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Where to Look for Insight, Harvard Business Press


n today's organizations, innovators are in demand everywhere from the factory floor to the salesroom, the IT help desk to the HR department, the employee cafeteria to the C suite. Innovation is not a department, the authors say; it is a mindset that should permeate your entire enterprise. And what fuels it is insight an imaginative understanding of an internal or external opportunity that can be tapped to improve efficiency, generate revenue, or boost engagement. Sawhney and Khosla outline seven "insight channels" that would-be innovators in any function or role can use: (1) anomalies, or data that deviates from business as usual; (2) confluence, when economic, demographic, and technological trends come together; (3) frustrations, which lead to innovative work arounds; (4) orthodoxies, which can spark a search for alternatives; (5) extremities, such as fringe members of stakeholder groups who push for solutions; (6) voyages, whereby innovators leave their offices to visit colleagues or customers; and (7) analogies, useful ideas or systems in other teams, business units, companies, or industries.




Mohanbir Sawhney, Sanjay Khosla

Date Published



Sawhney, Mohanbir, and Sanjay Khosla. 2014. Where to Look for Insight. Harvard Business Press.


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