Research Requires Stooping To The Customer’s Stooping Level

Russell Ackoff had such an interesting mind. I used to collect all his books but gave most them away by lending them out. My favorite saying of his:

“It is easy to blame others for our own mistakes, but it is hard to correct them by doing so.”

—Russell Ackoff (1919-2009)

In Ackoff’s The Art of Problem Solving he relates a story of how a kitchen appliance manufacturer observed that the most popular products involved no bending or climbing. But the ones that did involve bending, like a dishwasher, were unsuccessful at adoption.

The takeaway? You can’t learn anything important by guessing from the brilliance of your own mind — choose to learn by stooping to your customer’s level. In the case of this example, and if you have a bad back like me, it’s easy to realize quickly how useful stooping can really be. —JM

Sign up for the Resilience Tech Briefing with no more than 2021 characters, zero images, and all in plain-text.

Success! You're on the list.