I’ve been in Finland again this weekend on my Service Innovation and Design course. Interesting to reflect on difference between observation and insight.
An insight is a ‘provocative statement of truth about human behaviour’… a ‘disruption of the discourse’
In a nice memorable bit of alliteration, an insight has 3Ws…
What (is the person doing) + Why (are they doing it) + Wow (no-oone has ever noticed or talked about this in such detail before)
If we know the ‘what’ without the ‘why’ it’s an observation. Interesting observations are not insights, but they’re a great basis for generating insights. To get to insights you need to build on your observations to understand people’s motivations and desired outcomes. Ask questions like: Why do you do that? What were you thinking when you did that? How do you feel about that? What frustrates you most about…?
Don’t mistake ‘accepted beliefs’ as insights. These are myths and prejudices, often created by companies or social structures, which influence behaviour. To get to insights you’ll need to go deeper with your questions: Who would you trust to challenge that? Have you ever tried it yourself? Why do you believe that? What proof do you have and need?