The Practical Innovator: An Inspirational Day

September 29, 2011

As one of the top 75 nominees in the Chicago Innovation Awards, Michael Prince, Beyond Design’s President, had the opportunity to attend The Practical Innovator session at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston. The daylong event included several inspirational speakers and a room full of professionals who value innovation in the workplace just as much as we do at Beyond.

Tom Kuczmarki

Tom Kuczmarski, the founder of the Chicago Innovation Awards, started the competition ten years ago as a way to recognize innovation in and around the city. Today, it has become a great way to connect and identify with other entrepreneurs and business professionals in the city. He wrote the book titled Managing New Products: The Power of Innovation, which was given to each nominee at the event.

“I identified with each one of the presenters and found that we use the majority, if not all, of the practices they talked about in Beyond Design’s company practices. Mohan Sawhney, a Marketing Professor at Kellogg, spoke about an ideal business process that directly aligns with our proprietary 4XD process that we have been using for years. It validated that what we do as a business is in line with how other professionals feel a company should be run.”

—Michael Prince

Additional product development insight was discussed by several of the past CIA winners who presented their products and innovation success stories. The event was extremely inspiring and educational, and reconfirmed that companies view innovation as a critical part to success.

“One of my favorite quotes from the event was from Lisa Spahn of The Disney Institute. She said, ‘Give customers their wants before their needs in order to exceed their expectations.’ It meant so much because, as a product development firm, this is something that can be factored into each project we undertake.”
—Michael Prince

We are honored to be a CIA nominee!

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