On Wednesday April 22nd, 2020, Dr. Maxwell shared insights from his research on the challenges of innovating at the York University Scholars’ Hub @ Home speaker series . In this lecture, following Albert Einstein’s guide “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity“, Dr. Maxwell provided tools and frameworks to help identify specific actions that one can take to turn the current challenges facing their organization into new ways of creating customer value.

Following Albert Einstein’s quote that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”, Dr. Maxwell encouraged the audience to apply design Thinking Approach as it identifies opportunities by better understanding user needs (both functional and emotional needs). Better understanding the problem leads to new insights, new understanding and possibly innovative solutions. Going through the process of Customer Discovery to build empathy with the user, prototyping, and discovering user experience are the three most critical steps needed to be taken in changing organization and how they behave so that it is set up for success in this new reality.

Dr. Maxwell stressed that Changing how to find opportunities, and how to change your organization for innovation is very challenging, the secret is making good decision about what to keep and build on and what to close down, and stop. If there is no future you need to shut down, if new opportunities are better served by new organizations without the constraints under which you operate, then you should let new ventures take that market. He suggested the business model canvas as a great tool to help make innovation decisions.

Dr. Maxwell remarked that the true secret of innovating in a time of disruption, is to recognize that innovation time After Disruption (AD) moves much more rapidly than Berfore Covid (BC), that behaviours and decision processes previously linked to success may inhibit your ability to identify and exploit opportunities in the future, and that some of your assets BC may become liabilities AD.

If you are interested in watching this lecture, you can find it here.

The Scholars’ Hub @ Home speaker series features discussions on a broad range of topics, with engaging lectures from some of York’s best minds. The Scholars’ Hub events are done in partnership with Vaughan Public Libraries, Markham Public Library, and Aurora Public Library. The Scholars’ Hub @ Home series is brought to you by York Alumni Engagement. We invite students, alumni and all members of the community to join us.

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