The opportunity you will never find as a business

Marcus Kirsch
2 min readOct 14, 2021

I am not married to design thinking or machine learning, and I wasn’t to build a website or a mobile app 15 years ago.

I learned that business is messy and unique. People and mindsets make an organisation, which makes things being messy not that big of a surprise.

I have recently noted the three different types of discovering new things, or may I say innovate and step-change your organisation.

The three maturity levels seem to be:

  • Faster: Mistaking Agile and Lean values as producing things more quickly, without any additional insights created.
  • Testing: Introducing testing, but only to confirm old expectations and ideas.
  • Listening: The only level that introduces an understanding of reality. This level asks ‘Why?’ a lot.

The outcomes of the above are as different as their mindsets are. (and I tried a shabby graphic to visualise this)

Faster: Will build a faster car or elements of the car to be of better performance. Likely, any improvements have been made by others and will not improve competitiveness. By the time you implemented these improvements, others have moved on too. With this approach, you will never gain any relevance in the market. It is similar to increasing salary just below inflation levels.

Testing: Does experiment, but experiments are based on old insights. This makes finding new value a gamble — a high-risk investment with often a low rate of ROI.

Listening: The most robust way to prove business assumptions wrong often ends in pivots, saves companies millions, and discovers new ground. Also, one that most easily challenges outdated business models and shows new ways of growing margins.

Let me know what you think of this notion. Where do you think your organisation sits in those three areas?

Marcus Kirsch

Innovation, Service Design & Transformation specialist. Keynote speaker and author. Opinions are my own.