The other day in NOVA Lab, as we were working on empathy mapping for the build.org National Design Challenge, one of the students was tying her shoe. Others were watching, and they questioned how she was doing it, trying to teach her other ways.
Now, most people tie a simple bow knot and leave it at that, retying the knot as they need, or tying an extra square knot to keep the bow knot in place. This, of course, makes untying the knot a hassle.
So I showed the students another way. After tying a bow knot, I take the bow in my left hand and pass it over and through one extra time.
Maybe there’s another name for this knot. I don’t know. But I know no one in my class had ever seen it and it fascinated them.
Apparently it is called the Windsor shoelace knot. I suppose that’s easy enough, but still, it was foreign to most all the class.
Clayton Christensen defined 4 key discovery skills that characterize the Innovator’s DNA. One of them is Observation. To a certain extent, observation is to turn to the world and see it with fresh eyes. Such is one of the key characteristics of all creative people.
And on that day, last week, we saw, some of us, for the first time, a plainly rote and mundane action, tying shoes, with different eyes. And maybe some of us saw where innovation starts–with seeing, and thinking, different…as the campaign that resurrected one of the world largest, most innovative companies used to say.