Empathy and innovation

In a speculative blogpost about what can be recommended to foster innovation, Steve Portigal gave different answers. One of them is a very pragmatic and relevant answer that I I fully agree with:

"I would introduce empathy processes into government, especially departments that interact with the public or with businesses. Everyone - EVERYONE - will go through the process that their “clients” go through, on a regular basis (say, once per year). (...) The neat trick with empathy is that it leads to understanding, and then leads to problem solving."

Why do I blog this? I quite like this idea of promoting empathy (i.e. the ability to put oneself in other's shoes) as a user-centered design practice.