Igniting Innovation: Tips, Sparks and Ideas for Acting on Innovation

Why You Should Talk To Strangers

Posted by Greg Lemmon on Jun 14, 2016 12:35:27 PM

Typically talking to strangers is not behavior I recommend. However in the GettyImages-471169699.jpgcase of leading innovation it is behavior that not only should be encouraged, but should be systematized.

Last week we collected 100 responses to a survey by talking to strangers at a brewery. That research went great and brought an innovation project one step closer to shipping. Here are 3 reasons why you should get out of the office and talk to strangers about your innovations.
  1. Learn more from people. We created the survey to capture all the needed data for our test, but it can't capture everything. From people’s excitement when seeing something new to their faces when they taste something great or not so great. All of these moments and interactions can spark new ideas that are missed when you outsource the research.
  2. Learn from your mistakes. Last week our survey only had 10 questions and included sampling a product. This was fairly painless by design, because we’ve learned our lesson from trying to test long worded ideas or endless opening questions. When outsourcing research, we tend to add as many questions as possible, so we feel like we get our moneys worth. When we do it ourselves, we stay more focused during the design and test clear ideas, which makes our research better and collecting responses a lot less painful. 
  3. Avoid wasting time and money. There is way more flexibility with the research when you are there in person. With our research system we have the ability to see the results online in real time, so after about a dozen responses I checked in on the report. When I’m there live and know the results, I can react. For example if scores are extremely high or low after 30 responses, then I stop the test, because we aren’t going to learn much more from the next 70 people. Instead of continuing the test, we modify the ideas based off our learning and use that time and money we saved to do another test. Having more flexibility and being able to do more tests increases the likely hood of you testing the far out leap ideas too.

I think we all have a little social fear about talking to strangers and doing research, but trust me the benefits and learning are worth it. So get out there, get some valuable feedback, but please avoid offering free candy or rides in your van.

Don't miss the next Innovation Engineering Executive Experience being held at Eureka! Ranch on June 23 & 24, 2016.  Email Corie@EurekaRanch.com for a code to receive a special offer for June, only.

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Topics: innovation, Math, Consumer Research

Greg Lemmon

Written by Greg Lemmon

Greg joined the team in 2008 after graduating from Northern Kentucky University. Since then he conducted over 3,000 sales forecast for new innovations, innovated how we teach research as well as developed and programed an online system for rapid research. Greg is passionate about researching innovation and developing new to the world systems to make innovation easier for organizations.

Welcome to the first blog from the Eureka! Ranch and Innovation Engineering Institute team.  Here you will find a diverse group of innovators dedicated to changing the world by transforming innovation from a random gamble to a reliable system that delivers increased innovation speed and decreased risk.


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