The role of creativity in business

Updated: May 17, 2019

Shifting perception about your customers and their needs.


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To survive any company needs to develop a unique value proposition. There are two main components of the value proposition:

1) The customer personas 2) The need/s

Customer personas - we can’t think about all our customers or worse (potential customers) at the same time. Our ability to think is limited. We need to trick our brain by creating fictional characters embedding the characteristics of a user type.

Customer Personas are not real, by simplifying reality though they enable us to think about the obstacles or pain-points our customers experience in their lives.

The need it’s not the job of the customer to tell us what they need or want. Also, when this is possible, it means that your competitors, most likely are already at work creating products and services satisfying those articulated and unmet needs.

When using the current value proposition to come up with a new product or service, we are in a deductive mode of thinking, producing incremental innovation. There is no need for creativity here, management (as usual) is enough.

With the fast progress in machines learning and A.I., it won’t take long before computers defeat us (not only at playing chess) but also to innovate incrementally.


Soon enough a machine (provided with the appropriate algorithm) will be able not only to replace but considerably outsmart the rational intelligence of the industrial manager.


By revealing patterns hidden in millions of data computers can deduce new and incremental ways to deliver more value to current customers.

Unfortunately, though, rational thinking and deduction aren’t sufficient. The risk is that the same rationality that made the company more efficient will drive it out of business because won’t allow creativity to take place.

As the competitive landscape and the needs of customers evolve, eventually any organisation need to update its value proposition. Not incrementally, but radically, and this requires another type of thinking - induction.

Induction is our ability to diverge our thinking from the current order of things to simplify the world differently from the past. Updating the value proposition requires us to conceive a different persona and discover its un-articulated needs. When was last time your company updated its value proposition?

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STEFANO MESSORI - DESIGN STRATEGIST - REMOTE TRAINER & FACILITATOR - DUBLIN (IRELAND)

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