Business mind and a social heart is a combo which will define and determine whether and how Indian businesses will fare and thrive, according to India’s No. 1 Management Thinker, Prof Vijay Govindarajan.
At the maiden Strategy Edge, a Thought Leadership Masterclass organized by the CII-Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence for Leadership here today, the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business set the context in a “sparklingly simple” way by explaining why innovation is the next frontier for Indian businesses in the next two decades.
With the theme being “Winning through Innovation: The Three Box Strategy”, the day-long session was attended by about 280 senior executives coming from across the country.
Not only has innovation come to be the most critical component in today’s businesses, the fruit of innovation must also percolate down to all strata of society, observed Prof Govindarajan, widely known as VG.
In his assessment, “breakthrough thinking” is all about cost and quality – something which is extremely important and relevant because India is a country where affluent class exists, the middle class is rising and also those who are at the lower rung are increasingly becoming aspirational.
Businesses need to take an approach that will take all sections in their scheme of things to produce a win-win future for all, said Prof Govindarajan, who was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric.
Prof Govindarajan described the Three-Box Solution as a framework for managing businesses. It is about taking action in three time horizons at once: executing the present core business at peak efficiency (Box 1), taking steps to avoid the inhibiting traps of past success (Box 2) and inventing a future built on nonlinear ideas (Box 3), he explained.
“We live in an era of almost constant change. First, new technologies continue to emerge at an ever-more rapid pace. Second, globalization brings with it new markets, new customers, nontraditional competitors, and new challenges. Third, the Internet has created much greater transparency to any company’s strategy, actions, and performance. As a result of these forces, companies find that their strategies need almost constant redefinition— either because the old assumptions are no longer valid, or because the previous strategy has been imitated and neutralized by competitors, or because technological developments and globalization offer unanticipated opportunities,” he said.
Earlier, Mr T V Narendran, Chairman, CII Eastern Region & Managing Director, Tata Steel Ltd, said Strategy Edge will feature every year one of the world’s renowned thought leaders on Strategy, Innovation and Marketing sharing the latest insights from their respective domains with the Indian business community. “It is going to be one of the flagship initiatives for the CII Leadership Centre and we look forward to many more editions in the future not only at Kolkata but also in other cities,” Mr Narendran said.
“While all of this is very exciting, the country is also facing some turbulent times on various fronts. There are winds of change – changing economic models, changing demographics, disruptive technology, increasing diversity and policy shifts like demonetization. New generation businesses also need to be constantly agile to face this turbulence,” Mr Narendran said.
Mr Narendran also introduced Prof Govindarajan, who recently authored a book titled Three Box Solution: A Strategy For Leading Innovation (HBR Press 2016), writes about innovation and execution on several platforms including Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. He is a co-leader of a global initiative to design a $300 House. Prior to joining the faculty at Tuck, VG was on the faculties of Harvard Business School, INSEAD (Fontainebleau) and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad, India).
Prof Govindarajan has worked with CEOs and top management teams in more than 25% of the Fortune 500 firms to deepen and integrate their thinking about strategy. His clients include: Boeing, Coca- Cola, Colgate, Deere, FedEx, GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, J&J, New York Times, P&G, Sony, and Wal-Mart. Much in demand on the lecture circuit, he has been a keynote speaker in the BusinessWeek CEO Forum, HSM World Business Forum, TED and World Economic Forum at Davos.