Snapshot of Debbi

Advanced Innovation & Marketing for B2B

debbi-snapshotDebbi Hensley,
AIM Vice President.

We like to joke that if you look up “high energy” in the dictionary, you’ll find a photo of Debbi.  It’s a good thing Debbi doesn’t get tired because she’s been all over the world training for AIM for the last 8 years!  We sat down with Debbi to ask her a few questions about her experience with AIM, Blueprinting and the world of B2B innovation.

Take AIM:  What do you think is the most important concept in New Product Blueprinting?

Debbi: Having a structured approach to customer interviewing so that we can really listen.  With the Blueprinter process we don’t have to think about the next question or making a presentation, we can truly listen to the customer.  This allows us to be open to responses that may be unexpected…and powerful!

What is one of the most challenging aspects of Blueprinting to learn?

The concept that “less is more” is the part of the process that I see our clients struggling with the most.  Most people naturally want to present, sell or solve problems.  It’s hard for them to simply ask great, well thought out questions and let the customer tell them what they need.  Customers will tell you so much more when you are silent and are really listening.

What is one of the most unique applications of Blueprinting you’ve heard of?

A client’s HR department decided to sit in on a Blueprinter workshop.  They were so taken by the concepts that they decided to use the process to interview their customers (the employees) about their unmet needs.  What a great testament to Blueprinter effectiveness!

What do you like most about instructing Blueprinting training sessions?

I have always loved learning how things work.  Maybe that’s why I obtained an engineering degree in college.  Early in my career I was involved with the Automotive Industry.  It was fascinating to learn how the thousands of parts came together from hundreds of suppliers to form a highly technical automotive product. The automotive assembly line in a miracle of logistics in action!

Each client has a distinct set of circumstances serving industries with unique problems and opportunities.  The Blueprinter process allows me to work directly with the client to dig in and dissect their individual challenges and develop a roadmap for finding profitable solutions.  By facilitating the process I get to “see how things work” and learn so much about so many industries.

What advice do you have for those just getting started in Blueprinting?

Have fun with it!  Be open to new ideas.  Use the process to become highly proficient at listening and probing skills, then sit back, relax and enjoy how much you can learn from your customers that you didn’t know before!

As they say in a Discovery Interview, “anything else?”

Of course! While my passion is definitely around customer interviewing, New Product Blueprinting is so much more. For instance, our clients always want to know how they can learn what a customer will pay for a new product. I love the fact that we have tools to help them figure this out! Blueprinter exposes users to advanced concepts and provides concrete tools to help you understand and capture the value your new product development effort has created. When most people think of New Product Blueprinting, they think of digital projectors and sticky notes… but there’s so much more I get to help them with.

For a full bio on Debbi (and others at AIM), please see the AIM Team section on our website.