Chasing cool versus chasing needs

Over on Brainzooming, Mike Brown has a piece up titled Chasing Cool Ideas vs. Solving Consumer Needs.  He provides a well-known quote from  Harvard professor, Theodore Levitt : “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill.  They want a quarter-inch hole!”

The heart of that argument is that organizations need to stay focused on the needs of the people they’re trying to serve.  In student affairs, we use language like that a lot — student-centered, student-focused, student-driven, etc.  But, when it comes to serving them, how often do we do what is convenient or safe or familiar for us instead of what is really needed or helpful for them?

Although I have a true and deep interest in innovation and forward thinking approaches, we have to remember what problems we’re trying to solve!

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