RetailWire: Shoptalk Recap with Kyle Nel

"At last week’s Shoptalk conference, Kyle Nel, the executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, detailed why innovation is so important for retailers, primarily because the current pace of change is exponential. And yet, survival on incremental technological change alone may be impossible.

"Mr. Nel said that when a new and different technology comes out (speaking not just of Lowe’s), it inevitably disappoints, investment falls off, but then a core group continues to work on it. At that point, it’s hard to figure out exactly what to work on during the “deceptive disappointment” phase, before the new and different tech comes back to market in a better form and more successfully.

"For Lowe’s, it’s about helping people love where they live and seeding the future. So, Lowe’s does live testing with consumers based on neuroscience to see what is “in flow,” or intuitive for consumers, and what is not in flow, meaning difficult and frustrating.

"Mr. Nel says humans are obsessed with stories as a way of digesting disruptive information, so Lowe’s actually provides ideas to sci-fi writers to spark narrative-driven innovation. And the innovation lab execs read comic books to help understand storytelling."

Read the entire RetailWire article here.