Learn how to edit (1000x300)

If your industry events and meetings have any resemblance to mine, you have probably painfully witnessed the complicated messages with charts, matrices, diagrams, and bullet points attempting to explain broken industries and the novel innovations intricately mapped out to solve our greatest challenges.

We need to stop this now!

NOTE: To highlight my point, I will use healthcare as a case example because, quite frankly, more than any other industry, our health system desperately needs an EDIT button…stat!

Health System Edit (1000x300)

Healthcare has been plagued with innovations that create feature creep resulting in an over-complication of products and services that should, at its core, be simple to consume. If we expect customers to adopt and embrace these new innovations, then we need to find ways to simplify the experience, not burden it with intricate ornaments that ultimately create resistance, confusion and friction for our end users. This is at the root of behavior change and how we get users to engage, and should I dare say, enjoy the experience.

In contrast to other markets, healthcare is an industry that thrives and profits from complexity and inefficiencies. We have much to learn from the simplified experiences of other industries such as hospitality, retail, entertainment, and culinary. The true innovation-focused organizations know how to make the complex simple by editing out what is unnecessary.

Trust me…this is by no means easy. Effective editing is a skill that separates the most successful innovators from the impersonators. – @drgautamgulati

Editing is Skill (1000x300)

While there are many case studies I can share, Apple is a great example of an organization that goes to extreme measures to edit out the noise; and is why my toddler and elderly parent both equally know how to maneuver an iPad without any training.  While Apple’s products and services are certainly complex under the hood, the front end reveals a simplified experience that is intuitive and delightful – from setting up the product down to its very packaging.  This, however, is not by chance.  As part of their product training, Apple designers are throughly educated using the concepts of Picasso’s The Bull where he strips down the complex anatomy of a bull to its core abstract essence using a single sinuous line. This is a lesson all innovators can and should apply to their creations; and is in most dire need in healthcare.

So how do we EDIT our innovations?

  1. Refrain from drinking our own Kool-aid.

    As innovators we often get married to our creations and in doing so, want the world to witness our great thinking. I’ll be brutally honest…no one cares. Just focus on what matters to your user, and scrub away the rest.

  2. Focus on the ‘need-to-have’.

    Building technology based products today has never been easier.  However, this can be a deadly trap for innovators.  Because it’s easier to build new products, the result is we often lump in the ‘extras’ that are nice to have, but not ultimately needed from the user’s perspective.  Focus on the 80% that is a need-to-have,  and eliminate the 20% nice-to-have.

  3. Hold weekly product “EDIT’ meetings.

    Most organizations do an ‘ok’ job at holding ideation sessions to explore new product or service feature opportunities; but few, if any, hold regular EDIT meetings where they should be asking the question: Is this needed?” With data and user feedback readily available to us, we should equally explore and analyze what our users don’t engage with in addition to what they do engage with.

Learn to Edit (1000x300)

In conclusion, if you want to successfully innovate, you must learn how to EDIT.  We need to rethink a more simplified approach to innovation that edits out the unnecessary and speaks a message that engages and resonates with our users.

QUESTION: What techniques do you use to EDIT out the waste? What else can we learn from adjacent industries?

Please share with others and comment below.


Think your organization could use some help editing your portfolio of innovations?  Feel free to reach out here and lets discuss how I can help you.

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