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Monday, March 31, 2008

3rd Gen Outsourcing Model

3rd Generation IT Outsourcing Model

This term seems to have been coined by General Motors (GM), when GM moved from EDS as a single-source IT supplier, to the new model of dividing the whole IT chunk into smaller more manageable units to be executed by different vendors – the so called multi-sourcing scenario.

The challenge lies in following areas in this so called 3rd Gen Model:

The coordinator of the multi-sourced IT vendors, who also happens to be one of them
The end-to-end ownership of specific applications (development, performance and maintenance) – with the client washing-off their hands from it

Another important reason is the increasing concern and in fact demand from the business (read CEO) is how to create alignment of IT with business. In the earlier generations this was missed. IT Value measurement and alignment with business is the reason for trying to define the alignment as clearly as possible. I think the key of the 3rd Gen Outsourcing is IT alignment with Business Objectives where vendor works cohesively with the client and other outsourcing vendors in clearly aligning IT with business objectives.

Competitive Advantage in the GIXBANG World

Intellectual Capital

In the rapidly globalizing world of continuous change and cutthroat competition, every enterprise searches for competitive advantage. In this world the only resource a modern enterprise possesses is its quick and accurate decision-making capability.

Knowledge, Ideation, Creativity and Innovation in the enterprise needs to be tapped and harnessed in a systematic manner to create a future proof enterprise. The know-(how, what and why), business processes, Information Systems, databases, decision-making systems and organizational structure forms what are called Intellectual Assets. These assets need to enmesh with the human capital, convert it into value for the enterprise and its end customers in combination with its complementors, customers, suppliers and even competitors.

The value created by this interplay of Human Capital and Intellectual Assets needs to be protected, leveraged, and converted into Intellectual Property (IP) for attaining competitive advantage in the new world.

Numerology, Forecasting and Naming

What is in a Name? Looks like lot of things.

I have been trying to find out a name that a set of people should agree. It has to be cathy, short and more importantly follow the numerology constraints as well.

Numerology maps alphabets to numbers and then based on the numbers, the numerology framework tries to predicts the future of the entity with a particular name. There are two main systems of mapping alphabets to numbers that are followed. First one is fairl straight forward as one can see below

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The second system is as follows _ it is little non-symmetrical as the system avoids the digit 9. I will explain why 9 is avoided later. The second system is as follows

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Lets say you want to name some thing, say Ladoo - To use the framework - we map Ladoo (each letter to the specific digit)

First Sys 3 1 4 6 6 = (adding all the digits) 20 = adding 2 + 0 = 2
Second Sys 3 1 4 7 7 = (adding all digits) 22 = adding 2+2 = 4

The unitary digits that we get by adding all the digits in a name tell us the characteristic of the name. According to first system the reduced single digit is 2 (2 is the number for Moon). The entity named Ladoo will have characteristics like moon. Similarly reduced number as per system 2 comes out to be 4 (which is the number associated with Hindu Mythological character named Rahu).

Typically if you want good attributes it will be great if the number is reduced to 1,3,5 or 6. Other numbers will create some issues typically.

May be now you will choose the name judicially,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Purpose of Education

Purpose of Education

Well to my mind it is not about teaching subjects, languages, skills or 3Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) - IT IS REALLY TWO FOLD

1. Help student solve problems - imparting in them problem solving skills
2. Learning to learn - How does the student learns and continuously learns is important

How to create Learning
- create relaxed minds - but make them alert to all changes, signals etc that they can pick (the Relaxed Alertness)
- expose them to multiple experiences - Life experiences are essential
- give them ability. methods and tools to process experiences that they had to cull out learning and imbibe within themselves.

I really believe teachers and students should look at these as the key objectives!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Socially Useful Productive Work

In my school days we had a specific subject called SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work). There we were taught carpentory, candle making, crafts etc. That was considered SUPW. Those days I could not understand what is SUPW.

Now in hindsight I realize the subjects we were taught - languages, mathematics, science etc, somehow was not viewed as SUPW. May be the thinking was if the student do not get further education, he will have some skills to make a living.

I realize in my working life - in career of science and technology, that sciences and math taught to us actually was not considered socially useful by the teachers - as I realize very few teachers actually tried to co-relate what they were teaching with real life. I was lucky to have mathematics and physics teachers who were able to some how bridge the gap. But not for example the biology teacher. Hence my interest in physics and math. Similary we had a fantastic teacher in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Neural Networks during my Masters classes - and I can say I sustained interest in these subjects later on as well - but not for example in Databases!

Well can we make each subject taught in the schools Socially Useful Productive Work! May be we can!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Knowledge Worker Productivity

Well, some day I had to quote the Guru anyway, so why not now.

Peter Drucker says SIX major factors determine knowledge worker productivity (KWP)

1. KWP demands that we ask the question what is the task?
2. It demands that we impose the responsibility for their productivity on the individual K workers themselves. KW have to manage themselves. They have to have AUTONOMY.
3. Continuing Innovation has to be part of the work, the task and the responsibility of KWs
4. KWork requires continuous learning on the part of K Worker, but equally continuous teaching on the part of K worker.
5. Productivity of KWorker is not - at least not primarily - a matter of quantity of output. Quality is at least as important.
6. Finally KWP requires that KW should be seen and treated as an asset rather than cost. It requires that KW wants to work for the organization in preference to all other opportunities.

Well, when the GURU speaks - we need to listen. All IT companies out there - please understand Kilo Lines of Code / Person Week is a ridiculous measure of productivity. In fact such a foolish measure actually!!!!

The Kalki Avataar - Singularity

Karthik mentioned that in a way the 10 Avataars of Lord Vishnu as per Hindu Mythology indicates evolution of life on earth. The 10th Avataar called the Kalki Avataar is suppose to happen during our life time.

The technology Forecasting guru Ray Kurzweil claims the end of human race as we know is near and artificial /Machines will exceed biological intelligence b 2045 AD.

Since Arthur C. Clark died last week, as a tribute to the Science Fiction Writer, I predict, The Kalki Avataar will be half machine half human. I hope this is not blasphemy.

By definition then, the 10th Avataar has to be created by humans - not necessarily through biological processes alone but ma be through artificial process as well.

Let us wait - or shall we start thinking of making the next Avataar!

Work-life Balance, Vedic Triggers and Brainstorming

About a year back we did a brainstorming session using Vedic Triggers on HOW TO CREATE WORK_LIFE BALANCE facilitated by Karthik. Just reproducing the results below:

•Let Office be Open 24 hours (Flexi-hours – Put in 45 Hours a week)
•Tele-working – Allow all to work from home
•Make “Work” “Life” = Come to work with Life (spouse kids) – Let Work become Life
•Force people to leave office everyday after they have continuously put 10 hours – Office Ejection Seat
•Make work Fun -> Can games be used as a process to develop work?
•For each person – let him/her decide Life and work and develop his own plan to work and life

Vedic Trigger – One Less than Before

•Do a complete Value stream on yourself for a week or two – Eliminate the least important activity systematically from the activities – One Less wsteful activity per week – e.g. watching TV
•Look at # of meetings in your workplace -> can we reduce one meeting less per day
•Minimize Ad-hoc interventions to other and avoid to yourself also

Vedic Principle – Turn it Around

•Create work life Imbalance – For one week work for 24 hrs/day and next week live life 24 hrs/day
•Time/Activities in Life where work can be embedded and in work time/activities where life can be embedded
•Start working as if that is life and Live as if it is Work

Vedic Trigger – Join and Separate

•Can some elements of work and life be joined – Create Modular Life and Modular Work – Plug and Play Work-Life – in Time and Space
•Life during work – Find Life (friends, family) in work – Create your own group of like minded common friends – Start your company Jointly
•Separate work completely from life – Clear demarcated time points – For Life and Work

Innovation Crafting Toon

Friday, March 21, 2008

Innovation is Social, Invention can be individual enterprise

Innovation is Social, Knowlegde is Social and Man anyway is a social animal.

Innovation is more of a Human enterprise rather than an individual enterprise.

Therein lies the challenge of Innovation. The creator and inventor may found wanting in the social skill needed to convert ideas into innovation (I still keep the definition "Innovation is successful exploitation of ideas") And ideas as my friend Karthick says are not really easily available despite the contrary perceptions built by many Gurus.

May be to make innovation happens - ideation needs to meet social engineering!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Uselessness of Patents

Well, if you were waiting to verify the assertion that Patents indeed were useless - here comes the evidence from empirical research on cost and benefits of holding patent rights.

The book is called Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk.

The author's interview at Forbes is really an eye opener - for people who have been following blind anyway...
Their conclusion
Meurer and Bessen concluded that in every industry, except pharmaceuticals and biotech, publicly traded companies spend more money litigating to protect existing patents and paying fees to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office than they earn from the same patents. (Bessen and Meurer evaluated patents issued by all publicly traded companies between 1984 and 1999.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to Twitter

Just registered on Twitter and mind you I am alread hooked. See my twittering on the sidebar of the Blog.

The email from Twitter reproduced below

Hello, new Twitter-er!
Using Twitter is going to change the way you think about staying in touch with friends and family. Did you know you can send and receive Twitter updates via mobile texting, instant message, or the web? To do that, you'll want to visit your settings page (and you'll want to invite some friends).
Activate Phone & IM: Your Friends:
The New York Times calls Twitter "one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet." TIME Magazine says, "Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app," and Newsweek noted that "Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter." What will you think?
Thanks again for signing up!
- Biz Stone and The Twitter Team


IS THIS THE NEW KILLER APP - Bye Bye Email - I like Twittering :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Engineering Degree and Science Graduates - They are same for IT Outsurcing services

There was a time when B.Tech or B.E. degree was indeed the minimum to really get into core of Computer Science and Information Technology Jobs. Slowly, we had more wider education degree holders e.g. Master in Computer Applications (MCA) also joining in the IT Jobs. Then there are specific IT jobs where commerce and accounting functions need to be automated. Here B.Com, M.Com graduates with IT application training started getting IT Jobs. Now a days we are seeing multiple functional stream graduates working with technology graduates to create end value.

However a sweeping statement as made here by an IT Outsourcing Giant and the drivers for such action needs to be studied little deeply. The article here quotes Premji of Wipro as saying,

"Most of the engineering students can perform as well as an engineer after one year of [on the job] training. They are the cream of the crop and highly motivated," said Premji. "

To me this can be explained in two ways either the engineering education is really not sufficiently different or the work that IT services organization are really doing doesnt really demand engineering degrees. I suspect the reason is closer to the latter. If that is the case, then would not it be better to take the existing engineering gradutates to a higher plane by giving them more challenging work - say a new product design - rather than counting billing rates dollars per hours for fixing field bugs of applications running out there or having to test the badly written computer codes through so-called six sigma processes and making labour factories of software development.

Interesting is the driver for such initiatives as quoted by the article, To keep a lid on wages, Wipro is decreasing the number of engineering graduates it hires in favor of students with a general four-year science degree. Science graduates in India typically command salaries at a level about half of the $750 per month of engineering grads, he said. (This is attributed to the HR)

The defence of such action is below, "They are smart people but could not afford an engineering degree or wanted to graduate in less than four years," he added. "At half the costs of an engineer, this creates an extremely powerful model. Our customers often don't care if we bring in an engineer or non engineer as long as they are trained and smart," he said.

One reason that is missed out is that they could not qualify for an engineering degree admission test which is quite tough in India.

Mind you, I have absolutely no problems with Science graduates becoming IT Honchos - I really am for this inclusion. What really is disturbing is the under utilization of Engineering graduates - they are being converted quickly to Managers by such initiatives.

In the long-run IT and ITES revolution in India may be doing more harm to Engineering, Science and Technology creation capability of the Nation?

Customer Value - Responses to my question on Linkedin

I asked my connections on LinkedIn the following question:

What is Customer Value? Do we really have a clear understanding of it? How do we understand what value we are creating for our customers? Is it really important to know or its just a waste of time to spend knowing customer value?

I have received many answers from many different experts - I really appreciate and thank you all. Posted below are the answers and specific names (some I personally have met some I know only through linkedIn)

Bhanu Potta
Navneet, I would point you to a book "Know Your Customer: New Approaches to Understanding Customer Value and Satisfaction" by Robert B. Woodruff, Sarah F. Gardial I am sure this book will be the best and complete answer to your question. Regards, Bhanu Kiran Potta

Steve Griffith
Understanding it is definitely a challenge but one worth taking on. Understanding customer value, by product/market/geographic segment is the first step in understanding the value proposition that must be delivered. This, in turn, is key to designing a segment by segment value stream which includes only value adding activities produced by the lowest cost internal or external provider. If the customer doesn't value the attributes added by a value stream element, get rid of them. In addition, don't be afraid to seek out the lowest cost source for each necessary element. Web 2.0 and connectivity have made it easier than ever to trade high cost internal functions for lower cost external specialists. Next, dettermine which value streams you can combine because they are similar enough and which ought to be disregarded because they serve only an unattractive segment.

Sunil Raghunathan
Right articulation, communication and understanding of customer value is often a chalenge. It requires one to get into the context, semantics, and sometimes even specific experiences of individual to interpret it. This has and will continue to be a challenge for all and in the realm of art than a science. Our understanding sometimes can get impaired by our own context, semantics and experiences. The wider the experiences an individual/organization has the brighter are the changes of one understanding the context/semantics and the value itself. Understanding or articulating customer value will be the key that would make a difference between a job well-done and also-done. So definitely not a waste of time, I suppose. Having said that I'm more interested in reading the book referred by Navneet to understand how well it reflects the crystallization of the theory that I hold in my mind based on practical experiences.

Shaun Sayers
It is only a waste of time if your intuition is as accurate as hindsight. Sure it takes time and effort to get inside the customer's head, and it can certainly be a pandora's box. However from a risk management point of view it significantly reduces the odds of costly guess-based failures Guesses are great when they work out fine, and then you ask yourself why you need to bother with the rigours of research and analysis. However the reminder comes along with every costly intuition led mistake

Rob McClenahan
Hi Navneet, The paramount value of each customer is vital to the growth and stability of any corporation. If a customer becomes disgruntled, studies indicate the average customer will express displeasure to a minimum of six individuals. Each customer becomes an invaluable linkage to future customers because the same tendency applies to share positive customer service experiences with one's associates. One of the challenges of customer value is a hybrid understanding of three critical questions that contribute to overall customer satisfaction: 1) How do I design product X to offer more and better features than the competition? 2) How do I market product X to increase marketability share in the era of globalization and international competition for market share of competing products? 3) How do I offer impeccable customer service after the sale of product X that will provide each customer with immediate resolution of service-related issues? Each of the three questions can become a work in progress and pose continual challenges to decision makers who are responsible for the product from conceptualization phases to the post sale process. In essence, these questions are strategic objectives and important to never lose focus over because globalization has increased the competitive nature in several business sectors to produce quality results with an emphasis on being responsive to the individual needs of each customer. Thank you for being a valued member of our online community and for using LinkedIn! Rob LinkedIn, Customer Support

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CEAP

I provide Executive Coaching/Anger Management for Physicians. I use a Pre and Post test. Therefore, I am able to see the results of the services which I offer. I also receive positive feedback from those who gain from our interaction. George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF

Cristina Mihai

Customer Value refers to features of your product seen as worthwile by specific groups of people/companies (this would be my pragmatic understanding of the concept). To find out what value we create for our customers we need to ask them what they value :) and then ask again if we deliver...and to do so continuously, because for some reason they tend to continuously change their opinions...:)) Seriously, not taking time to find out what is it they want from you and whether you delive may cost you the business, the profit, not to mention a lot of frustration at the hard times you have getting & keeping your client the time spent on this saves time & money later...

Krishnan G. S.

It is the value for money as experienced by the customer in the product/service used by him. Clear understanding - No. Creating value - by sensing the experience that the customer undergoes. It can be a waste of time if ladder is parked on the wrong wall.

Rishi Wadhawan

It is 10 times more expensive to sign a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. I guess that should be enough reason to offer more to customers in terms of utility, quality and cost effectiveness (all of which constitute value). Any product or service though objectified based on parameters defined by the market, has to be subjective in terms of the though process that goes into developing or delivering it. So it is value and only value (value for money) that will motivate the customer to give his/her/their business to us. I guess this answers the part about what and why.... To determine how we can measure value is again to see the gap between expected and achieved (be it sales, new leads, repeat business or all combined). The results should serve as a clear indication of where the lapses are. Customer Satisfaction Surveys also give a clear picture and pin point the areas of improvement. So unless the individual has exclusive marketing rights (like a patent - which in itself does not guarantee that the product will sell)...i guess a lot of time and effort should be devoted to knowing what the expectations of the customer are and managing them effectively. There is one adage that i try to go by... "Commit Less, Deliver more"

Sam Lund
Excellent question! Customer value ultimately positions your product in the market place. But, while your product features address various aspects of customer need profile, it is never the same for any two customers. Drivers for these needs have different priorities and values for the customer - thus the final value of the product varies in terms of purchase decisions. Putting aside a little bit of time to analyze this reveals wealth of useful information for marketing your product, and discovering not only the correct market segments, but also helps in setting up positive product arguments for them. But then again, you should know what you're doing, and be able to characterize your product in terms of which needs - requirements - does it solve. Connecting these needs/requirements with your actual design&development actions ultimately reveals meaningfulness of your product. A true waste of time might be to develop this product if it does not address anything making sense on the market place...

Manasa Kakulavarapu

Hi Navneet, You have raised a very valid point. My take on this is that customer value is very unique to a particular customer at a given point in time. For instance, if I were a customer, the value that I perceive of a given service will be determined by the extent to which it satisfies my immediate priorities whether it be cost, quality, or something more. However, just because it is dynamic or complex one cannot ignore the same as that is what will make your customer come back to you everytime. It makes more sense to try and unravel the mystery around customer value for long-term customers who give you huge business. Probably, the answer to the question - 'why they continue to give you huge and continued business?' lies in hidden value experienced by the customer! It will be very interesting to hear the view points of the more experienced folks in the marketing/sales roles.

Sandeep Sanwal
Navneet, Very valid question, which need to be revisited again and again. What is Customer Value? Customer wants to retain the business relationships so that his value goes up. Do we really have a clear understanding of it? We should have a clear understanding of customer business to do that we to deep drive in his business. How do we understand what value we are creating for our customers? Substantial and perceived value will be visible and that will take the relationship to next level in shape of new business. Is it really important to know or it’s just a waste of time to spend knowing customer value?>>> It is very important to know the custom which are being followed to create any Value.

Mark Noske
Customer value is everything and it is the core of all businesses. If companies dont have that understanding then they will struggle year after year. Knowing what a company wants and selling it products or services that can be delivered as promised is vital to biz success. Then continue to add value with value adds that are truly benefitial without the customer requesting u do certain things. Pro active versus re active brgds mark

Terri L Maurer
It seems that value is an individual perception and not one that can be easily defined. Just as 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', you could say that 'value is in the heart and mind of each individual customer'. Take Wal-Mart, for instance. Some people shop there because they value the low pricing. Others like the vast selection. Still others value the late retail hours, or being able to do all their shopping, including food, in a one-stop location. Trying to pin 'value' down to one or two concepts would be very difficult.

Prakasan Kappoth
I think we should start answering this first, "Who are my customers", before identifying the value. In today's world, the definition of customer is contextual considering from the “time & space” perspective. My customer I worked yesterday could have become a vendor today, and I have no idea about tomorrow!. So, the definition of customer value should perhaps need a time associated with it. Going beyond the word "Customer", I would like to call the "stake holders" based on the line of thinking mentioned above. The “situational value” we are creating for our stake holders are measurable in the form of impact.

Deenanath Bantwal
Customer value - we talk about upping services all the time. That is not what I think. For me it is something that is translating to quantitative measures. If you say you have a value proposition of bringing state-of-the-art technologies to deliver to the customer, unless you relate to the following, it becomes baseless a) The customer Hot buttons - immediate pain areas b) The customer issues - general issues c) The motivators - what is motivating him to implement this in his org. You must answer each of them with the customer in context and then give the customer the value proposition around these aspects. Only then you will see the Customer Value emanate from the solution being suggested. PRICE IS NOT THE ONLY CRITERIA R Deena

Anil Samuel
Easiest practical way to achieve this from my past experience is to prototype the idea in a customer centric way, it may simple sequence diagrams, animated viewlets or even a prototype implemented on a branched version of the solution. Then take it from there by planning it and cost into the release cycle.

Sridhar Chakravarthi Mulakaluri
Dear Navneet, Customer value- value perception of our product/service from clients perspective How do we understand it? - By treating each client as unique and engaging them in a dialogue and understanindg their unique needs Importance- with out undrstanding this, no sales, no pricing, no profits and no business. This is the only way to escape comoditization. Best regards, Sridhar

Monday, March 17, 2008

How Random is my Blog?

I have been thinking for quite some time now - How Random is my BLOG? Is there a uniformity in the posts of my blog. What governs the BLOG posts? Is it the Innovation theme or anything at that moment that invokes my interest? Can one predict what will be the next BLOG entry after reading last few enteries?

Is there a Black swan in my BLOG posts?

Does my policy of one post an average per day impacts the quality of BLOG? I Really dont know. But may be a question to ponder - How Random and how much width is OK in the Weblog so that readers can make sense? Who reads the blog is more important or who writes - Am I writing for You - dear reader or for my own self?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Innovation Crafting Framework

Relaxed Alertness - A precondition for Learning

The finding that stress lowers learning and memory as reported here, reinforces what we know, relaxed alertness is the key to learning. For creating a learning enterprise it is imperative to have lower stress on the employees with a focus on creating a relaxed environment - the problem however lies in creating the alertness element of Relaxed Alertness.


One Semester on Innovation Management

About a year back, my friend asked me to think of a one semester Innovation Management course for MBA students. I came up with the following

INNOVATION Management – Harnessing Intellectual Capital

In the rapidly globalizing world of continuous change and competition, every enterprise searches for competitive advantage. Ability for continuous Innovation has always been the competitive advantage that long lasting companies have shown in the past. In the new world with increasing complexities due to increasing globalization, continuous innovation is the only mantra.

Knowledge, Ideation, Creativity and Innovation in the enterprise needs to be tapped and harnessed in a systematic manner to create a future proof enterprise. The know-(how, what and why), business processes, Information Systems, databases, decision-making systems and organizational structure forms what are called Intellectual Assets of an enterprise. These assets need to enmesh the human capital, convert it into value for the enterprise and its end customers in collaboration with complementors, customers, suppliers and even competitors.

The value created by this interplay of Human Capital and Intellectual Assets needs to be protected, leveraged, and converted into Intellectual Property (IP) for attaining competitive advantage in the new world.

This One Semester Course on Innovation exposes participants to various tools, techniques, methodologies and best practices, for generating Synergy in Human Capital, Intellectual Assets and Intellectual Property.

The participants will be exposed to well-established methodologies of Crisis/Seminar Gaming, Thought Experiments, Lateral Thinking, TRIZ, Game Theory and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in a framework developed for a future proof enterprise. Leveraging the vast untapped technical resources in the Patent databases is one of the main components of this framework. With lot of real life examples, case studies, tools exposure and hands on exercises, the participants will learn a practical way to convert and implement Innovation Crafting framework in their organization.

The course will be conducted though group based competitive games through out the duration. The teams will be evaluated on the basis of number of ideas, number of different/ unique ideas, solution comprehension; best action plans to implement, and, how much the tools and techniques taught during the course have been imbibed.

If any team comes out with a Patentable Invention during the course – the team will be awarded maximum grade in the course!

One Semester Course on INNOVAION

Module I: Globalization, Complexity & Innovation – the Interplay

Module II: Human Capital – Knowledge, Ideas, Creativity and Innovation, Brainstorming, TRIZ, Crisis Gaming, Six Thinking Hats, Problem Solving, Decision Making,

Module III: Intellectual Assets – knowhow, Innovation processes, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

Module IV: Intellectual Property – IP Rights, Patent Prosecution, Leveraging Patent Databases, Patent Portfolio Management

Module V: A Blueprint for creating an Innovative Enterprise – Innovation Crafting Framework

Participants Take Away

Understand the Importance of Intellectual Capital (IC)
Harnessing IC – A Practical Framework
Exposure to various tools and processes
‘Hands On’ problem Solving in workshop settings
Role of Intellectual Property and patents in the new world and how to leverage it!
Innovation Crafting Framework for ideation, problem-solving, decision making and Innovation

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reliability Assurance Using Innovation Crafting

Open Innovation - Mixed Bag

Open Innovation is becoming the new mantra everywhere.

The article here points out the other side of Open Innovation as well. The author states that
But there are costs, too. A company can lose control of its own technology, as it leaks out to partners. It can make it less likely, rather than more, that a new product is genuinely new and original. It’s hard on employee relations; is it a prelude to outsourcing or bypassing? And collaboration can be anything but efficient.

The positive side also is articulated thus, "Some of the benefits: getting new ideas, finding hot new partners or employees, killing the “not invented here” syndrome, conducting some early market research, pre-selling before the product launch – and, of course, saving money."

The definition of open innovation really takes the cherry. "The bluntest definition possible: open innovation is what happens when big companies collaborate on a large scale with outsiders – university researchers, suppliers, small tech start-ups – to get new products or services to market."
Mark the word BIG COMPANIES. Last year when I asked a gathering of Big Company executives on a sales pitch," we know when elephants cant stamp they start dancing, when they cant dance do they become more social or open" - the big company executives did not answer. But the real hidden intentions of big companies really is cover risks of small guys eating suddenly what they have created for so many years.
This will be short term, in my opinion, only co-creation with mutual trust has long term sustainability.

Mars and Venus are Surprisingly Similar

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus - so goes the best selling book. Indicating that the Male and Female Humans are actually different. That may be true, however, Mars and Venus actually are proving to be similar as per the news item here. The article states

The new observations show that, despite the differences in size and distance from the Sun, Mars and Venus are surprisingly similar. Both planets have beams of electrically charged particles flowing out of their atmospheres. The particles are being accelerated away by interactions with the solar wind, a constant stream of electrically charged particles released by the Sun.

This brings us to the point, where in we say that conceptual packaging impacts our understanding and our viewpoints much more than reality. We like these metaphors, as our mind like patterns and links - which also leads to a deep desire to attach causality to all our observations. The explanation or story telling is a big issue with our mind - as we like stories and casaulity even if there exist none!

First steps toward Co-Creation

The businessweek article Building through collective innovation, is a small shift towards co-creation from the open innovation trend of last 5 years. Non-competing firms Design departments come together to exchange ideas through an invitation only conference.

I call it just the first step... Next will be the invitation only conference with your Value Net - customers, complementers, competitors and suppliers. This is the age of co-creation. Earlier enterprises realize better it is for all. This actually requires all round mutual trust and confidence in openness to explore future.

Zero sum games will be failures in co-creation scenarios - play the +ve sum games, where in each others capabilities are synergized to create end value!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

web 2.0 and Social Networking

Web 2.0 Vs Social Networking

Is 2008 the Web 2.0 Tipping Point Year - or a hype down Year?

Friday, March 07, 2008

What is Intellectual Property?

According to the post here, Intellectual Property is neither Intellectual nor Property....
The author offers following alternatives to be chosen top rename IP as

Intellectual Monopoly:
Intellectual Privilege:
Imaginary Property:
Others: Imposed Monopoly Privileges (IMPs) and Government-Originated Legally Enforced Monopolies (GOLEMs),
None of the Above:

The author actually misses out the real option - which is ALL OF THE ABOVE! and it really does depends upon the context by the way!

New Enterprises in New World

I have been making various presentations to colleges and universities recently. The last slide typically is coming out as below (Slide before THANK YOU)

o Globalizing World – Complexity Explosion
o Globally Distributed Enterprises are the norm
o Idea proliferation and making it work is a challenge
o Knowledge is Social, Learning is Experiential
o Explore, exploit and develop social computing solutions – Wiki, BLOGS, FaceBook, Second Life – in the Enterprises
o It is really the Simplicity on the other side of complexity!

Competitive Advantage in the Connected Age

In the CONNECTED AGE what is your competitive advantage - from ownership to co-creation.

Lean Manufacturing terms - Glossary

The recent article on Lean Manufacturing Terms, is interesting.
I liked the following terms
Chaku-Chaku: a Japanese word that means “load-load.” It is a method of conducting single-piece flow in which the operator proceeds from machine to machine, taking a part from the previous operation and loading it in the next machine, then taking the part just removed from that machine and loading it in the following machine. Chaku-chaku lines allow different parts of a production process to be completed by one operator, eliminating the need to move around large batches of work-in-progress inventory.

Kitting: a process in which assemblers are supplied with kits--a box of parts, fittings and tools--for each task they perform. This eliminates time-consuming trips from one parts bin, tool crib or supply center to another to get the necessary material.

Value: a capability provided to a customer at the right time at an appropriate price, as defined by the customer.


Are you involved with your clients?

The first step to co-creationization is really to be involved with your customer. For this to happen, you need to build a level of continuous relationship - that need
deep investment of time and effort with the customer
deep observation of what customer does
involving customer in solving his problem through your capability
The Relationship pyramid (initial to final)

1. When you eat together with our customer
2. When you drink together with your customer
3. When you walk together with your customer
4. When ou know each other's secrets

These stages need an increasing level of TRUST.

Ask this question, " Does your Customer TRUST you, and do you trust our customer" - Mutual TRUST is the need!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Co-Creationization Guru CK Prahalad

The report here talks about C K Prahalad's guideline for New world. He says

'From mass production to mass customisation, we are now heading towards personalised co-creation. This means the focus is shifting from vertical efficiencies to creating of nodal chains,'

As I see it, we are talking about a continuous innovation through continuous social interactive c0-creation!

Information Technology is at the center of it! Are we ready to embrace this Hurricane, quickly!

Lean Product Development, Theory of Evolution

The above picture from my paper at last year's TRIZCON explain's the Lean Product Development - the way evolution should be looked at as "Elimination of the weakest" rather than "Survival of the Fittest".

As we start looking at evolution as elimination of the weakest, may be the competition to be the so called best may slow down and world may actually be less stressful, well, may be!

My Strengths

I asked about 9 months back, few of my colleagues on what are my strengths (July 2007).
They provided me with the following picture.
My colleagues were very keen to describe my weaknesses as well. But since I categorically refused to know my weaknesses, they had no option but to find my strengths only. I must say they did a remarkable job as after 9 months I still look at the emergent picture and see these as my strengths.
Accentuate Strengths was a principle that I learnt and am trying to maximize my strengths!

Google Trends - Innovation Quality , Globalization

Revisiting Google trends

Innovation Vs Quality

Globalization Vs Outsourcing Vs Offshoring

Do we think Outsourcing is the way to Globalize (may be one of the most important ways) your business?

Toyota - Vision and Philosophy

The Toyota's Vision and Philosophy website is mindblowing in terms of its richness and history. If you havent visited it, it makes sense to get into it - here

I liked the Toyota Traditions section. The Jan-Feb 2008 post quotes Chief Engineer Takeo Kondo as "to always exceed the expectations of our global customers in our continued pursuit of reliability, durability and off-road performance, and the second is always acknowledging the changing times, progressing technically while improving comfort for all our customers.”
These sort of messages are consistent in Toyota - from top to bottom - it is really an acknowledgement of focus on not success but how to detect and respond to next failure!

Customers Dont know - Suppliers dont know

Some years back US Department of defence talked about Capabilities based strategy, rather than platform or elements based startegy to take care of uncertain future threats. The idea being in an uncertain threat scenario - meaning who will be your ememy in future you cant know upfront - the ke capabilities developed will be enmeshed to create a just in time response to the emerging threat.
In the new world of work, the so called co-creation is becoming more and more evident. The customers dont know what they need and suppliers dont know what customers need. The process is to bring together customer capabilities and supplier capabilities together just in time to craft specific solutions for the client.

Looks like it is the begining of end of Standardization practices... It is newness of each and every customer that will take the business ahead - the co-creationization is the next step to globalization!

Visits to Innovation Crafting - The Clustr Maps

Number of visitors to Innovation Crafting for last 20 days or so are about 368 - This I would not have known but for the ClustrMaps ( Further it gives me the bubbles from across the world and I suddenly feel responsible for what I am writing on the blog. As all of you who hit the blog should get something.

The Innovation S-curve

Innovation is a Human trait. Mind of the Innovator's plays a major role. Further, it is Innovator's resolve to take dreams and convert them into fruitful actions that differentiates Innovation from mere ideas. I have designed various stages of Innovation S curve when the resolve of the Innovator comes into picture and the innovator has to keep the specific thoughts in his mind. I call it the Innovation S-curve - Resolve-Time Stages

My Book @Goodread

My GoodReads