Public Lecture on Business Innovation at NUI Galway by MIT Professor

Monday, 25 September 2006

Innovation is to be the subject of a free public lecture at NUI Galway, for business and industry professionals, by a leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor. Dr. Richard Lester, Director of the Industrial Performance Centre at MIT, will deliver a lecture entitled 'Innovation – the Hidden Dimension', on Thursday 28th September, at 6.00pm. The venue will be room BS118, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, NUI Galway.

The event is hosted by NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), where Director, Dr. William Golden, commented: "The prosperity of our economy hinges on the ability of businesses to continually introduce new products and services. This innovation can be difficult to sustain in the long term and a strategic approach must be adopted by companies and organisations. Professor Lester will be able to give insights to the local business community as to how best channel innovation within their organisations".

Professor Lester will discuss two fundamental processes at the heart of every successful innovative organisation; rational problem-solving and interpretation (creative problem solving). 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 into various sectors from mobile phones to medical devices to fashion, 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. He will also provide examples of how the two processes have been successfully combined within the same organisation.

Professor Lester's visit to Galway is 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.

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