Innovation is the driver of change, and change is the most fundamentally important driver of business strategy, […] it’s not an exaggeration to say that innovation is the means of achieving strategy….
– Langdon Morris

It seems like every organisation is “inventing” different angles to innovation methodologies in an attempt to differentiate themselves.  But fundamentally, the best innovation methodologies all share and distil down to the same core qualities: the need, the viability, and the value.

A model that I have grown to admire is the “3H” approach, namely “the hipster”, “the hacker”, and “the hustler”.  It is a people-focused approach to the core roles needed to get a innovation going.  It recognises that the first step to innovating successfully is not as much matter of identifying processes and methodologies but rather of identifying the right people.  Get the right mix in the team and they can take the tools and make magic happen.

So who are these characters and what do they do?

The Hipster: what is the need? 

The Hipster focuses on the customer.  They ask a lot of questions, try to understand the personas, the contexts, the history, all of the multifaceted aspects that make their problems unique and as of yet inadequately solved.

The Hipster for Travel puts themself in the traveller’s shoes.  How do they get inspired to travel? How do they make travel purchase decisions?  Where do they get frustrated in the process?  Is it finding niche experiences?  Simply trying to book them in confidence?  Getting payment securely across borders? And conversely, what makes traveller’s smile on a trip?

Alternatively, the Hipster for Travel can take the position of the travel provider: how do can they connect the dots between the customer’s travel requirements and the resources at hand, whether it be flights, rooms, or tours? What are the pain points that travel providers struggle with to provide the best delivery and customer service?

The Hacker: is it viable? 

The Hacker focuses on building and delivering the solution.  Their objective is to stay pragmatic in the face of tempting technologies and idealistic designs and ultimately get something out the door that at least meets the need, if not slightly exceeds it with a bit of wow.  They are an expert in UI and platform tech, design tools and flows, agile delivery methodologies, eventually more esoteric areas such as cloud, blockchain, or machine learning.

The Hacker for Travel knows how to squeeze the most out of the various travel APIs on the market, pulling in data on flights, destinations, lodging, preferences and personalisation, events, etc.

The Hustler: is it worth it? 

The Hustler focuses on the business.   How much will it cost to build it?  How much real value will it bring? How can the team reconcile between the two to make sure that it gets off the ground and becomes profitable?

The Hustler for Travel knows that travel is on the rise but that the wallet sizes of travellers can widely vary and the travel provider’s margins as well are often tight.  They are experts in finding new business opportunities, finding Blue Oceans to travel across.

Everyone has a bit of hipster, hacker, and hustler in them waiting to come out.  Once brought together, they are an effective force when given an adapted set of innovation tools (Lean Startup, Lean LaunchPad, Business Model Canvas, etc.)

We can help identify them in your organisation and animate structured sessions to bring out the problems, ideas and solutions, and a way forward for achieving them.  Come talk to us!



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