Session 9: Vijay Govindarajan: Innovation

Innovation is reacting to change.

How many things you are doing today go in box one?

  1. Manage the Present. (efficiency)
  2. Selectively forget the past
  3. Shape the future

How do you do innovation and efficiency all at the same time? That's what counts.

Continuously improving the quality of what we do today is still limited.

High Jumpers

The scissor jump can only get you up 4 feet.
The western roll took people to 5 feet.
The straddle
Then Fosbury flop took people up to 9 feet!

We have to improve the quality of the scissor jump while we discover the fosbury flop.

The innovation is a virus to ongoing operations. Status quo takes over the dominant logic. If it is working, do it!

If dominant logic is left unchecked, you'll grow old while new stuff is birthed all around you.

Creativity is the idea. Innovation is applying that creativity economically.

Idea + Leader + Team + Plan = Innovation

since 99% of it is execution, that is where this guy is focusing his work. People don't need help coming up with ideas, or help with creativity. How do we make this stuff happen!?

Innovation leaders are not subversives. Sometimes they think their job is to break all the rules and do something bold and crazy. They act like Steve Jobs.

"Harness the great capabilites of the performance engine."
I don't know what that means, but it sounds great.

"you can't just turn scissors into a flosbury flop" (Context is everything on that quote! But it's right on. )

New Wineskins!

Some of the stuff he is talking about gets back to my idea that some churches need to just shut down and close for 3 months and then reopen from scratch.

If you want NYTimes digital to happen, you can't use your print newspaper team. You use different metrics, you use different culture. It's ok to keep them in the same building and link them to the existing team, but much of the team is going to have to be different.

No silicone valley startup can come up with 100 years of digital archives. NYTimes has that! Interract! Work together!

You have to have some shared, amphibious staff working on your breakthrough innovation.

The scissors pays for the development of the flosbury flop. At some point the flosbury flop is going to be the old thing, the performance engine that will fuel the next thing.

Be distinct and separate with your tasks. Don't measure new innovations the way you measured your old reliable stuff.

The team is fighting Organizational Memory. Remember your critical assets, use your history, but do something you've never done before.

Conflicts are healthy if you know how to manage them. That's where your history helps out your innovators.

zero based planning and organizing

  1. Your current business is linear. Reacting to present markets. Signals are clear pointing us in various directions.
  2. (He didn't say anything about this.)
  3. You are betting on the future. You are predicting and learning to resolve unknowns. There are weak signals of where the future is going, so you test, spend a little, and learn a lot.

I wonder what Seth Godin would say about this guy's stuff. Some of this sounds like stuff in The Dip by Seth Godin.

Your team 3 should be evaluated on their ability to learn, apply the knowledge they gain from failures. Can they conduct low-cost experiments and then learn a whole bunch?

in the past, 3rd world folks invented stuff in the USA and then sold them in the 3rd world. In the future, he says 3rd world will invent 3rd world solutions, and the people in the 1st world will want it.

"Rich people might be interested in learning what these poor people are doing."

"Some say innovation is value for money. I say that innovation is value for many."
"Innovation is a lot more, for a lot less, for a lot of people."

Income inequality has reached alarming proportions. We work hard at producing products for the rich. That's the source of income inequality. What would happen if we innovated products for the poor? Products are already MADE by the poor, what if they are meant to be consumed by and help the poor.

[he just said he discovered "the secret sauce of innovation"]

The US lives in Box 3 thinking. As a culture we look to the future and try to create it.

I'm curious how much we do that anymore. I'm thinking with immigration hate, if we've killed the american dream.

the guy came to america with $11. he spent $6 on a candy bar because he figured there isn't much difference between just having 5 or 11, but at least he'd have a candy bar.

Accepting ideas from any part of the world is a strength of America, he says. I'm not totally sure that is still true!

I wish it were!

Let's make is so!

Innovation by the poor, with the poor, for the poor!

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