Leadership in a world overcrowded with opportunities

Roberto Verganti

Leadership in a world overcrowded with opportunities

- The Innovation of Meaning

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, where he directs the Leadin'Lab, the laboratory for LEADership, Design and Innovation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School twice, at the Copenhagen Business School and at the California Polytechnic University.

Roberto’s research focuses on how leaders and organizations create meaningful innovations. He explores how to nurture radically new visions, and make those visions come real.  His studies lie at the intersection between leadership, design and technology management. In his research Roberto combines methodologies of in-depth analysis of cases with experimentations with pioneering firms, in a variety of industries and contexts.

Roberto is the author of "Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas", published in 2017 by MIT Press, and “Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean” published by Harvard Business Press in 2009. Professor Verganti has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, BusinessWeek and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online magazine.

Professor Verganti began his seminar by very elegantly making the distinction between what is objectively valuable and what is meaningful to us. 

He then asked: how do we go about innovating meaningful products?  Where does meaning come from?  Breakthrough products and solutions often redefine what is valuable and meaningful.  This is often driven by a vision of what might be valuable, that is then run through a rigorous process of judgement and evaluation.

Our seminar with Roberto was a good mix of lectures and group- and plenary discussions.