Discoveries Newsletter

Volume 14, #5, August 2016
Emotion as a key to creating change
by Sheila Mello

It’s no longer headline news that emotion plays a role in decision making, even in business. How can you take advantage of this fact to help people in your organization understand customers at a deep, intuitive level?

Volume 14, #4, June 2016
Applying a lesson from the book “Switch” to product definition
by Sheila Mello

A couple of ideas from the Heath brothers' book "Switch" have implications for product definition and development. In particular, if you want to change the way your company gathers voice of the customer (VOC) data, you often encounter resistance—reluctance to change—among peers and managers. Here's how to combat that resistance.

Volume 14, #3, April 2016
Three essential questions to answer before you dive into VOC
by Sheila Mello

Just as your house sale may fall flat if you don’t replace the ratty carpet before showing it to prospective buyers, or you risk pulling a hamstring if you take off at a sprint before warming up, you can sabotage your VOC success if you don’t do at least a little preparation. Once you can answer three fairly straightforward questions about your market, the customer data you collect will become much more useful for product definition.

Volume 14, #2, March 2016
Help your team move beyond “he said/she said”
by Sheila Mello

Assessments analyze past projects through three lenses—context, facts, and perspective—to gather real-world information you can use to initiate constructive change.

Volume 14, #1, January 2016
Identifying customers for VOC work
by Sheila Mello

It’s great to be single-minded in your search for customers to participate in VOC for front-end development work. But first you have to know where to look.

Volume 13, #7, December 2015
A party-goer's four-part guide to interviewing
by Sheila Mello

Even if you'd rather swallow hot pokers than engage in small talk, there are a few things you can learn from party conversation about interviewing customers effectively.

Volume 13, #6, November 2015
What a winning NFL coach can teach you about letting go and being nimble
by Sheila Mello

Even if you don’t follow football, you can pick up some business tips from Belichick’s approach to running his team and winning games. He is good at both.

Volume 13, #5, September 2015
Hint: There is no one-size-fits-all definition of innovation
by Sheila Mello

Rankings and ratings (of companies, schools, products, or anything else) can be interesting to consumers and potentially distressing to those who don't make the list or are near the bottom. We look at the recent Forbes list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies and why these rankings don’t give much concrete direction to companies interested in improving innovation.

Volume 13, #4, August 2015
Watch what can happen when you give your market research organization a seat at the innovation table
by Sheila Mello

You probably have a good idea about what makes product development innovative. You may already have a plan to create a culture of innovation in your development organization. But are you overlooking a key part of the business that could contribute substantially to product development innovation?

Volume 13, #3, May 2015
How the interplay between customers and culture makes lean development effective—or not
by Sheila Mello

“You can never be too rich or too thin.” This quote, usually attributed to Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, has a great hold on the popular imagination. Might it be relevant to the pursuit of lean activities in the business world?