Innovation is accelerated when you “ask the right question, the right way, of the right people.”
It may seem obvious, but if you ask the wrong question, you may be led down a futile path.
An example of this comes from Colgate-Palmolive (shared at a recent open innovation conference).
While asking customers what they wanted in their dental care products, one thing they consistently heard was that consumers wanted a mouthwash without alcohol.
This led C-P to explore various alternatives that were alcohol-free yet had the same level of effectiveness. Needless to say, this was a daunting task the required a large investment of time and money.
However, when they stepped back and really understood what customers wanted, they discovered that consumers only wanted a mouthwash that did not burn. Alcohol was not this issue.
Creating an effective, non-burning mouthwash with alcohol proved to be a much easier endeavor.
Where are you attempting to solve the wrong problem, and as a result are needless wasting time and money?