Our Connected World – Innovation in the Tech Space

June 20, 2023

Hosted by Michelle Dawn Mooney, this episode of “Our Connected World” delves into the challenges and opportunities in technological innovation. Guests Shad Kroeger from TE Connectivity, Alexandra Spitler, and Dr. Dave Norris from Louisiana Tech University discuss the findings of the TE Connectivity Industrial Technology Index.

Kroeger explains that the survey aimed to understand the innovation challenges faced by companies and propose solutions. The survey revealed a divergence in how executives and engineers define innovation – executives perceive it as a complete transformation, while engineers view it as iterative improvements.

Spitler and Dr. Norris provide insights into these differing perspectives, with Norris elaborating on various types of innovation. They also discuss the survey’s finding of a perceived gap in engineering skills and difficulties in collaboration as significant threats to meeting innovation goals.

The guests suggest improvements in university education to better prepare future innovators.

The episode further explores different motivations for innovation among executives and engineers. Spitler shares her personal motivation, contrasting it with the survey’s findings. Kroeger, transitioning from an engineer to an executive, talks about the challenge of balancing the drive to innovate with business responsibilities.

The episode concludes with a discussion on bridging the divide between engineers and executives. Spitler and Kroeger shed light on the challenges faced by each group, while Norris suggests ways to foster better alignment. Tune in to this enlightening episode for a deep dive into the complex dynamics of innovation in the tech space.

Main Points of Conversation:

The TE Connectivity Industrial Technology Index survey and its purpose of understanding the challenges and opportunities in technological innovation.

Differences in perspectives on innovation between executives and engineers, with a focus on understanding these perspectives and bridging the gap.

The need for improvements in university education to better equip the future generation of innovators, addressing the perceived skill gap in engineering and challenges in collaboration.

Guest Bios:

Shad Kroeger is the President of the Industrial Solutions segment at TE Connectivity, a leading technology company. With a rich background in engineering, Kroeger’s insight offers a unique blend of technical expertise and leadership acumen.

Alexandra Spitler serves as the Director of Entrepreneurial Engineering for TE’s Transportation Solutions segment, bringing with her an innovative perspective on technology and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Dave Norris is the Chief Innovation Officer at Louisiana Tech University. As a trained economist leading the innovation enterprise at a research university, Dr. Norris provides an invaluable perspective on the intersection of economics, academia, and innovation.

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