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OvercrowdedDesigning Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas$
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Roberto. Verganti

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035361

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035361.001.0001

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The Meaning Factory

The Meaning Factory

Insiders’ Criticism

Chapter:
(p.157) 7 The Meaning Factory
Source:
Overcrowded
Author(s):

Roberto Verganti

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035361.003.0007

This chapter, examines how to harness the art of criticism for innovation. Collaborative innovation through criticism may occur in two ways First, between pairs, i.e. between two individuals. The first criticism aims at going deeper: we want to better understand the implications of each hypothesis (implications that are often unclear even to those who proposed them). Especially, we want to nurture the most unorthodox directions, which are probably weaker but potentially powerful. This kind of criticism therefore needs to proceed with care. It blossoms in the protected intimacy of two trusted peers. Second, among the entire group. The second criticism aims at finding new directions: we want to compare and combine different hypotheses to search for new unprecedented interpretations. To this purpose, the pairs assemble into a larger group, which acts as a Radical Circle. By clashing the works of different pairs, we look beyond their apparent contrast, in search for something new, a novel meaning that underpins both of them. Contrasts and tensions are therefore favoured for the sake of innovation. This chapter illustrates how to work in Pairs and Radical Circles into a two days intense meeting, that we call Meaning Factory.

Keywords:   Criticism, developmental feedback, re-framing, innovation methods, sparring partners, pairs in innovation, radical circle, teamwork

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