming posts. In the meanwhile, you can take a look at the free programmes you can find in my content platform, which is, in a way a working prototype.

Your feedback would be highly appreciated.

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