I came across a story on NPR that really had my brain circuits firing. It was about how the Amish are adopting the Industrial Age by adapting electrical power tools to fit their way of life, as well as their needs.
According to the story, due to the high price of farm land, Amish families are turning to manufacturing to make a living. To do this, and keep with their traditions, they have had to take an innovative approach to tools, like power saws and sanders. The story focused on an Amish trade show that showcased tools that run on compressed air and reflective tubes that funnel sunlight.
This really reminded me of how we talk about Assumption Busting—if there was no electricity, how would you run a machine? We also do another excursion with clients called "Add it or Subtract it" that also fits with this mindset. It's the absence of something that can sometimes spark real ingenuity and creativity.
Liza Babcock is the Director of Operations at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.