As I walk back from the gym each morning, I turn the corner into our little street, and I see two big black noses sticking through our garden fence. It's our two labradors, Schofield (named after the main character in Prison Break) and Scarlett (named after Scarlett Johansson).
Noses is how dogs make sense of their world.
Did you know they have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to a mere six million in us humans? That's 50 times more smelling potential, and the part of their brain devoted to crunching smells is proportionally large being at least 40 times as large as ours.
Growing up in the countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia, I was surrounded by snakes (often literally) and they make sense of the world by smelling with their tongues, flicking them out to pick up tiny chemical particles in the air.
So the question is this:
How do you and your company make sense of your world? What’s your nose and tongue in the customer’s or consumer’s market? How do you pick up trends, early warning signals?
Developing your observation and empathy skills is a great way to do this, which is why Design Thinking methodology (which starts with these skills) can help in shaping your innovation directions.
We have to read the early smoke signals before they becoming raging fires and burning platforms.
So stick your nose into someone's business today if you want to innovate better.