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Innovation - The Hidden Dimension

Professor Richard Lester
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Thursday 28th September 2006

BS118, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy

All Welcome

The prosperity of advanced economies hinges on the ability of their businesses to continually introduce new products and services. But what makes for a creative economy? How can the flow of new products, services, and processes be sustained?

On Thursday 28 September 2006, Professor Richard Lester will be in Galway to discuss two fundamental processes at the heart of every successful innovating organisation.

· Rational problem-solving is well understood and dominates management and engineering practice and economic policymaking.

· Interpretation is much less well understood but a vital part of creative problem definition.

These two processes are radically different from each other in almost every respect, and require vastly different managerial approaches, yet both are needed to sustain the creative output of both individual firms and entire economies.

Drawing on research at the MIT Industrial Performance Centre on innovations in a broad range of dynamic sectors, from cell phones to medical devices to fashion apparel, Professor Lester will show how innovative companies have managed to prevent vital interpretive processes from being crowded out by the insistent demands of problem solving, and how the two processes have been successfully combined within the same organisation.

Professor Lester�s visit to Galway is as part of the Queen�s University, Belfast First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture Series, a unique initiative supported by First Trust Bank and Invest NI which brings international expertise in innovation to Queen�s and the wider Northern Ireland Business Community.

Priority Research Area: Industry Clustering

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