Demo or Die

CUES’ Strategic Innovation Institute explores the importance of prototypes and pilots

The motto of the MIT Media Lab, “Demo or die,” suggests an important innovation concept–that only the act of trying an idea out can transform it into something truly valuable. Conversely, a demo (or prototype or pilot) could also show you why the idea you love really isn’t the best path for your credit union.

At CUES’ Strategic Innovation Institute I (slated for Sept. 20-25 at MIT), Zeynep Ton will take attendees through a case study of the highly successful Spanish grocery chain Mercadona. An adjunct associate professor in the operations management group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Ton suggests that the Mercadona corporate culture makes sure employees have time to look for improvements. And they are encouraged to take their ideas and pilot them.

One Mercadona employee, for example, worked with his manager to pilot a change in the packaging for the store’s brand of cold cream. The new package allowed the store to stack more bottles of cold cream on a shelf, saving space and ensuring available inventory for a customer. Another employee explored putting stew vegetables near the meats so customers could get what they needed in one place.

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