5 Meter Look

Type of record:
  • Reflection tool
  • Micro method
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


The "5 meter look" is a questioning method that provides inspiration and insight around a problem, object or process.

Let's say your challenge is to innovate the process a customer goes through at a supermarket checkout. In this situation, it is generally advisable to focus initially on the

to "understand" the situation. As is already known from the design thinking approach, understanding brings, in the best case, insights and inspirations that lead directly to new ideas.

With the 5-meter view, we ask ourselves the general question of what is going on in the five-meter radius around the cash register situation. In doing so, we act like an ornithologist and researcher in love with detail - every detail should be recognized and perceived.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • P1 Understanding (identify innovation fields - problem solving)
  • P2 Analysis (problems - challenges - environment - people - products)
  • P3 Observe (people - environment - product use)
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