FIND InnoNuggets


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Outsourcing MUDA

The new trend is all very clear and evident. Outsource all those components of your work for which you are much more qualified - starting from making ppts, getting search done (google), consolidating reports and what not. The employees focus on doing the innovation, ideation and more high value work for which they are paid. The Japenese word coming from Lean Thinking for all this stuff is MUDA. Muda Outsourcing is what can make your value streams more efficient!

Pfizer's experiences are interesting as per the article here

Come to think of it - we should create a team to provide all these services to most of high end employees, inside the organization.

Well, it make sense!

Tipping Point Revisit - Word of Mouth Marketing

Having taken up this new research area - I am fascinated with how it really works.

The fastcompany article on Duncan j Watts comes really at the right point. I am half-way through his book titled Six Degrees - The Science of Connected Age and what he says is "Influencers Theory" is all bull. The article at Fastcompany also gives the viewpoint of influencers theory including Malcolm Gladwell of Tipping Point (and Blink) fame.

The link to Gladwell's Blink story is also interesting read.

Questions I am exploring are

1. Does Centrality, influencers and organized rules of propagation impact the diffusion of ideas or it is all random as Watts says?
2. Even if it is random, what is the best way to propate ideas?

we need answers!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Arrival of Digital Natives

Social Computing, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are the new themes that are emerging as design of the new enterprises.

However there is a bigger change - that is predicted at the analyst conference

The new youth are Digital Natives - they are used to web 2.0 collaboration - they dont have any other way to discuss and share...

They expect this to be with them as they move in the Enterprises of the future - are we geared up for Digital Natives - This is a major shift that enterprises need to move with the times.

Alas - Enterprises still havent came out of inertia of Command and Control structures that stood in last century - it is going to be a big chaos - the winners will move to Enterprise 2.0 and then to Enterprise 3.0 qucikly - 2012 is the year when new winners will be, well really NEW!

Bad name for Innovation - Tried and Tested

Two articles - one in business week and other in Fastcompany are somehow bothering me. First lets look at Fastcompany article Innovation: Old Often Becomes New - it says ORIGINALITY IS OVERRATED and the author goes on to say "It depends upon how success is measured - the author says for commercial success, engineering design should work sooner than later, cost-effectively.

Well the tone of the article seems to be originality at the cost of timetomarket and cost-effectiveness. I believe innovation has to do with originality, cost-effectiveness and timeliness simultaneously. The author asks the reader to choose one approach over other - while I would rather like to be doing the AND - Originaity with cost-effectiveness and timeliness!

The businessweek article talks about the talks at Davos - World Economic forum - the author talks about three important points related to recent issues with too much innovation in financial products led to recent failures in sub-prime markets (A) Prototyping is key to Innovation (B) Testing is Key to Innovation (C)Risk is essential to Innovation. The author points out these three missing elements in the Innovation Process.

I am not really convinced about the failure of any innovation process per se - I believe it is really the absence of innovation system that is at the core - process is not really system - system thinking with a study of dependencies and analysis of impacts in any process or process change/improvement is important - with system thinking it may turn out that process itself is not needed.

Well - may be we need to think about elements of Innovation System Design!

Process Management - A Holistic Approach

The article by my friend Mannu Thareja on Process Management is informative and may be useful to follow when processes are to be designed ab-initio.

My only contention in process focussed improvement is - if it is not flowing through system thinking - an approach where processes interact and are looked at from a complexity perspective, one may optimize a process at the cost of system degradation.

First step is really the system study - rather than process study.
Once we have chosen the process - may be the methodology or set of methodologies can lead to holistic management.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Mind of the Globe

The conceptual framework that there is an emergent mind of the globe, or in fact the of the universe is fascinating to say the least. How to craft, participate, understand and adapt to the emerging global brain, may be a collection of individual brains need to understand and create an emergent awareness of what we are as the global brain.

It requires much more than mere collection and networks - it requires an understanding that individual mind is one small neuron of the global brain that exist and hence - what we are trying to talk about our brain,- we should consider ourself to be just a neuron of the global brain.

A link to the Global Brain at the Wikipedia

Thursday, January 24, 2008

When Geography is History ....

I am stunned by the beautiful statement by Balaji at his blog, Joy of Innovation. He Says,"

When Geography is History, Serendipity is the New Geography.

This particular post covers three important aspects - Globalization making the world flat; the event for startups and Balaji's proposal to feature it at SecondLife

If there is a need for an evidence of Gloablizing Innovation Complexity (GIX) Bang world - it is here.

Well said Balaji! - Geography is whereever you can reach now!

Business IT Disconnect and How to Overcome it?

The blogpost at the CIO magazine is indicative of increasing disconnect and increasing demand to align business and IT in large enterprises.

The post asks the question Is IT the scapegoat for immature business approach to technology.

I think it is much more deeper than one sided view either immaturish from business view of IT and IT view of business. Further it gets amplified when the CIO outsources IT to third parties who are good at IT but may not be at the Business, or business outsources to high end business consultants who may be good at Business domain but poor in IT.

What framework, methods, techniques can help to bridge the disconnect.

Well, I have been experimenting with Analytic Hierarchy Process combined with Balanced Score Card. It is working to bridge the disconnect and bring in all stakeholders together. Yet the complexity or what I call Enterprise entropy need to be understood and responded to - here in the complexity of the social system which any enterprise is will play a major role.

I think it will be good to look into the new science, physics or maths or whatever one may call of Social Networks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Complexity Rising - Markets in the GIXBang World

The first market crash after the word Globalization became a commodity is clear indication of how complex the world that we have has become. The Yale article on Globalization and Markets makes the point.

Complicated new financial tools outpaced the comprehension of regulators, bankers or customers

This is the danger of Complexity in GIXBang world. When Globalization is the focus - complexity increases without warning and it engulfs the world in dimensions not even comprehensible.

How to design globalization taking care of complexity is what Innovation should be focussing on - therein lies the play - the globalization, complexity and innovation as three pronged world dimensions need to be taken care of!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When Doors are Opened - Traffic is both ways

When western countries (read US) forced Indian and other Asian economies to open their markets in late 1980s and early 1990s, they believed that they will get large markets for their products as well as cheap labour to work for their leisure and pleasure. They forced economies to open through multiple thrusts and forces that the so called poor protected economies had no means to push back. They relented. In 1990s opening of Indian economy by current Prime Minister, who was then finance minister of India was cricized and generated a feeling of fear of new products coming in India thus ending the so called monopoly of existing players in protected economy.

Well a decade later, the story has been turned on its head. It is the hunter who is feeling hunted now. The asian industries due to the strong innovation capability in a constrained environment that they are used to, have created a much bigger impact due to spreading globalization - for the simple reason that their people, are more used to ingenuity in adpating to change. And the change is what has exploded due to globalization spread. In the Connected Age, the early adpaters will thrive.

The article in NewYorker on Tata Invasion is the current example of what is the feeling in the country like US - the response to Tata's Nano which my friend Prakash analzed at his blog and the attempt of Tata to acquire the high end Jaguar and Landrover is - Tata who?

Well, it is not really important that Americans should know who is TATA, I think the scenario is emerging when the era of lazy, lesiure seeking, materialistic, automation dependent humans - in any society - either in US, Europe or Asia will end - it will be the age of continuous creative work - that will lead to the future - under constraints of living as per existing parameters of consuming natural resources.

Having said that, it will be difficult for anyone to miss TATA now because of TATA NANO - an output that has shifted the focus so much towards other side and which is contrarian to standard way of high end, big automobiles.

"Honey, I shrunk the AUTOMOBILE" - may be some EGOS as well!!

The NewYorker says, "But such an outcome wouldn’t change the fact that developing countries are now producing genuine global contenders. Globalization, it once seemed, was mainly going to give companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan billions of new customers and plenty of cheap labor. But it has also meant that these companies have had to face many more real competitors than they once imagined. When we persuaded developing countries to open their doors to us, we also opened our doors to them. Now they’re walking through."

Well, when doors are opened, TRAFFIC is BOTH WAYS -

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jugaad - The way India Innovates

Praveen Gupta's Global Innovation commentary at realinnovation describes the way Indians solve problems in a non-linear way - it can be called as working the system also - some say exploiting the system weaknesses, I think it is important to understand that over the years Indian mind has understood that Systems cant be designed for all possible future scenarios hence it is important to have people with ingenuity and flecibility to solve problems.

My Comments to Praveen's post I am reproducing below
I think this is an excellent piece that you have written - and see how fluent it is - it is the real experience. We in India are continuously, regularly living through Jugaad, especially people in Delhi. Jugaad is slang for "Jugat" (in Punjabi) which actually has its root in "Yukti" in sanskrit - it is a word for solving a problem that typical linear logic will not work - it is a really the inherent capability of people to solve problems creatively. I havent found any other word in hindi/sanskrit that is close to english Innovation.

Coming to Jugaad, Jugat or Yukti - India has fantastic examples of "Jugaadu" guys (typical north Indians are considered Jugaadu) solving unsolvable problems - I also believe it is the harsh realities that India has faced for last 300 years or so that has created this street smartness in many Indians.

This Jugaadu ness is difficult to comprehend for a mind that is trained to follow systems as if future is predictable, controllable and determinstic. I think the realization that it is not about A PROCESS or A SYSTEM or AN ALGORITHM alone - it is really all about utilizing everything iota of thinking that you can utilize, that helps Indian mind to adapt and thrive in times of rapid changes. As long as the world changes at a slower pace - till late 1980's - the system creation, process creation etc works. As soon as the pace of change increased exponentially, eastern minds are able to thrive much more in the age of rapid change!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What I would like to achieve in my life?

Three years back I asked myself this question, " What I would like to achieve in my life?". What came out is what I reproduce below

What I would like to achieve in my Life?
Create and develop a world of Global Collaborative Creative Innovation!

I strongly believe that human beings exist to create. The only reason why we have such developed minds and intelligence is to generate something different everytime, something that improves the situation around us and ultimately the world that we live in. By providing us with this wonderful ability to create, nature has provided a self-sustaining system of living beings that are designed to survive and thrive despite multiple adversities. The world although having benefitted with extraordinary application of human intellect in multiple dimensions, has somehow not created a robust, self-sustaining, thriving and global human intelligence which builds and develops on each others ideas and creativity. Collaboration to create, to ideate, to innovate, to build, to craft, and to develop together through synergistic exchange across borders, languages, cultures, even civilizations has somehow been lowered to the bottom of our priorities. The narrow personal, commercial, national or ideological hoarding of economic and knowledge resources have become the sole agenda of multiple nations, organizations and individuals to act for petty, linear and sustaining power gains. I want to dedicate my life into building, creating and maintaining a world of Global Collaborative Creative Innovation which will align humanity to the objectives with which nature created us in the first place.
Building a Global Collaborative Creative Innovation Organization

I have reached to the conclusion that all differences created by geographies, language, national boundaries, color, caste, religion, etc are the biggest hinderance to world progress and in turn my progress.

Having worked in Government, Commercial, Mutlinational and Innovation based companies and organizations in the globaling world, I am convinced that I need to create an organization that truly generates and builds upon ideas of global citizens to solve multiple problems and take humankind to the next level of civilization. The proposed organization will leverage multitude of technologies, techniques, methods, tools and knowledge to create and generate innovative solutions for problems that plague the world around us. This organization will provide multiple information, knowledge, and innovation services through a benefit sharing model of collaborative ideation and development. It will connect with individuals as well as the powerful organizations to build a world of continuous creativity.

The new world is driven by and is driving knowledge and networking. The biggest enabler of this rapidly globalizing world has been the rapid pace of technological advancements. Greatest challenge lies in knowing about these advances and carving out solutions to problems impacting the world. Facts, information and knowledge about these advances is one dimension of the work that this organization needs to collate, create and develop. Second dimension will be culling out creative and innovative solutions for solving world problems at the systemic level. These solutions will not be ivory tower philiosophical theories, but feasible, actionable, executable, results oriented operational answers to these problems. This organization will become the idea hub of the world, creating solutions for geopolitical, economic, commercial, technological, social and environmental problems of the earth.

Writing, Teaching and Consulting

These are my core skills, that I have seen developing over my professional life. I have been thoroughly successful and I enjoy these as well. The Global Innovation Organization will be an ideal pad for me to exercise my passion and align my core competencies with my life goals. I plan to make this organization operational in year 2010. I would have completed 20 years of my professional life, gaining multiple skills by that time. I would have finished writing atleast few more books. I would have explored many other innovation, creativity, problem solving and decision making methodologies. I would have honed my consultancy skills further.

Development of Global Competencies

During my professional career so far I have interacted, worked and served many global clients. However, I still feel a comprehensive understanding to what plagues the globe requires a thorough and focussed study of what is going on across the world. Journalism may be an ideal vocation for understanding the world, but given the technological and problem solving exposure I had through my education and training, I think I need a deeper study through multi-dimensional dialogues with global thinkers.

Global networking emanates from global exposure and collaboration. I need to develop global networks of multiple thought leaders to create a Global Innovation Organization.
Just thought will share this - looks like 2010 is just 24 months ahead!

Lenses for Innovation Hacking - Gary Hamel

James Todhunter's post on his blog led me to Prof. Gary Hamel's Management 2.0 article on Innovation Hacker

Interesting Gary says four lenses that are needed to come out of the "fog of what is" - these are and I quote Gary -

1. Unchallenged orthodoxies—the widely held industry beliefs that blind incumbents to new opportunities.
2. Underleveraged competencies—the “invisible” assets and competencies, locked up in moribund businesses, that can be repurposed as new growth platforms
3. Underappreciated trends—the nascent discontinunities that can be harnessed to reinvigorate old business models and create new ones.
4. Unarticulated needs—the frustrations and inconveniences that customers take for granted, and industry stalwarts have thus far failed to address.

Well, these are interesting questions, however, the methods to get to other side of fog, really need to be experimented with. My comments posted at the site, I am reproducing below,

Dear Prof. Hamel.

I think the operating phrase is "anyone who is genuinely eager to “see differently.” ". I have been teaching various techniques, methods, methodologies as well as practicing these techniques in overcoming all the 4 U's that you mentioned over the years.

And I think it is clear, not all just start using it in their daily grind. They like every such workshop, seminar, and new techniques - but is it really a few who are as you said genuinely eager to see differently, who get up and start taking it forward. I dont really see any large company CEOs really fall in that category - really - as they have become large only by repeating what they have doing for decades - the scale-up process. So far the world was not changing as fast, as it does nowadays, - Now it is unavoidable for anyone to not to be geneuinely eager to see differently. May be the eyes need to be reinforced with diferent lenses. I have been experimenting so far and I think three clear winners are seen Lean Thinking from Toyota, TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) and finally Systems Thinking. I call it the LIST (Lean Inventive System Thinking) framework - in contrast to our long running Analogical thinking. You can get more info on LIST at

I came to this article from James Todhunter's blog

- Posted by Navneet Bhushan
January 16, 2008 00:54

Friday, January 18, 2008

Expiry date for PhD's

The article at Rediff is an interesting one. The Author proposes a 10-12 years shelf life of a PhD degree. So Dr. So & So, you became from today (10-12 years later) Mr. So&So as you didnt renewed your PhD.

Just to quote from the article,
So if publications, even in the best peer-reviewed journals, won't deliver foolproof results -- and this is all too evident in economics -- what is the way out for qualifications renewal? The US medical profession offers a good solution.

There, after every ten years, every doctor has to pass an examination which is of the most exacting standards. The idea is to make sure that the person has kept abreast of new developments."

My Suggestion is instead of PhD expiry, include what the scholar has done afterwards, so if he has published 5 peer-reviewed papers after grant of his PhD say in 1982 he should be allowed to append after his name So & So, PhD-1982/P5, if he hasnt produced any paper but written 2 Books, he should be called So & So, PhD-1982/B2 or if he has authored 1 book and 15 papers, he should be called So & So, PhD-1982/B1/P15. Well, I think we can go on and on....

Come to think of it, whats the real need to have PhD expiry. However I liked the last suggestion for Indian Adminstration Services expiry as mentioned in the article, " a PhD could 'expire', persons who on the dint of passing just one exam (like the IAS one) should not be required to pass more exams during their career. Imagine, someone who passed the IAS exam in 1972 can float along until one day he reaches the top policymaking posts merely because he didn't, along the way, severely piss off some boss. Indeed, that is the only requirement in government service to reach the top."

Just could not stop myself for commenting on this article. May be sometimes exploration of non-sense can lead to something interesting as well!

Structured Brainstorming from HBR

The article from HBR on Structure Brainstorming is an interesting one.

Although the article summarizes the process, it doesnt give anything that is not known - or practiced. Yet the way these articles get written and published seems to be consolidation of existing methods or literature.

Should not be taken as criticism of HBR, as I have found some really excellent papers and ideas over the years.

Yet .....

Word of Mouth Marketing

I have been studying various viral marketing, word of mouth marketing, idea diffusion, creating tipping point papers, lately. People are trying to build an explanation that I presume started with TIPPING POINT by Malcolm Gladwell in his mid 1990's book of the same name.

Recently researchers are talking about a measurement metric called Net Promoter Score. Although it is not standing the test of time as can be seen in the recent papers - especially in the Journal of Marketing paper.

It may be of interest for readers to explore some of the papers linked below

Net Promoter Score Under Fire

Value of different Customer Satisfaction studies

A very interesting collection of Net promoter score papers and discussions

More than 1000 pages tagged Word of Mouth Marketing

Is there a strategy for creating EFFECTIVE WOMM - just wondering?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do Enterprises have earth shattering ideas?

I ran this survey for about 45 days

We had 9 people voting and total of 10 votes (obviously someone chose two options)
Do enterprises have earth shattering ideas?

Yes, its a problem of fructification

No Number of Ideas itself is a question (2)

There may be many ideas - but the likelyhood of disruptive ideas is less (3)

Larger the enterprises longer it takes to develop ideas

deas dont matter - its all about execution (5)

Number of Votes = 9

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My friend Prakash suggested the following book Microtrends

The tagline is "why smallest groups have the biggest impacts..." I have to read it, looks like Gladwell's Tipping Points explained with different examples. I am planning to read it over the weekend!

Future and Innovation

The fastcompany article why future keeps catching us out says the following points

1. First, many futuristic ideas haven’t shown up, but given enough time they will.
2. Timing is everything and from a purely commercial standpoint, being too early can be just as disastrous as being too late. However, as the inventor Ray Kurzweil points out, "an invention has to make sense in the world which it is finished, not the world in which it started."
3. The second key takeaway is perhaps the point that the future usually arrives subtly and unannounced.
4. Technology tends to change fast and exponentially, while people tend to change slowly and incrementally.
5. why the future is never quite as we expect is because innovations that are logical and technically feasible, collide with people, who are irrational and emotional.

These points about future are explained in BLACK SWAN and FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS where the author claims it is not predicrtable - we dont know how rare events happen, how to predict them or in fact what form the Black Swan may take up is totally unknown, who would have thought in 1980's about the way Internet will make totally different societies than what we were in 1980's. Is this the way Evolution happen anyway?

Fear of Failure - Innovation Decelerator

Fear of failure is threatening innovation - the article in times online is, well, timely.

The article talks about the fact that Frontline - a company considered to redefine the wireless networks in US has been closed down.

The article states at the end

" Innovation in wireless, and more open networks, are clearly desirable from a consumer perspective, and it will take entities from outside the industry to force things in that direction. The fact that Frontline won't be among them shows just how difficult a proposition it is. "

I like the situation, it is not the incumbents who will redefine the market, it will be entities outside the industry who will rededine the industry. This has been exactly the findings of Atlshuller (the TRIZ creator) massive results of millions of patents. The Innovative soluations in an industry emerges from outside the industry due to Psychological Inertia or what I call Winner's Inertia to change the rules of the game. If Google has the opportunity, it has to think non-traditionally to design Innovative open wireless networks.

Is it Top-down thing?

Is it really top-down? The Innovation culture in an organization I mean. According to James Todhunter in the article here the organizations need to understand two principles - It is top-down, and well, it is really top-down.

Although I liked the article - I really disagree with the following statement "Culture begins and ends at the top". In my opinion, culture develops at the grassroots - it is the failure of so called management to understand the organization culture that we need to study and respond to.

Survival of the Sickest

I just picked this book at the Mumbai airport, on the flight to Chennai (a mere 50 minutes) I was almost fascinated by the book. It is called "Survival of the Sickest" by Dr. Sharon Moalem with Jonathan Prince

The main premise of the book is that an individual disease as seen today, is actually a result of survival strategy of the past - in the ancient times our forefathers used the startegy to survive the environment. However, now the body has developed - or mutated to what look like a disease as the extreme environment conditions have changed!

What a potent thought for Organization Innovation as well! In the past we created processes, systems, hierachies etc to survive in the encient environment. However those very structures, methods and processes have now become major oragnization diseases - and we really have no anti-dote for these sicknesses.

I loved the book and the thought where enterprises themselves need to understand what they think and follow may have been a medicicne in the past world - now it is nothing more of a disease!

Ohno Circle in Software Development

My friend Suresh asked an important question in the Yahoo group called NWLEAN ( as follows:

i am in a group that is trying to spread lean in our software services company... i am often left wondering how to do real gemba (go see yourself) in this sort of set up, where the work is virtual and not visible! do you have any experiences of having done this? pls share!

I must say this was really an important question - I asked myself - my response is the following

Hi Suresh,

Lets us look at what is really Ohno Circle (for the uninitiated Ohno Circle is described here) in software development and who should be standing in the Ohno Circle for software projects or software intensive projects? In the non-software, physical world of manufacturing, there is a physical movement that is seen as it happens and flows and value stream decelerators can be observed through non-involved, objective observation. However, in software development as Mary said it is not really possible for someone in the ohno circle to observe, especially if the person has not developed software on his/her own.

This brings to the question how to create Ohno Circle in software? Well, I personally would recommend become the software, that is being developed. When you become the software, you can feel the pain of the software, how much it is sent from one person to another, how much it is chopped and then re-integrated. I have, my personal experience of becoming a software bug, a software project response typically called the RFP response, have also become an ERP system. The value stream that comes out when I become the subject myself is amazing, in its all gory details, i get the emotional pain of the software being developed as it is being worked on various software developers and engineers.

Of course it is easier said than done, but with practice one can I assume become the software that is being developed. Of course it requires tremendous amount of co-operation from the developers as one needs to communicate with all humbleness and dignity that it is not, and I repeat NOT an evaluation of their productivity or assessment of their capability. It is a study to understand what really happens in the software development scenarios and to reduce what I call project cacophony - which is exactly the reverse of Takt delivery (seems to be more prevalent in software development projects) - How close to Takt delivery the project is depends upon whether the design has been crafted as independent units of usable functionality. If yes, then it can be made closer to Takt delivery, else we get into cacophony.

Coming to who should become the software- who should stand in the ohno circle. In my opinion one by one all the team members should stand - and over a period of time they understand the FLOW needed in the software development projects.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Customer Value

It is really about Value. The interview here talks about value articulation rather than listing all benefits of a firm.

Creating resonance with the customer pain areas requires much more deeper investment by the suppliers. Here we need to build competencies to understand the needs of the customers. All said and done, supplier is not the customer, similarly, customers perceptions of what they really need may not be what they really need. Does the supplier knows what the customer needs - many times NO, sometimes yes. In most cases it is important to have a consultative approach to all customer interactions - a partnership with your customers in helping them to fullfill their needs.

The Customer Insights is what the supplier need to focus on - not using pre-defined cookie-cutter soluations - which the supplier would prefer as a cost reducer, but solving problems that emerge from opaque needs of the customers.

What is your Customer Value Model? it is really about Customer Value.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Designing Innovation Learning Enterprises

There are two useful published entries - one an article and other an interview at my company's newsletter - which may be of interest to the readers of this blog. So I thought will just create links for you to have a look at the enteries. This is the company where I am working - that is Hexaware Innovation Labs - HILS as we call it.

The Interview

The article - Designing Innovative Enterprises in exploding global complexity

Would like readers comments!!

Making Your Innovation Happen

Making your Innovation Happen is the topic of discussion at fastcompany Innovation station

Following points have been articulated (by various commentators)

1) self-knowledge and a strong awareness about how other people skills and preferences differ from mine
2) willingness to listen and learn as much as I can about how the organization currently works, and why it's successful, and
3) commitment to looking at all the effects that an innovation will produce, both positive and negative.

Many others have commented some other factors including what Seth Godin says in his 2004 article.

I have been trying to answer this question as many others are as well. My take is that there is no single method - and there is nothing like my method and your method. There are multiple routes, techniques, systems, methodologies that have worked - best method is to explore as many methods as one can, experiment and evolve - in my opinion set-based concurrent engineering (SBCE) is closer to a natural evolutionary way of exploring and creating - doing all alternatives and elminating the weakest ones in the journey is the way the natural selection works - The Natural Selection theorists have got it wrong - It is not the survival of the FITTEST - it is really the ELIMINATION OF THE WEAKEST that propels evolution. Evolution give more and more chances to weakest - yet if the weakest can not live, it dies - however sligtly stronger than weakest are kept alive as they may be carrying a gene that will help others to live better in the future that will definitely change!

Elimination of Weakest is the step that we should choose - yet keeping the survival of all who are stronger than the weakest! Does it make sense?

It definitely make sense to Toyota New Product Development Organization!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Niche Consulting

A new and interesting trend is describe in the article on Niche Consultancy firms growing in India.

The trend indicates multiple issues - the large Indian enterprises need outside India specific consultants who give India connected advise, rather than the designer advise provided by the big consulting firms; Further, Indian Companies need partners to partner with the receivers of the services.

However, the success or otherwise of these firms is sill in early days. The world will need to watch the space for more and greater impacts before proclaiming this to be viable model.

Collaboration 2008

The list of web 2.0 in 2008 (whats In and whats Out) by John Krupi is very interesting.

Whats OUT:

1. BIG IT 2. Integration 3. Consumer Mashups 4. Big SAP 5. Integrate Everything
6. Linkedin the Website 7. All-in-One web Destinations 8. B2B 9. Emailing Excel Speadsheets 10. Portals 1.0

Whats IN:

1. Big User 2. Collaboration 3. Enterprise Mashups 4. Little SAP 5. Let the user Mashup 6. Linked in your Enterprise 7. Embeddable Mashup Applications 8. User 2Business 9. Mashing in Excel 10. Portals

This is a very interesting list - I think its the start of the Co-Creationization in the Enterprises: We co-create with our employees and all the minds that work with the enterprise!

What a change?

International Symposium on AHP, Chile 2007

The 9th International Symposium on Analytic Hierarchy Process (ISAHP) was held in Chile , August 2007. Although I could not participate, my paper titled "Measuring the Value of Information Technology - A Framework, has been included in the proceedings whichcan be downloaded from the Symposium website

It is indeed a pleasant surprise for me to see the paper included in the conference proceedings despite my failure to attend the symposium.

There are many papers on various aspects (indicating the spread of AHP) - I particularly liked the paper -

Andreichicov A.V. and Andreichicova O.N.

Summary: The paper describes a number of computer-supported methods for invention problem solving by using the AHP/ANP. These methods are intended for creating of new mechanisms and may be useful for support of the following problems: strategic forecasting the evolution of mechanical devices having a certain functional assignment; a choice of rational analogues and prototypes from inventions databases;
the synthesis and quality assessment of new conceptual solutions of mechanisms; the evaluation of novelty by examining the inventions. Application of AHP/ANP enables one to promote solving the foregoing problems through a systemic approach involving the use of multiple criteria for decision-making.

However, I am surprised why authors never mention TRIZ as they are quoting and using from Altshuller work - Just reproducing the references below

Altshuller G.S. (1988) Creativity as an exact science, New York, Gordon & Breach.
Andreichicov A.V. and Andreichicova O.N. (1998) Computer support of invention, Moscow: Machine Building (in Russian).
Andreichicov A.V. and Andreichicova O.N. (2001) “A choice of a perspective system for vibration isolation in conditions of varying environment”, Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process ISAHP’2001, Bern, 13-24.
Andreichicov A.V. and Andreichicova O.N. (2003) “The analysis of the technical system’s evolution”, Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process ISAHP’2003, Bali,Indonesia, 121-126.
Jons J.C. (1984) Essays in design, New York, Toronto etc.
Saaty T.L. (1994) Fundamentals of decision making and priority theory with the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Pittsburgh, RWS Publications.
Saaty T.L., Vargas L.G. (1994) Decision making in economic, political, social and technological environments:The Analytic Hierarchy Process, Pittsburgh, RWS Publications.
Saaty T.L. (2001) Creative thinking, problem solving and decision making, Pittsburgh, RWS Publications.
Saaty T.L. (2001) Decision making with dependence and feedback: the Analytic Network Process, Pittsburgh,
RWS Publications.
Zwicky F. (1948) The morphological method of analysis and construction, Courant, Anniversary Volume.

The Analytic Hierarchy Process

The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) - has been so much ingrained in me now that I can sleep walk though any group decision making problem which is quite complex and structure it quite nicely as an AHP problem and create a solution.

This is not a self-boasting statement, it is really the power of the method developed three decades back by Thomas L Saaty it is indeed the simplicity and natural way the AHP gets into a problem that the methodology has enormous power. My book on Strategic Decision Making - Using the AHP shows the width of the method that I have used to solve real-world strategic decision making problems.

Since then I have used the technique to create many frameworks that have been used in variety of scenarios

1. Aligning Enterprise Initiatives with Balanced Score Card
2. Assessment of IT applications for Globally distributed scenarios
3. Creating and Evaluating multiple strategies to achieve long term objectives


Wikipedia has the Analytic Hierarchy Process entry which explains the process. There are many dedicated companies providing AHP based software packages including the Expert Choice

Yet it is such a surprise that AHP has not been so well known as some of the other techniques or methods! What could be the reason - May be the mathematics behind the technique hinders people exploring it - I have to answer this I think, yet I cant find a better method for decision making in a group setting!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Last two weeks I have been absent from the BlogSphere. Many reasons - primary being was down with flu and somehow was not really clear about how to write the 150th post of the year 2007 - yes I posted 149 posts last year which is amazing for a person like me. I tried to follow the lean principle of one-by-one - everyday I was posting atleast one. This trasformation happened in August 2007 and I posted one per day on an average. I thought the 150th post of the year will be a detailed overview of what I did... somehow I missed it - history will tell the loss of me not completing the 150th post of the year. :)

Well - some announcements

1. ChangeThis - I have submitted a manifesto proposal on Value creation in a GIXBang world. If Changethis receive sufficient votes, I will be allowed to write the manifesto. SO Please get up and VOTE FOR THE MANIFESTO HERE.

2. At the TRIZCON 2008 (the prestigious annual TRIZ Conference) my workshop proposal on Lean Inventive System Thinking (LIST) has been accepted. You can register for the workshop asap at this site.

3. James Todhunter of InnovatingToWin Fame has thanked some of his new Blog friends - at his blog He has included me as well - which is a pleasure and privilege as I sincerely believe his blog is fantastic in terms of exposure and depth in the Innovation space - Anyone in the Innovation space is advised to read James at InnovationtoWin

Well - I will stick to my mantra of one post on an average per day from now onwards - Lets see how I will be able to manage -

Wishes for an year of unprecedented achievements for you all!

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