Even simple changes to routine don't feel normal — such as writing out a ton of sticky notes and sorting them to get insight on your project. But experimenting with even the smallest of changes is what we mean by “work differently.” It is a mindset and an approach that is behaviorally divergent. And its very departure from the norm is what makes it hard to get going in most organizational contexts.
What behaviors are the norm in business? Well, there's conversing through email. There's going to meetings. And there's making and presenting in PowerPoint. (There's also walking quickly through the hallways, but that's in the service of getting those first three things done.)
Working differently is born out of design thinking, the innovation process, lean startups, and other non-mainstream business practices. It involves you, your colleagues, and your projects collaborating in new ways with new tools. But which tool should you start with? What process should you follow?
What we’ve found is that while exact practices vary, there are six fundamental behaviors that drive all successful innovation work. We call them the “six principles to work differently.” The principles identify the critical elements of design thinking that is action- and results-oriented. They are straightforward and applicable to any problem or development process. Rather than being linear, they are a behavioral methodology to guide your individual practice.
Understanding the fundamental behaviors is the first step.