How to Realize Human-Driven Innovation

How to Realize Human-Driven Innovation

I recently had the opportunity to do a deep dive into #humantech with a famous artist, top business execs and industry leaders from innovation, design and tech. The topic was “Human-Driven Innovation in Tech” and for myself, a cross-breed of business and tech like myself, it was a dream come true! But instead of sharing the lofty ideas (which are very important), I would like to share with you the “art of the how”, how Cognizant can help you take the #humantech to the next level.

  1. Think how to be in your customers shoes (sorry, to be in Mrs. Smiths’ shoes)
    Our anthropologists have taught me one important thing. Customer = HUMAN. People like you and me. To get “under their brain”, we conduct studies where we really get to understand the behaviors, drivers and social contexts and pressures of the people who work, and/or do business with you. By applying insights from these studies to strategy, and execution - we have track record of improving businesses. E.g. reducing churn in insurance industry by 80%.
  2. Innovation is an idea only, until it gets into the hands of your consumers/users
    “Idea is nothing, action is everything” is a slogan you see on startups t-shirts. Well, it’s true. And we have a method (to the madness) in how to take strategically aligned ideas to MVP (minimum viable product) to in a short timeline and constantly get it tested by your users/consumers to get early insights of how your ideas may play out, or not. As we love to solve problems, and are not emotionally attached what may be our pre-conceived solutions. Via this method we have delivered a simple MVP solution to improve crop yield for farmers, and revenue of farming services suppliers. That’s what I call a Win-Win.
  3. Employees mean business
    In taking ideas to scale, the question is often – how do we bring “the rest of the organization” with us. The simple answer is – bring the organization WITH you. During the agile development of “seed” idea to production, we seek to engage the end users in the design, validation and value testing of the concept. They often have the day to day insights into pain points and opportunities, that the senior management has lost touch with. We have improved safety and service efficiency of an airline by deeply working with employees to make sure that the goals are achieved – AND they are committed to the change.
  4. But what about this disruption - there must be ideas “outside” … how do we bring them in?
    Absolutely, ideas come from everywhere. We as Cognizant have many as we have industry specific centers of excellence, labs and “future of X” researchers looking into the future – individually, cross Cognizant AND with our customers. BUT we don’t stop there. As a global player, and a big one I may add, we not only have partnerships with thousands of start-ups, universities and service/product houses like the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Pivotal who we constantly work with to deliver insights to value for our customers. And we invest a lot of effort in up and cross skilling our staff to be more skilled now, and more relevant for our customer needs of tomorrow.
  5. Who says when it’s enough?
    This is the best part. Our special guest Ernst Billgren, a famous Swedish artist told us a story about how he likes to take himself to the very edge of possible, to spur him into his next masterpiece, to take him to the edge. Constantly. People in our organization like Paul Roehrig, Malcom Frank, and many others constantly seek to challenge the thinking of our clients, and ourselves, so push the boundaries of “what is possible”, “what is yet to come”, and be lucky to work with these people to challenge you. As the challenge never ends.

To be more #digital, is to be more human. We think, test and deliver solutions for the future. Things that matter.

And that’s why I’m passionate to share with you all what we are capable of, or are already doing, to bring this theme alive. Companies like Nike say “Just do it”, we say “We have, and we will help you do it”.

Want to know more? Contact me on

Kaisu Christie
Senior Director, Digital and Transformation, Cognizant