Learn to read in between the lines – for example if in one industry, observe the others

Pushing ourselves to observe something across the silo fence can provide a brilliant way to improve products, services, solutions for all. We see these new circumstances better than those who live with the situation all the time.

You might throw yourself into the following types of new situations and take some notes on what is different and figure out how it might make your own products, services and solutions better or how you might improve some situations in the new environment.

1/ cultures

2/ markets

3/ business models

4/ industries

5/ people

6/ domains

7/ business units

There are some ethnographic and anthropological tools to deal with the observations systematically. One of those is contextual enquiry.

During the ‘Lifestyles and Product Identity‘ tour to many countries with Nokia in the 90s we found that what we learnt from very specific and harsh situations in cultures, political situations and markets in fact helped the less stringent requirements for the same features in other countries. An example of this is the idea of stealth, which was very pertinent in some countries in Southern Americas and yet it is also very relevant to most other countries also. Stealth communication, stealth jewelery, stealth wealth.

Everyday anthropology is fun!!

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