Moving from Jugaad to Excellence; Employ the "8 Steps to Innovation" Framework

21st Apr 2013
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Jugaad is old hat. It has done little for India in terms of innovation; India ranks 64th in the Global Innovation Index. In today’s globalized marketplace, it is increasingly difficult to survive with just quick fixes or creative improvisation. Indian companies have no option but to move beyond jugaad towards a more dependable and systematic process of innovation.


8 step

Says the foreword of this how-to guide for innovation leaders- 8 Steps to Innovation- a book from Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan and Dr. Vinay Dabholkar. Rishikesha is a professor at the Indian Institute if Management, Bangalore where he teaches innovation management and strategy while Vinay is the president of Catalign Innovation Consulting and helps organizations foster a culture of innovation.The duo has studied innovation for more than a decade and come up with a framework that can help companies employ systematic innovation.

How do they define innovation?

Innovation happens when an idea is implemented to create an impact. “It has three key elements: Idea, implementation and impact,” says Professor Rishi. In a for-profit organization, the impact is typically measured as either cost saving or as an increase in revenues.

8 Steps to Innovation is published by Collins Business and the authors also run a blog which is constantly updated. The framework is aimed at companies of all sizes who want to practice innovation and it gives actionable points instead of jargons.

Some of the chapters especially hold value for startups and the book draws examples from some of the success stories like redBus.

Here are 2 ideas from the book that apply really well to startups:

1) Building a challenge book

This section includes making a list of problems that are worth solving. Once identified, you need to feel the pain, sense the wave and see the waste. These three steps tell you how to move ahead from the challenge book.

2) Improve Idea Velocity

A startup is full of ideas coming in from all corners and execution becomes a challenge. As a business model too, a startup is very fixated on what it starts out from, it undergoes continuous changes. The book details out processes for how a company can experiment with low cost and high speed.

On the whole, the book is laid out in the following fashion:

1) Building an idea pipeline

Step 1: Lay the Foundation

Step 2: Create a Challenge Book

Step 3: Build Participation

2) Improve Idea Velocity

Step 4: Experiment with low cost at High Speed

Step 5: Go fast from prototyping to incubation

Step 6: Iterate on the Business Model

3) Increase the batting average

Step 7: Build an Innovation Sandbox

Step 8: Create a margin of safety

The 8 step framework has a powerful conclusion and has positive words from the likes of Kris Gopalakrishnan (Executive Co-chairman, Infosys), Sukumar Rajagopal (Senior VP, CIO & Head of Innovation, Cognizant Technology Solutions) and more. The framework is a good guideline for any organization and especially for a startup looking at fostering systematic innovation within the company.

The book is available on Flipkart here.

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