2013 Global Leadership Summit Session 5b: Vijay Govindarajan

Vijay Govindarajan 2013Top 50 Management Thinker;
Professor, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

Session 5: The Innovation Challenge: Getting It Right

  • Ranked #3 on Thinkers 50, an elite list of global business minds published bi-annually
  • Educated in India, he held faculty positions at top business schools: Harvard University, INSEAD, Indian Institute of Management and Tuck School of Business
  • Named as one of the Top Ten Business School Professors in the World, Business Week; Top Five Most Respected Executive Coaches on Strategy, Forbes; Rising Super Stars, The Economist
  • A prolific business author, his books include The Other Side of Innovation and Reverse Innovation

Session notes

  • Interview by Jim Mellado
  • If you want to lead towards the future, you must adapt to change.
  • How many of your projects will be about Box 1 (manage the present), Box 2 (selectively abandon the past), Box 3 (prepare for the future)?
  • Strategy: how do you create for the future while managing the present?
  • Example of innovation in the high jump.
  • When you are very good at one technique, you develop a “dominant logic.” Dominant logic is a double edge sword. Can prevent innovation.
  • Creativity is about ideas. Innovation is about executing ideas.
  • genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration
  • innovation = idea + leader + team + plan
  • Innovation is not breaking all the rules. Not to subvert but to harness.
  • Killers for innovation.
    • 1) assuming innovation can happen within the performance engine
    • 2) not constituting the team and the plan correctly
  • Must create a innovation team that is distinct from the performance engine. Should be some linkage so the innovation team can leverage the assets of the performance engine.
  • If you want a tree in 5 years, you must plan some seeds today.
  • When creating the innovation team, don’t just transfer people from the performance engine. Add people from the outside.
  • Conflict within an organization is not bad but must be managed well.
  • The planning challenge in Box 3 is to test assumptions and resolve the unknowns. Spend a little, learn a lot.
  • Evaluate the innovation team leader based on their ability to conduct low-cost experiments and learn a lot.
  • Reverse innovation is about innovating in a poor country like India and selling in a rich country like the U.S.
  • Innovation is not just value for money but value for many.
  • Cited examples of reducing health care costs and increasing access without reducing quality.
  • The U.S. as a country is built for innovation.  We accept innovation from anywhere.
  • (comment – it would have been great if Jim could have asked VG some questions to translate innovation to the local church.)

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