This is a very graphical and visual four and a half minute video summary of an article in the California Management Review Fall 2007 issue, "Innovation as a Learning Process: Embedding Design Thinking". The link to the full article is below the video reference in italics.
The portion of the article that continues to be timely, especially in tough economic times, is buried on page 48.
Many engineering-driven organizations start with solutions and then in classic technology push-fashion, place those solutions in the market to see whether or not there is a need. Today, in fact, it has become quite popular to engage in the “express test cycle”, iterating rapidly between observation and solutions, but remaining in the concrete realm of the innovation process. Unfortunately, while this approach may well uncover many use and usability needs, it often fails to discover the higher level meaning-based needs that can be crucial to the success of an innovation.
The authors go on to point out that innovation doesn't only have to be born with the launch of new products and services. Simplifying the complex process a consumer must go through to execute a desired outcome may be the most important innovation for a business. Process innovation may ultimately revolutionize the way a consumer behaves such that new profit or revenue opportunities may be enabled. This video and the full article are great reminders of what power lies in innovation of an enterprise's existing businesses and customer touchpoints.