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The photo project used in this website illustrate one of the exercises in my workshops, called "theme and variations." Used for sharpening perception of details we take for granted, it's taken from a musical form, in which the composer plays with how the parts relate to the whole. I took a very common element in Amsterdam: bicycles, and then narrowed it down to bicycle handle grips. How did I decide this? Going on a silent intuition walk, as I call it, and then following what caught my eye once I started seeing what I was looking at. Here are the first raw shots I took. Then of course later editing, cropping, choosing-- the real work. I didn't even know why I was taking these shots when I took them. The metaphor came later. What is noteworthy is how to trust what catches your attention.

What does this have to do with disruptive technologies? Blockchain transforming the insurance industry, or regulatory bodies' relevance for offshore gambling sites? If it's not immediately apparent, keep reading below or call me up. I'd be glad to explain my thoughts on the vitality of the connection.

All around us are objects and patterns – including those in people. Often we are numbed out to minute differences. We generalize, stereotype or gloss over people or things as the same as each other, and/or "other" than us. When does an oversimplification defeat its purpose?

Curiosity driven sensory awareness is one of the key skills to successful innovation – paying attention to what everyone else is ignoring, or outsmarting our assumptions, but not by intellectual prowess but rather shifting our own paradigm. To shift a paradigm, we need to actually DO something different, to get ourselves to experience differently, to get fresh insight. A sign that we are on the right track: we feel alive, awake, and often walking around with a fundamentally different purpose.

This is the core to "user centric innovation" –  "user insights" and "user needs." Easy to say, but how do we actually listen better, seen freshly, and play with putting together things in a different way?

If you do an exercise like this you'll start to experience it. You'll stimulate various parts of your brain, and start to notice new details.