Where the work is really done

Do you go to the real place to understand the changing trends affecting how people live, work and play? The Japanese have a term called “genba” which refers to the real place or where the work is done. For some the real place is the factory floor, for others it’s the checkout point and then most importantly it’s where customers use your product or service, that’s the real place.

Observing how people use your products and services in their real place can give insights into new areas of innovation and disruption. When Deborah Adler saw her grandmother mistakenly take pills from the wrong perscription bottle, the then design student recognised an opportunity to improve the decades-old drug packaging. She designed a new label system called ClearRX that has been adopted by Target, Johnson & Johnson, Medline Industries and others. For Deborah the “real place” was her grandma’s medicine cabinet.

Where is your real place, your businesses real place and your customers real place? Are you spending too much time and energy on things that are in the wrong place?

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Designer Deborah Adler shows some examples of her ClearRx prescription packaging

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