3 ARE YOU A TOURIST OR TRAVELLER? How cultural awareness can encourage empathy and increase the potential for purpose-driven innovation

The second part of the preparation process for purpose-driven innovation takes us deeper — from simply being able to see multiple perspectives, to being able to experience them through authentic empathy. This provides the best way to ensure innovations are the most relevant, useful and sustainable.

This chapter will help you to:

  • put yourself in someone else's place in order to see what they see and feel what they feel
  • move from detachment to connection with the innovation process
  • learn how to become a ‘traveller’ (able to actively connect with and learn from other people and cultures) rather than a ‘tourist’ (who merely observes another culture as if from the outside).
  • build a more empathetic and authentic organisational culture

Key challenge: How to develop a deep understanding of real innovation needs through authentic empathy.

How far would you go to try to see from someone else's position and ‘put yourself in someone else's shoes' in order to learn more about their perspective? A few years ago a group of Australian celebrities did this to the extreme by journeying to some of the most dangerous corners of the world in a televised social experiment. This was an attempt to capture people's emotions as they travelled the reverse journey that refugees often have to take in their search for a safe haven, in this case from Australia back to the ...

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