The CX Iconoclast

Michael Schrage – Delivering on the Value of What You Measure

April 03, 2023 OCX Cognition Season 1 Episode 8
The CX Iconoclast
Michael Schrage – Delivering on the Value of What You Measure
Show Notes

How do you know you’re getting value from your investments in innovation? Our guest Michael Schrage got that same urgent question from his students and clients: In response, he’s become laser focused on measurement, and his thinking has deep applicability to CX.

Michael is a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab and a Visiting Fellow in the Imperial College Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has served as an advisor on innovation issues and investments to major firms, including Google, Intel, IBM, Procter & Gamble, and many more. He’s also advised on cyberconflict and cybersecurity issues. He has presented workshops on design experimentation and innovation risk, and has published widely.

After the conversation recording, Michael said that he retracted his use of the word “idiot” in favor of another i-word, “inertia.” Companies get comfortable or stuck with the way things are, he said, and they fail to evolve. But companies that have evolved have one thing in common: They treat their data as an asset. 

During this provocative conversation, Michael raised a number of issues that deserve careful consideration. For example:

  • Do we think customer experience actually has a causal connection to growth and retention? If so, he says, we need to do a better job of defining exactly what the customer experience is, and therefore how to measure it and act on our insights.
  • It’s a vexing but persistent problem that most organizations are not clear about which department owns customer lifetime value. Listen for thoughts on how to decide.
  • Is it possible to definitively determine how companies should balance customer lifetime value and churn?  To Michael, that debate is crucial, because it helps guide investment and focus.
  • What’s the most important advance related to KPIs? Michael’s answer: KPI data sets are increasingly being used to train machine learning algorithms, making predictive analytics possible. 


About Michael Schrage:


“Leading with Next-Generation Performance Indicators,” with co-author David Kiron in the MIT Sloan Management Review:

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