The Scientist-Artist

Great innovations, powerful customer experiences and change are produced by someone in a state of exploration.  It is the state of childlike wonder.  It may seem overly poetic of trite, but it has been the driving force behind those things we see as great leaps forward, be it in art, science or business.  Taking advantage of tools that are available to you can inspire shifts in thought and connections that uncover patterns normally overlooked when viewing a problem from a single vantage point.  Science and innovation are creative acts, not the recitation of data.  When we fixate on solving a problem, we often ignore or overlook elements of the puzzle that inform the bigger picture.

If you do that, you aren’t willing to consider the impossible.  Understanding context and looking for systems rather than identifying elements of a system, ripped from their context, obfuscates.  It does not inform.  This is why the “outlier” is important – it articulates the norm and sheds light on consumer/user/shopper behavior, uncovering the meanings that we are often prone to ignore which explain why we do what we do. A constricted view is great if you’re trying to figure out the optimal screen size for a cell phone, but it means little if you’re trying to figure out what comes next.  Game changing innovation comes when you are part scientist, part artist and part child.

By Gavin

Published by gavinjohnston67

Take an ex-chef who’s now a full-fledge anthropologist and set him free to conduct qualitative research, ethnography, brand positioning, strategy and sociolinguistics studies and you have Gavin. He is committed to understand design and business problems by looking at them through an anthropological lens. He believes deeply in turning research findings into actionable results that provide solid business strategies and design ideas. It's not an insight until you do something with it. With over 18 years of experience in strategy, research, and communications, he has done research worldwide for a diverse set of clients within retail, legal, banking, automotive, telecommunications, health care and consumer products industries.

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