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VG personally handles all inquiries. The best way to reach him is his email address. Only as a backup, use VG’s cell phone: 603-289-0007.

Blog Entries

To Win the Civil War, Lincoln Had to Change His Leadership

In our work with leaders, we see that great ones grow themselves and their organizations by deliberately working on three areas: They wisely manage the present, anchoring in purpose and values. They selectively forget the past, letting go of old values, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve them or their organizations. They purposefully create the future by adopting new...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 06/01/2016 at 06:49 am

From Accountant to Yogi: Making a Radical Career Change

At some point, almost all of us will experience a period of radical professional change. Some of us will seek it out; for others it will feel like an unwelcome intrusion into otherwise stable careers. Either way, we have choices about how we respond to it when it comes. Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/26/2016 at 08:12 am

To Grow as a Person, Selectively Forget the Past

For 35 years, I have used the Three Box Solution framework in my work with corporations. This is practical approachintegrates (Box 1) current business performance with (Box 2) selective forgetting of the past and (Box 3) creating the future. But it’s not only business issues that can be solved with the three box approach — some executives with whom I’ve used...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/12/2016 at 10:47 am

What FDR Knew About Managing Fear in Times of Change

In our work with leaders we’ve found that managing successful transformational change has a lot to do with managing fear. This includes fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change, or even fear of fear itself. This is especially true when making bold changes — the kind of change that could take an organization to a whole new level of performance, or, out of a paralyzing tailspin. The bolder the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/04/2016 at 11:05 am

How Companies Escape the Traps of the Past

A staggering 88% of companies listed in the 1955 Fortune 500 are nowhere to be found in the same list today. They have gone bankrupt, merged, or simply shrunk off the list. Half a century ago, the life expectancy of a firm in the Fortune 500 was around 75 years. Now it’s less than 15 years. Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/26/2016 at 11:07 am

Why Unicorns Are Struggling

When financial services company Square priced its IPO at $9 a share last November, well under the $15+ price that private investors paid the year before, it was a cold shower of reality for the 6-year-old company. The share price did rise during the IPO, but at the end of the day the firm’s value leveled off to around $4 billion, just two-thirds of the $6 billion Square supposedly had been worth....
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/21/2016 at 07:38 am

Eight Dollars and a Dream

My friend Raj Gupta, former CEO of Rohm and Haas, has written his personal story, Eight Dollars and a Dream—My American Journey. I highly recommend you get the book. There are many teaching-learning moments in Raj’s life story. With complete candor, Raj Gupta has captured his life—from his boyhood in India, to coming to the states to study, work, and raise a family with Kamla, his career at...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/20/2016 at 01:16 pm

Let Go of What Made Your Company Great

How can an organization both exploit and explore? Managers, consultants, and academics around the world have long wrestled with this question. Some have responded by developing a concept known as “ambidexterity,” an organizational capability of fulfilling both managerial imperatives at once. But simultaneously managing today’s business while creating tomorrow’s goes beyond being...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/13/2016 at 06:13 am

Great Innovators Create the Future, Manage the Present, and Selectively Forget the Past

For a long time, I have been troubled to see how often organizations fail to invest wisely in their futures while instead placing dominant emphasis on the present. To be sure, the present is vitally important. Your current business is the performance engine. It both funds day-to-day operations and generates profits for the future. Where problems arise is when the present crowds out other strategic priorities—for...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/31/2016 at 09:58 am


After 35 years of research and consulting, I have written my most important book yet: The Three Box Solution: A Strategy For Leading Innovation. You’ll learn how to meet the performance requirements of the current business—one that is still thriving—while dramatically reinventing it (two fundamentally different management challenges that are hard to do simultaneously). You can get more details on the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/09/2016 at 12:52 pm

What Ruthless Innovators Can Learn from the New England Patriots

For 35 years, I have used the Three Box Solution framework in my work with corporations. This integration of current performance (Box 1) with selective forgetting of the past (Box 2) while creating the future (Box 3) is the foundation of my thinking and teaching about innovation and strategy. Most organizations focus almost completely on keeping their current business healthy (Box 1) rather than discarding...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/09/2016 at 09:12 am

Happy Holidays!

Hello: Happy Holidays! You might want to think of placing an order for Superbosses an important book from my friend and Tuck Colleague Syd Finkelstein. Let me tell you why this is a must read. Larry Ellison. Lorne Michaels. Ralph Lauren. Tommy Frist. Bill Walsh. And a dozen others. Innovative business leaders with tremendous track records who all have something else in common: they helped develop the best talent in...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 12/15/2015 at 09:49 am

What Engineering a Reverse Innovation Looks Like

When a company investigates a new product opportunity, it is important to define the problem, and the requirements that will dictate a viable solution, independently from the company’s existing lines of similar products or preconceived ideas of what a solution should entail. This is especially true when businesses are considering entering emerging markets or aim to realize opportunities to create...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 11/04/2015 at 10:32 am

Understanding the Rise of Manufacturing in India

When many executives think about manufacturing, China is the first country that comes to mind. But there are other players grabbing a bit of that spotlight — like India. Despite the conventional wisdom that says India’s place in the global economy revolves around digital bits and services rather than material atoms, the country is starting to attract more attention for its manufacturing potential for a number...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/18/2015 at 06:18 am

Business Can Help End Child Labor

I have always been fascinated by the question: How can for-profit corporations innovate to solve the world’s toughest challenges? My passion for this topic was formed at a very early age. Growing up in India, I realized that the country has too few resources to confront its many challenges; the only way India can hope to solve its problems is through innovation. I therefore committed my professional career to...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 04/10/2015 at 11:36 am

Which U.S. Companies Are Doing the Most R&D in China and India?

Over 200 publicly listed American companies have R&D budgets that exceed $100 million annually. Which companies allocate the highest proportion of that budget to engineering in China and India, specifically? And what drives their success with these global engineering initiatives? Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/31/2015 at 01:10 pm

3 Ways Businesses Are Addressing Inequality in Emerging Markets

Last year, the World Bank added a new mission to its original goal of reducing poverty: boosting shared prosperity. The change reflects the state of today’s world: the fraction of the global population in extreme poverty, defined as those earning less than $1.25 per day, has dropped to 12% from 36% in 1990. Yet income inequality is more pronounced than ever. According to a report released by Oxfam International on...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 01/30/2015 at 05:31 am

How the U.S. and India Can Strengthen Their Business Ties

Barack Obama is the first American President to visit India twice while still in office. When he leaves New Delhi on January 26, the bilateral benefits of the time invested might flow for a decade or longer—but it will depend on how well both sides manage some of the barriers that have kept the two giant countries from working together well in the past. As executives with deep experience in both countries, we see...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 01/22/2015 at 05:14 am

How U.S. Businesses Can Succeed in India in 2015

On January 26, 2015, President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. President to visit India twice. Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last September, the U.S.-India Business Council found that its large company members were prepared to invest $40 billion into India by 2017. This at a time when Brazil’s economy is stuttering, Vladimir Putin’s expansionism has made...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 01/06/2015 at 07:58 am

3 Myths about Engineering Talent in China and India

Conventional wisdom holds that the typical engineer or scientist in India or China might work for an outsourced service provider doing low-end computer programming in return for meager wages. Similarly, it’s thought that the main reason Western companies hire offshore engineers is to supply markets in China and India with stripped-down versions of American products at rock-bottom prices. Read the entire post at...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 12/09/2014 at 05:25 am

What the Mission to Mars Shows About India’s Innovators

The success of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in placing the Mangalyaan satellite into orbit around Mars last week has three important lessons for companies about winning in emerging markets: big ambitions are critical, constraints can be liberating, and India can be an R&D powerhouse. Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/01/2014 at 12:39 pm

Strategy’s No Good Unless You End Up Somewhere New

Innovation isn’t always strategic, but strategy making sure as heck better be innovative. By definition, strategy is about allocating resources today to secure a better tomorrow. It is important, however, to understand the nuances and complexities of innovation as they relate to strategy. Take a look at my list of the four most important. Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/21/2014 at 01:00 pm

Health Care Reforms That Work

Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and stroke are on the rise in both the developed and the developing world, and they have a few things in common. First, they are responsible for contributing a large chunk of patients into the health care system, especially in developed countries like the US. In fact such diseases are the cause of death in more than 4 out of 5 cases in the US....
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 03/08/2014 at 06:26 am

Transforming Rural India Through Agricultural Innovation

With a majority of its population living in villages, rural poverty is a major problem in India. The disparity between the urban and rural incomes is also on the rise. This leads to migration to urban areas resulting in urban blight as well. Therefore addressing the problem of rural poverty assumes urgency. On my last trip to India, I witnessed an innovation experiment, National Agro Foundation (NAF), that addresses...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 02/21/2014 at 12:08 pm

Whatever Happened to the $300 House?

The idea to design and build a $300 house first appeared here on the HBR site in August 2010, in a post by me (Vijay Govindarajan) and Christian Sarkar, and then again as one of several ideas in the HBR Agenda 2011. Believing that improving housing for the world’s most poor could help them break out of the vicious cycle of poverty, we issued a challenge to the design community to employ the strategies of...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 01/27/2014 at 09:34 am

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