- What is Empathy?
- Why is empathy important to business?
- Gaining Empathy
- Try it now
- Additional Resources
In Design Thinking "empathy" means an extreme focus on the customer.
Before deciding on our own ideas and strategies we start with the customer and continue to engage them through the creative process.
This can include activities like: Interviewing your customers, observing their behaviour, and testing ideas with them.
Check out this 6-min case study video from Nordstrom Innovation Lab which shows how they researched and tested a new idea with customers in-store.
And watch this LearningLive session on the overall topic of Empathy (55min) Only available to Koch internal employees
What is Empathy?
- Empathy is the human ability to deeply understand and share the feelings of another.
- Sympathy is NOT empathy
- Empathy isn't just a step in a process, it takes time and effort to instill the mindset into your everyday way of working
Why is empathy important to business?
Identifying our customers needs (especially the unarticulated ones) gives early trends that fuel transformation and innovation
The Koch vision says it in the opening line, "the role of business in society is to help people improve their lives by providing products and services they value more..."
The wants, needs, and desires of customers is driving Creative Destruction. Losing this focus threatens our ability to remain in business.
You don't find preferred partners, you become preferred partners. Think of your favorite brand and how they deeply understand you and what you want.
Applying the mindset described above is all you need.
To conduct Empathy activities, identify customers and try these avenues. You can:
- Learn ABOUT them
- Learn WITH them
- Try and BECOME them
* Remember, always center back on customers along the way
Try it now
"Immerse" yourself into a customers experience. It can be even for a few moments!
- "The Power of Moments," book by Chip & Dan Heath
- "The Role of Business in Society" video by Charles Koch