Right now a lot of businesses are in survival mode, so decisions outside the immediate needs are not a priority. But what if the question isn’t how you survive but what do you need to do to thrive?

One approach is to start discovering opportunities with your customers.

Discovery mode isn’t a linear problem-solving path or traditional market research approach. Instead, we draw on the tools from design thinking or human centered design to really start percolating the possibilities.

Design thinking recognises customers as real people with real problems. We use techniques that dig deep unpacking needs, and tools to experiment, trial and test ideas quickly, easily and cheaply.

So how might you start to do this?

  • Spend one hour collaborating with your team to identify opportunities and connect those with other challenges. Using large visual walls, whiteboards is a great way to see all the ideas and help synthesize them.
  • Ask your customers about their challenges and think about how you operated successfully before Covid and flex to account for Covid. Its not always sensible to just throw out what worked before investigating whether you can adapt.

If you explore the needs and challenges of your customers with your customers, you will most likely uncover opportunities for growth, and you will certainly build stronger relationships.