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INNOVATION STARTS WITH EMPATHY..D.Patnaik, Popova, Corbitt, Winnegrad

EMPATHY is the gateway into the minds of others; it is a form of “in-seeing.” One does not observe with the eyes but with their emotions. When one projects their emotions, an internal feeling, that is empathy.


Observing your customer not from a place of data or fact, but of EMPATHY is essential for winning their hearts. Building a culture of widespread EMPATHY is about getting everyone within an organization to have an intuition for the people that really matter, your customer. The results can be profound.


Creativity starts with EMPATHY because it is necessary to communicate with your customer, see the world through their needs. To develop EMPATHY with your customer, it is essential to have frequent communication. Without EMPATHY for your customer your product could appear as a “re-gift” with no thought. You want your product to be something that your customer feels that you know them, to represent a thoughtful gift. Companies driven by EMPATHY stay focused on what’s important to their customer’s feelings.


The Limbic system, processes smell and our emotions and the emotions of others. Because of our focus on data and facts we have lost sight that the real business exists not on paper but with people. We need a deep intuition for customers that transcends data. By listening to your customer you are making a EMPATHETIC connection, a virtual BEAR HUG.


The response of our Limbic system is stronger when it’s triggered by face-to-face interactions. This allows the Limbic system to carefully weigh the impact of a decision the neocortex wants to make. We can’t make decisions that look good on paper without taking into consideration our impulse to care. To allow that impulse to flower we must interact with the customer. We are wired to care for one another, so let’s take advantage of that phenomenon and start with EMPATHY.

Categories: Article Summary Philosophical Perspective

ron winnegrad

Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.

2 replies

  1. Word of the wise! Empathy may not always seem like the default thinking in approaching a client mainly because client’s dictate the overarching decision of the developed product. Yet this is a window of opportunity to find a way to connect in a zone of safe exchange of ideas…one of the best ways to spearhead creativity. Thanks, Ron!


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