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Michael Schrage

Professor at MIT

A research fellow with MIT Sloan School’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, Michael Schrage’s research, writing, and advisory work focuses on the ‘behavioral economics’ of models, prototypes, and metrics as strategic resources for managing ‘innovation risk’ and opportunity. He is the author of award-winning ’The Innovator’s Hypothesis’ [MIT Press 2014], ‘Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become?’ [Harvard Business Review Press 2012] and ‘Serious Play’ [Harvard Business Review Press 2000]. His next book, ‘Recommender Systems,’ will be published this year by MIT Press as part of its ‘Essential Knowledge’ series. He’s run design workshops and executive education programs on innovation, experimentation, and ’strategic measurement’ for organizations all over the world.

His pioneering work in ‘selvesware’ technologies – he coined the word – designed to augment aspects, attributes, and talents of productive individuals. Current research efforts examine the interplay of ’network effects’-driven innovation, such as recommender systems, and human capital creation for the enterprise. His work exploring the ‘future of KPIs,’ digital ‘performance management’ dashboards and machine learning – in collaboration with Google, McKinsey, and the Sloan Management Review – builds on that theme, i.e. what happens when ‘essential metrics’ become ’software agents.’ This research – part of a global ‘Strategic Measurement’ initiative – is widely cited. These efforts have led to ‘future of workforce capability and design’ research in collaboration and co-sponsorship with Deloitte. He is particularly interested in the future co-evolution of ‘expertise,’ ‘advice’ and human ‘agency’ as technologies become ‘smarter’ than the people using them.

Consulting and innovation/experimentation/KPI clients have included Prudential, Pfizer, Microsoft, PwC, BASF, SNCF, ZF, Amazon, Mars, BT, Google, Raytheon, Edmunds, Embraer, among others. He’s conducted non-classified research for the U.S. Department of Defense [Office of Net Assessment] and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on cyber-conflict, complex systems procurement, and ‘other’ issues.

Previously, a Merrill Lynch Forum Innovation Fellow, he founded and was executive director of its Merrill Lynch Innovation Grants Competition for doctoral students worldwide. An angel investor in several digital media and machine learning start-ups, he’s been a featured and top trafficked blogger on the Harvard Business Review site. His work has been published in the Sloan Management Review, Fortune magazine (where he was a columnist), the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Nikkei Asian Review, the CACM as well as other peer-reviewed publications.