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  • Mike J. Walker

Episode 17: COVID-19 Strikes! Is Innovation in Jeopardy? Part 2

Updated: May 10, 2020

In part 2 of this episode, Mike Walker and Mike Fulton continue their conversation about the impact that COVID-19 is having on corporate innovation, best practices for innovation leaders, the new toolkit that is needed, and how we will look at trends differently.  Show Notes Last time we chatted about your innovation practice at Nationwide. How has this crisis impacted your team’s innovation efforts?

  • Our corporate innovation practice is very focused on leveraging design thinking to identify unmet needs and then leveraging human centered design to build solutions to meet those needs and delight consumers in ways they can’t even imagine.  

  • Then we in Technology Innovation also look at emerging technologies to help us better empathize with our customers and understand their potential needs in the world they will live in tomorrow.  

  • Human interaction has changed, which impacts how we identify unmet needs and we solve for those needs

  • User research is different

  • More open to solutions leveraging tele-doc type solutions

  • Current needs are changing dramatically

  • How do we predict the world and needs 3 years from now when we can’t even predict 3 months from now?

How are you innovating the innovation process? Are there unique things you are doing that you never thought of before?

  • Reassessing current innovation initiatives

  • Evaluating opportunities for new innovation initiatives

  • Reassessing trendspotting work and potential impact

  • Reimagining workshops and user interviews

  • Looking at how we can help community through Can’t Stop Columbus

What advice would you give to innovators during this time of crisis?

  • While this is a little tongue in cheek given the significant nature of the pandemic, I am reminded of the quote “never waste a good crisis”.  

  • Opportunity to rethink how we work for the long term 

  • Opportunity to reimagine what business we are in

  • Opportunity to better understand customer needs and anticipate ways we can help in the near term.

If people would like to reach out to you, how can they? Is there a web address, email, or other way of contacting?

  • LinkedIn is a great place to reach me.  I have a large network and I enjoy posting, sharing and learning with my network there.  Also, people can reach out to me directly on email at 

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