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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Researching Lead Users to Predict the Future

Journal Cover
From Volume 46 Number 3 | April–June 2018
By Elliot Felix

Have we heard from enough people? Sometimes leaders ask this question to seek consensus or in the hope of making a tough call easy with more data. But this is the wrong question to ask. A better question is, “Have we talked to the right people?” In this article, we discuss how institutions can research their “lead users” whose extreme behaviors today will be the norm tomorrow. Using a case study rethinking Georgia Tech’s library services, spaces, and staffing, we explain who lead users are, how to identify them, how to research them to uncover insights, and how they can champion innovation on your campus.

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