Author Archives: Michael Graber

Culture Trumps Concepts

When many people hear the word “Innovation” they think of a service that created a category: Xerox or FedEx. Or, they think of one that made bold, brilliant moves to earn a leadership position in an emerging space: Google, Facebook, Uber and Airbnb.

Read More »

Spotting Your Organization’s Orthodoxies

Spotting Your Organization's Orthodoxies

Often the very factors of success around which you launch, build, and manage an organization can turn on you like a venomous snake. The framework that worked so well, for so long, now limits the growth of the place. At some points the factors have turned into choke points. But your organization is geared by its way of doing things, ...

Read More »

What I Tell My Team

Ask the hard questions. As a thriving consultancy, our primary vocation is providing insight that adds value to our clients. To meet this objective we have to play enlightened court jester, asking the unaskable questions those inside the company cannot ask. We also have to set the stage, carefully constructing an atmosphere of trust where we can mine issues deeply, ...

Read More »

Ethnography Alone Cannot Generate Transformative Insights

Consumer anthropology offers such refreshing insights into the marketplace, re-humanizing the relationship between people, things and stores in very profound and moving ways. This movement also has helped stores get their noses out of spreadsheet and theories and keep their eye on the customer experience. Whether in-store or online, this ethnographic sensitivity has positively been leveraged to optimize the present ...

Read More »

Culture is the Key Indicator of Innovation

An odd dynamic is taking place among the C-suite of many companies. They demand more innovation from the organization without really knowing what that means and the implications it has for the organization. Innovation requires a change in the organization, but leaders are too often unwilling to do what is required to make the changes. When an organization needs more ...

Read More »

Design Thinking as Worldview

Design Thinking as Worldview

Design thinking is considered a human-centered framework for problem solving, used in formal innovation work in many fields: health care, consumer products, software, medical devices, durable goods, services and city planning. Design thinking has been perhaps the most lauded innovation method. In brief, the phases include empathy, define, ideation, prototyping, testing and storytelling. Here’s the weird factor. The more I practice design ...

Read More »