Led by Hisham Ibrahim, Lecturer in Innovation and Design at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Founder atmPathic, and Endeavor Mentor, the workshop “mPathic’s Customer-Driven Innovation (CDI)” weaved design thinking with jobs-to-be-done with Lean Startup to introduce to participants a human centered, creative disciplined innovation process that has the customer at its core.
“We believe in human-centered everything,” said Ibrahim. “Innovation starts with teams who fall in love with customer problems, not their own solutions.”
This was the starting point from which this nine-hour experience kicked-off. From there, the workshop took participants through a mind-stimulating, rigorous, case-study based journey that helped everyone gain a better understanding of customers and customers’ problems, irrespective of the industry or sector in which they operate.
“The workshop was an opportunity to question the adaptation of our value proposition from a Customer Centric perspective and develop our tools to design and adapt innovative solutions to our current and future clients,” remarked Ashraf Shenouda, veteran Business Consultant and Endeavor Mentor.
mPathic’s four modes of CDI provided the backbone against which all workshop activities rested: Discover, Define, Design, and Deliver
“Each of these modes carries a set of practical tools and activities that help us empathize, generate ideas and make decisions at every stage. Too much process slows us down and constrains our creativity, while too little process leads to creative and intellectual self-indulgence, and subjective judgement. With CDI we aim for a balance, promoting rigor in a lean and flexible process,” Ibrahim explained.
To aid the work and thinking of participants, two focus groups were invited to the workshop, members of whom represented a cohort of customers for participants to interview, probe and ask questions putting the 4D’s into play. “To solve for the specific, we must embrace the ambiguous. Great leaders ask the right questions, not have the right answers,” said Ibrahim. By the end of the workshop, after the problem on hand was defined and understood and a solution was designed, participants presented their prototypes to the Focus Group for feedback.
“A simple and straightforward formula for managing innovation,” commented Endeavor Entrepreneur Sherif Radi of TA Telecom. “This informative and highly interactive training workshop showed participants how to apply what it takes to drive innovation from identifying real customer problems to building an actual product prototype. A really insightful and unique experience,” Radi added.
Attending the workshop were 20+ members of Endeavor Egypt’s network of Entrepreneurs and Mentors, representing diverse teams. According to Ibrahim, “whether you are in marketing, legal, HR or Customer Support, the tools of CDI can be used to innovate your work practices. CDI is a foundation for a company culture that is obsessed with one thing: customers.”