Before we go into details, let’s quickly make an important distinction between an insight and an idea. An insight can be the first step on the way to an idea. However, an insight isn’t an idea. An idea is what you do with the insight.
Of course, it is possible to have an insight without a subsequent idea. But there can’t really be an idea, not a great one, without first having an insight.
So, what exactly is ‘insight’? They are not just data or observations. Deeper insight than that; this is a basic hidden truth that expresses a person’s motivation and emotions. The innovation management system teaches us to dig deeper into what users are actually saying by finding out what users are feeling.
An Insight can also be the cumulation of lots of analysis of your data over time. It may include data both inside or outside of your business.
Insight is obtained by analyzing data and information to understand what is happening to a particular situation or phenomenon. Then insight can be used to make better business decisions. Back to our string section: If we know that our string section is not what we want, we now need to analyze the data to determine what action to take.
For example, if we find that our average string length (e.g. average) is 9.5 cm, we now know that our string is shorter than we want it to be. To make the right business decisions, we need to know how consistent our process is in producing this string.
What about the ideas? Ideas are representations of our existing knowledge and imagination, often abstract and immaterial.
Although we hold on insights and ideas, we believe that clear ideas allow ideas to deal with something that is true and right, rather than relying on our imagination just because we can.
As innovators, we have the task of resolving end-user issues. To do this, we must first understand for whom we developed this solution. Instead of relying on superficial information that we get through observation, we must dig deeper and reveal insights, hidden emotions, and motivations that can bring us closer to the user’s understanding.
For this purpose, an innovation management system uses “empathy”, a tool that asks many questions about “why”. Take, for example, someone who wants to solve heart problems in their community. Instead of asking consumers questions at shallow levels such as their weight or eating patterns, empathy teaches us to ask why they choose not to eat the right foods or why they lead a sedentary lifestyle.
This can cause you to find unexpected patterns that you might have missed. Perhaps the real problem is that there are not enough facilities in the community to promote a healthy lifestyle. Maybe you can only choose from many fast-food restaurants, and the nearest park or gym is in the nearest town, half an hour away.
Instead of focusing on the spread of heart disease in the community, you now have to rethink the problem based on the evidence gathered, that is, due to the lack of facilities that can help people live a healthy lifestyle. Imagine with your instincts, you will find a solution based on your initial problem. You can’t see the bigger problem – and you can’t see that the solution is to help the whole community, not just a certain group of people.
Without insight, we are dealing with superficial problems, not deep needs. We will always be in maintenance mode to meet requirements, not to put out fires, for example, or to develop fire-resistant innovations. When we react impulsively to our assumptions, we minimize the possibility of finding viable, feasible and desirable solutions to real problems.