Tools

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    2X2 Matrix

    Find two dimensions and plot elements on a simple chart to show patterns or gaps in the information. Use it to make a case for targeting an area with ideas or to shift strategy.

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    3-Part Observations

    To communicate insights in more evocative ways, wrap your observations about users, situations, or industries in a 3-part structure.

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    Affinity clustering

    Take any large list of ideas or notes and sort them into a smaller number of separate groups. Then name the groups to create an information structure and discover themes.

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    Analogous Examples

    A great way to break conventional thinking is to look at others who’ve already broken convention. Study how game-changers outside your industry have done it.

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    Business Model Canvas

    The BMC is a set of key dimensions used by startups to track the definition of their offering. The canvas is updated regularly after running tests with customers.

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    Collaborative Cycle

    Here’s a simple and effective structure to get the most out of an assembled group of people. Use it as the basis for brainstorms and other generative meetings.

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    Concept Sheets

    Capture ideas with a quick sketch and a provocative title. A concept sheet gets ideas out of your head and into a form that’s easy to sort, share, and document.

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    Elevator Pitch

    To build awareness for an initiative and find potential supporters, create a verbal summary you can share in under a minute. This conveys the essence of your idea.

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    Empathy mapping

    Empathy for a user’s experience is at the heart of creating meaningful solutions. An empathy map helps your team articulate the user’s perspective.

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    Facilitating Reflective Discussion

    Working in teams requires facilitating critical discussion frequently among the group. Pose reflective questions, have people share more, and elicit pros, cons, and next steps.

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    Journey Mapping

    To see if you understand a user’s journey, create a diagram representing the distinct activities within their experience. This is a foundation for many useful analyses.

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    Observation

    Given our familiarity with workplaces and the routines of everyday life, we don’t see and reflect on what’s really going on. Focused observation is a powerful tool.

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    Paper Models

    Any idea you think has merit should be modeled in a tangible way as soon as possible. Paper models are a surprisingly easy and fast way to make your ideas real.

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    Pitch deck

    Once your project outgrows its incubation, use a well-structured 10-slide pitch deck to explain your concept, build support, and garner additional resources.

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    Problem Statement Matrix

    Take what you’ve seen and heard from users to reframe your project challenge in human terms. This helps provide a fresh, user centric perspective.

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    Rapid Experiments

    Look for simple ways to try out early ideas with users in the real world. You’re not validating your ideas, but rather testing and shaping them quickly and iteratively.

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    Service Prototypes

    Service prototypes make the touchpoints of a new service offering tangible and allow you to test it with customers and other stakeholders.

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    Show & Tell Interview

    The best way to get better at learning from users and your colleagues is to have them “show and tell” you about what they do. You listen, capture, and learn.

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    Solution Maps

    Innovative solutions are more than a single idea. A solution map lays out all the key elements and characteristics of an offering that work together to implement a focused strategy.

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    Storyboards

    Storyboards are a great way to show existing or future customer experiences. They put problems and solutions in context and make them easier to communicate and assess.

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    User feedback with prototypes

    Put paper, service, and interactive prototypes in front of customers and other stakeholders to get their reaction to your solution concept.

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    Value Curve

    Innovators often change a fundamental assumption that defines an industry, product, or service. Play with Value Curves to imagine how you might change things.

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    “Ways of...” Statements

    Don’t jump to a solution when presented with a problem. Improve your team’s ability to explore many varied ideas by writing “Ways of…” statements.