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"There’s nothing more overrated than a good idea."

How do you make sure every engineer, statistician and innovator in an audience is awake and ready to participate the first morning of a two-day learning event? You challenge their concept of innovation and you say that there’s nothing more overrated than a good idea. That’s what MIT visionary and noted author Michael Schrage did at the Innovators’ Summit this morning.

Schrage told the audience that they are not truly innovative just because they innovate new products and processes. It doesn’t matter how many new features and functionality – and power – you put into something, he said. It’s about the value that your customers find in your offerings. “Innovation isn’t what innovators do. It’s what customers adopt!”

Practical in his perspective, Schrage challenged attendees to consider how affordable their ideas are – not simply financially, but cognitively affordable. According to Schrage, the imperative of the business model trumps the most technically perfect model.

Schrage’s talk was part of a four-person panel, Extending the Reach of Analytic Excellence, moderated by Scott Lasater of TQM Network. As the day progresses, analytic excellence will be further defined; its function in the real world further considered; and examples of excellence in a variety of industries will be examined. Stay tuned…

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1 Comment

Byron Wingerd wrote:

Michael's questions in his talk were particularly compelling and revolved around the central question of modeling your own ability to innovate.

I found these two questions particularly though provoking.

1. Do you ever ask your customers what the most important thing you do for them, and compare that to what you think the most important thing is that you do for them.

2. How can you become 50% measureably more valueable to your company in 100 days. How would you do it, and what would the metric be. (he said cutting your salary by 50% doesn't count)