Many articles have been written on the ways to build a culture of innovation. We talk about flexible work schedules, workshops on creativity, and crafting a workforce that constantly looks for newer, better ways to run our business. But with all this talk of creativity, perhaps it’s time to look to a trait that’s critical to innovation and often overlooked: empathy.
The very definition of empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” It might sound very soft, but think about all of the great innovations that have come from empathy. Steve Jobs wanted to be able to carry his entire music library around in his pocket. He found it frustrating that he couldn’t and he thought perhaps others shared that frustration. From that level of empathy, the iPod was born. Tom’s was crafted so individuals could buy comfortable shoes and profits could be used to giv

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