Innovation Isn’t Just About New Products
The innovation mindset isn’t just about product innovation.
Some organizations have focused on product innovation for so long they don’t know how to innovate in any other areas. For example, in 2010, Microsoft —one of the world’s best product innovators for the last two decades — launched a social phone called Kin. The product was a complete disaster. Within six weeks of the launch, the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/26/2013 at 08:48 am
Recognize Intrapreneurs Before They Leave
Any CEO can tell you that finding ideas is not the always the problem. The real issue is selecting and spreading the best ideas, testing quickly, and executing flawlessly. An “innovation engine” is an organization’s capability to think and invest in long-term opportunities along with the competence to drive continuous innovations for top-line growth each year.
To build your innovation engine, your...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/20/2013 at 12:35 pm
The Right Innovation Mindset Can Take You from Idea to Impact
Thomas Edison said it over a century ago: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Unfortunately, when companies launch innovation initiatives, they tend to devote most of their time, energy and attention to that initial 1% – the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. The real innovation challenge, however, lies beyond the idea, in a long, hard journey from idea to impact....
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/19/2013 at 09:06 am
Should Higher Education Be Free?
In the United States, our higher education system is broken. Since 1980, we've seen a 400% increase in the cost of higher education, after adjustment for inflation — a higher cost escalation than any other industry, even health care. We have recently passed the trillion dollar mark in student loan debt in the United States.
How long can a business model succeed that forces students to accumulate $200,000 or...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/05/2013 at 01:13 pm
Emerging-Market Engineers Power Global Innovation
Recently, Thomson-Reuters published its latest list of the Top 100 Global Innovators honoring the leading organizations and companies most responsible for sizeable, influential patents worldwide. A quick scan of the list indicates that all 100 organizations are located in developed countries. The United States has 47 entries, Japan 25, Western Europe 21, and South Korea 7.
From this list, some readers may infer that...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/09/2013 at 08:03 am
The Innovation Mindset in Action: 3M Corporation
In three recent blog posts we looked at the innovation mindset in individuals, profiling game changers Jerry Buss, Peter Jackson, and Shantha Ragunathan. These three innovators share common qualities, which we call the innovation mindset, a robust framework which can be applied at the micro (individual) as well as macro (organizational) levels: they see and act on opportunities, use "and" thinking to resolve tough...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/06/2013 at 09:31 am
The Innovation Mindset in Action: Shantha Ragunathan
This January, we met Shantha Ragunathan, an illiterate woman from Kodapattinam, a remote village in Tamil Nadu, India. Her story is at once heartbreaking and inspiring, showing that game changers can come from all walks of life, all over the world.
Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/01/2013 at 08:17 am
The Innovation Mindset in Action: Sir Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson is a game changer who transformed the practice of filmmaking. Like Jerry Buss, who revolutionized basketball, Jackson and other effective innovators share a common set of qualities that we call the innovation mindset: they see and act on opportunities, use "and" thinking and resourcefulness, focus on outcomes, and act to "expand the pie." Regardless of where they start, innovators persist till they...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/22/2013 at 01:37 pm
The Innovation Mindset in Action: Jerry Buss
Innovators think and do things differently in order to achieve extraordinary success. They are found not just in the world of business, although they do have strong leadership qualities and excellent business sense as a common core. Our research indicates that whether they are CEOs, senior executives, sports team owners, or film directors, game changers who stand head and shoulders above the rest share a common set of...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/09/2013 at 08:58 am
Reverse Innovation in Tech Startups: The Story of Capillary Technologies
At its core, reverse innovation describes solutions adopted first in poorer, emerging nations that subsequently—and disruptively—find a market in richer, developed nations. But can reverse innovation be relevant in the world of high-technology? The very definition of "high-technology" hints at something typically reserved for the developed world. Furthermore, for the past half-century, technology solutions...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 06/20/2013 at 06:41 am
The Imperatives of an Organization Built for Speed
In Greek mythology, Hydra, an ancient water-serpent had many heads. If one head was cut off, two rapidly grew in its place before another head could be cut off — an energy-sapping disappointment for any opponent trying to overcome it. Regenerative speed made the Hydra formidable. Even Hercules, the legendary Greco-Roman hero, needed his nephew's assistance to win. To sustain a competitive edge, your...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 06/10/2013 at 07:32 am
Be Selfish. Be Very Selfish
Here is a leadership lesson: Be selfish. Be very selfish.
For this message to be an effective leadership tip, we need to understand what selfishness is. Selfishness is typically defined as "concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself." If someone hears that the CEO is being selfish, the thought that is likely to come to mind is, "The leader is maximizing personal financial rewards even at the cost of the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/13/2013 at 09:08 am
How Edmodo Is Transforming K Through 12 Education
Teachers are increasingly facing the daunting task of meeting the needs of the digital generation in the K through 12 classrooms. This generation does not learn in the traditional format where teachers are in front of the classroom imparting knowledge with students taking notes. Students want to take more responsibility for their learning. Students need more than textbooks to keep them engaged— they need...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/02/2013 at 07:39 am
Finding Your Place in the Competitive Jungle
It's a jungle out there.
While this simple phrase has been used time and time again to discuss the many obstacles people and companies face, an animal metaphor does describe required innovation actions rather effectively.
Imagine a 2x2 matrix with size on the y-axis and speed on the x-axis. Size can be represented as market share, revenue, or units sold, depending on the context. Speed is the speed of innovation...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/18/2013 at 12:53 pm
To Innovate, Find What’s Hiding in Plain Sight
In our last post, we asked the question, "What's the connection between counting squares and innovation?" It turns out, the answer isn't so simple.
Read entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/03/2013 at 09:24 am
What’s the Connection Between Counting Squares and Innovation?
Take a look at the following figure, and then consider the questions below.
How many squares are there in this picture?
How did you arrive at this number?
What connection (if any) do you see between this exercise and breakthrough innovation?
Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/01/2013 at 09:20 am
When Organizational Memory Stands in the Way
Your company's organizational memory might be holding it back. Consider the following parable:
Two monks — one old and one young — were walking to a village far from their monastery. Along the way they saw a beautiful, young woman waiting at the edge of a stream, too afraid to cross. The young monk reminded himself of his vow not to touch women and continued walking. But to his amazement, the elder...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/11/2013 at 01:26 pm
When Your Incentive System Backfires
How many times have you seen an incentive system produce the exact opposite of the desired behavior? Why is that? And why can't organizations see, let alone fix, the problem?
For example, I (Srikanth) went to visit a client in an Asian city. I stayed in a hotel in the middle of the city, and had to meet the client at his factory location that was quite far away. The client suggested that I catch the bus and gave...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 02/22/2013 at 11:02 am
Our Political Leaders Need a Fiscal Flight Plan
The U.S government is days away from the so-called Fiscal Cliff, the stakes are huge. Last week at HBR's 90th Anniversary event, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz remarked three possible ways the crisis could play out: First, Congress will take no actions by Dec 31, which will be disastrous to the US and to the world. Second (and most likely), they come up with Band-Aid solutions, and the problem will no doubt resurface....
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 12/05/2012 at 11:36 am
Cigarettes Should Cost $25 a Pack
Henry David Thoreau said, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." We have hacked at healthcare costs for what seems like thousands of times, with very limited success. It is time to strike at the root. Rather than focus on reducing costs after preventable diseases have taken hold, it is time to focus attention on eliminating the disease.
Read entire post at Harvard...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 11/21/2012 at 10:33 am
America’s Fiscal Cliff Can Be a Catalyst for Growth
As America turns its attention to the "fiscal cliff," the proposals on the table look at solutions that will either shrink the economy (e.g. cutting expenses and raising taxes) or make it stagnant (e.g. reduce tax rates but recover the revenue from fixing deduction loopholes).
Are there ways to expand the pie, instead? Here's one idea: turn the trade deficit into a trade surplus.
Read the entire post at Harvard...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 11/09/2012 at 11:55 am
Quality Health Care at 3% of the Cost
Every so often, good ideas to lower health care costs in the US will come from unlikely sources.
Consider organ transplants. Approximately 30% of the world's 100,000 transplants performed annually are done in the US. Nine out of 10 of these involve kidney, liver, or pancreas.
Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 11/02/2012 at 10:48 am
The Timeless Strategic Value of Unrealistic Goals
Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad's 1989 HBR article "Strategic Intent" brought about a discontinuous shift in my career — from a professor of accounting to a researcher on strategy and innovation. As an idea, strategic intent is about setting a bold and ambitious goal, out of all proportion to a firm's current resources and capabilities. Strategic intent takes the long view: the act of such intent is to...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/22/2012 at 09:37 am
Watch Out For India’s Consumer Market Pitfalls
Procter & Gamble's India sales grew by over 21 percent in the second quarter of this year. India's largest consumer products company, a unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever, PLC, reported that its sales were up 9 percent. Michigan's Amway registered an annual growth rate of 19 percent in India last year.
Enamored by these numbers — and encouraged by a new wave of reforms to retail, airlines, broadcast,...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/19/2012 at 08:15 am
Open India: Considerations for Retailers
India has rapidly emerged as one of the largest economies in the world, but it is also one of the most complex. Now, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's insistence that "good economics is good politics," India has announced a new wave of reforms, seen by many as the most significant step since the ground-breaking "opening of India" in July 1991.
Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/26/2012 at 12:18 pm