Honda Provides Insights Into Innovation

I just read a fascinating article in Fortune Magazine called “Inside Honda’s brain” that discusses Honda’s R&D/innovation efforts. Here’s an excerpt:

Honda researchers were curious about how the human brain reacts to images. They found that people recognize faces, especially angry faces, more quickly than other images. Honda has incorporated this research into its motorcycle designs (like that of the DN-01). By designing the front of the bike to evoke the features of the human face, Honda believes that other drivers will recognize the presence of a motorcycle more quickly and therefore lead to greater traffic safety.

My take: This little snippet highlights three elements that can be very valuable in your innovation efforts:

  1. The research goes beyond traditional technical domains
  2. The insights build upon a deeper understanding of target users
  3. The design implementation has a clear purpose

The bottom line: How do your innovation efforts compare to this snapshot of Honda and to Apple’s design process I discussed in a previous post?

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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