Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Saturday, November 05, 2011
We have seen unprecedented increase in Globalization, Innovation and Complexity - in last two decades. I call it the GIX Bang world - almost like the birth of a new world - similar to the Big Bang that resulted in the birth of the Universe.
Have a look at the GIX Bang world at my column at Frontier India - THE GIX BANG WORLD
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
" India as a country is amazing in its complexity and ability to absorb change – India has absorbed vast amount of changes and adapted to the changing world through inherent strengths. Ability to adapt to the world and adopt the globe as one is summed up in our philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the whole world is one single family. However, time has come to advance this philosophy to creating change along with the global village. This is what is summed in our company’s philosophy as “Crafting Innovation Together”.
Finally India innovates in abstract in a way no one else can. The number of icons, the frameworks, the swami’s, the cults, the “way of life” methodologies, the “road to nirvana” mechanisms that India has created over many centuries, I do not think any other civilization has created. We are greatest exporters of “the abstract”. The strength of abstract actually becomes a weakness in a world that is about machines, the automatons, the robots and mass-scale production.
"However, the new world that we are seeing now needs new ways to solve problems. The new age of innovation requires new methods to deal with complexity. They are likely to be based on a deeper understanding of indeterminacy, non-linearity, chaos, adaptation, self-organization and distributed intelligence. India scores naturally on all these – much better than any other country. However, we need to inculcate the new methods for a systemic change. We need to make India Innovative. In fact, that’s the only course left for the whole world as the largest population of youngest minds in the next 25 years will be based in India."
The complete Interview can be read HERE
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
I thought it make sense to capture what I explained as a co-crafter - all of us at my company Crafitti Consulting http://www.crafitti.com/ are co-crafters. We co-craft innovation together with all the minds working for and with our clients.
A Co-Crafter is a Simpleton, Scientist and Saint - who starts along with people in a system (experienced domain experts) to reach to the SOUL of the system. He starts every time as a simpleton (IDIOT if you may - in Chetan Bhagat's articulation in his book 3 Idiots) - then he becomes a scientist and finally achieves sainthood - reaching and delivering a wisdom of the system to effect change that is needed - making the system as close to Ideal as is possible. In this journey - he creates systemic change along with people in the system.
Everytime co-crafter starts as a simpleton who has multiple lenses to view reality and many times creates new lenses to look at reality - during this adventures in wonderland he behaves like a scientist - experimenting exploring understanding through the steps of SOUL - See, Observe, Understand and Live - after the simpleton has reached to the SOUL of the system, he starts the change process needed - a change that impacts all around him. Slowly the wisdom gleaned from this becomes the new change that the system needed and experts start developing their expertise in the new change!
A co-crafter is a simpleton who becomes a scientist and then achieves sainthood by working with a system and the people in the system to make the system as close to an ideal system as is possible - He has to be humble, has to accept that he doesnt know and actually need to reach the SOUL of the system by learning to See, Observe, Understand and Live (SOUL) the system. Achieving Sainthood from being a simpleton everytime is a learning process!
A co-crafter takes the organization that he works with to the Simplicity on the other side of complexity - one has to go through complexity. This side of simplicity will keep us simpletons - I hope you can connect with being Simpleton as this side of complexity - being a Saint is on other side of complexity and exploring complexity is being a scientist! - The co-crafter takes the system through a journey of simplicity from this side of complexity to the other side of complexity, breaking and many times shattering the mountains of complexity!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The 6 Ds are
1. DISCOVER - Your business, your market, your social network, your customers or even yourself
2. DEFINE - What is your business and what is the key message of your business
3. DESCRIBE - Elaborate what you defined by describing in detail the customer value that your business is creating or will be creating
4. DEVELOP - Develop the messages/communications for all possible channels - print, TV, online, Email, social networks, micro blog, blog of your company, SMS, and online videos and all possible channels.
5. DEPLOY - Start deploying with an initial design in mind for creating Tipping Point by finding Mavens/salesmen/connectors in the networks of your choice, but before that make your product/service sticky. If you follow Duncan Watts of Small world fame, may be just start telling the crowd.
6. DEDUCE - whatever is happening you need to find out how its happening. Carry out what I call Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) Promoter Score - a combo of Net Promoter Score and Tipping Point framework.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I suggest a reading of James Gleick's book http://www.amazon.com/Information-History-Theory-Flood/dp/0375423729/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310783539&sr=1-1
Also to understand the structural view of information in contrast to prevalent processing view of information - I suggest a reading of http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR880.html specifically Chapter 19
From the first chapter of my new book that I am writing on Crafting New Choices
What is Information: Information is becoming an elusive overused word. As the chapters from the book of information revolution are unfolding, definition of information needs regular reviews. These reviews are becoming more important as the information revolution is becoming more wide spread. The impact of Information is not only increasing in the existing dimensions of human endeavor, it is creating altogether new dimensions of human existence.
Information was initially viewed as being about a message and/or a medium. A new idea emerged where some information is being regarded as material – as lying at the core of all existence, where it may be as fundamental as matter and energy. These concepts are under a slightly clichéd title of Information Physics. However, they are powerful concepts. If matter and energy are convertible physical entities, Information can create both matter and energy in a broader sense of the words. Thus an Informed actor is likely to create something tangible (matter or energy). [In Athena’s Camp] describes two views of Information - Processing View and Structural View. These two views must energize each other for the organizations to evolve into better forms for the future.
The processing view developed in 1940’s through the works of Shannon, Weaver and Wiener – which defines Information as mostly about signals being transmitted between senders and receivers. The universal tendency of organizations is towards breakdown and randomization, i.e., Entropy. All living systems must counter this Entropy, through matter and energy processing. These processes require information. The view has developed that everything is information.
The Structural view of information is about the information that is not doing any processing, it exists embedded in a structure giving it a form and defining its character. Such information is less involved in processing than in structuring.
The fundamental point here is that Information Revolution should be considered from two perspectives – one is the processing viewpoint which is already the dominant one. The second - the structuring viewpoint assumes more importance as the Information Revolution becomes more evolved. Structure and Process are different. However, both are extremely important for the understanding of a system.
The Structural View
All structures contain embedded information. Where there is structure – or pattern or organization - there is information. Embedded information is what enables a structure to hold its form, to remain coherent, even to evolve and adapt. This view says that everything may not be information, but everything has information embedded in it if it has structure. The main point here is that the processing view is not wrong, but in one context after another, it is insufficient if it is made the sole lens for looking at the role of information in organizations. A framework that includes a structural view as well should be stronger analytically and should reveal information to be a deeper and broader concept.
The processing view creates an impression that the organizations can be enhanced by adding new information and communication technologies, without necessarily having to change the organization’s structure in order to adapt advantageously to a technology. However, in organizations where the inertia to change is greater, an emphasis on processing view may make it more likely that structural questions about the nature of the organization are left inadequately addressed.
In contrast a Structural view brings to forefront the values, goals and principles that an organization embodies – on what matters to it and its constituents, from the standpoint of its identity, meaning and purpose as an identity, apart from whether it is doing information processing. A structural view relates to that part of the information revolution that is said to be about Knowledge. Data do not determine the nature of the structure. A structural view underscores how much a vibrant organization depends on the deeply embedded information and how difficult and complex it may be to change an organization. The processing view tends to be more about efficiency and performance than about meaning and purpose. A structural view assumes at the start that an organization’s information infrastructure is only part of the picture; more important is its ideational superstructure. While the processing view tends to illuminate technology as a critical factor, a structural view is more likely to uphold the human capital. While the processing view seems to appreciate quantitative approaches to information, a structural view is more likely to be qualitative.
First major paradigm shift with the structural lens is that it elevates the organization to almost a living organism compared to the other view of organization as a machine processing information. Highly subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches are integral part of knowledge. Knowledge also embraces ideals, values and emotions as well as images and symbols. These soft and qualitative elements are crucial to an understanding of the eastern view of knowledge (Chinese, Indian and Japanese).
Re-look at the Information Pyramid
Although the pyramid seems to imply that higher layers depend upon lower layers that is true only to certain degree. Each layer has some independence. The processing view relates to the lower two layers of the pyramid while upper two layers comes in the realm of structural viewpoint.
DATA -> INFORMATION -> KNOWLEDGE -> WISDOM
The structural view may include – ideational superstructure, organizational structure, technological infrastructure and a linguistic substructure. The Ideational Superstructure is the level of ideas and ideologies, myths and maxims, values and norms, etc. that define the nature of a culture and the structure within it.
The organization structure is the level of particular organization in the company. Broadly the structural view holds that all organizations depend on information and may be analyzed as information structures. This is the level for identifying which entities and areas are concerned with information and communication in the organization.
The level of Technology Infrastructure refers to all the hardware and software systems and all the connectivity that support communications and information flow. The information processing view tends to focus at this level.
The linguistic substructure
Ideally there should be coherence amongst all levels. Information decoherence may bring on structural instability, leading possibly to breakdown or radical reforms.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Bidding for Information Technology Services or Information Technology enabled Services (The IT/ITeS) is a highly context sensitive activity fraught with many uncertainties and impacted by multiple imponderables. Managing an IT/ITeS bid involves multiple stakeholders and skills. The aim of dedicated bid managers is typically to carry out high number of bids in a specific time period and increase the win/bid ratio. However, due to increasing number of bids and the amount of information needed from multiple experts or stakeholders to organize a response for a bid, it is a challenge for the bid manager to organize high quality response to the customer needs in the compressed time lines that invariably creeps in despite the best intentions. This impacts the overall quality of the bid response and in fact impacts the win-bid ratio to a considerable extent. There is a need to ease the task of bid managers to generate responses to a large number of bids where each bid has its specific peculiarities and each bid may require multiple mix and match of existing services that the IT services company provides.
Crafitti was involved in working with a large Indian IT/ITeS Company to improve the effectiveness of the Bid Management system. During the initial interactions with the Bid management team in the Telecom Services Provider (TSP) vertical specific pain areas were articulated by the team. It was decided to use the Innovation Crafting Framework for solving the pain areas. This framework propels the team to take a holistic approach by taking the problem through clearly distinct phases of –
(I) Problem Formulation/Exploration/Definition
(II) Ideation/Solution Generation/Brainstorming
(III) Solution Development
(IV) Solution Evaluation
(V) Solution Implementation
(VI) Monitoring of Benefits.
Each of these phases require half-day workshop with almost half day of offline work by the teams per week for over 5-6 weeks as the case may be. This report describes the complete process and also documents the key solutions and improvements created using the Innovation Crafting by designing a new Bid Management Enabling Framework.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
1. EVERY ONE CAN BE AN INVENTOR!!
2. THERE ARE STRUCTURED METHODS TO INVENT
3. EVEN IF YOU ARE ALREADY AN INVENTOR - THESE METHODS CAN HELP YOU MAKE STRONG INVENTIONS
CRAFITTI CONSULTING along with Talwar and Talwar Consultants offer a unique Workshop on 4th of July 2011 at Chandigarh, India.
HOW TO BUILD STRONG INVENTIONS instead of just hoping for serendipitous random ideas to fructify requires a fundamental shift in thinking. This needs aids, techniques and methodologies that are helping many to Invent.
We offer these methods as a strong How to Invent workshop in India.
To Register, please send an email to email@example.com
Please look at more details at HOW TO INVENT WORKSHOP!!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The method that I have been following has the following three key parameters
1. Customer Value - To know more one can read HERE
2. Business Potential
3. Readiness and Feasibility
Now the trick is to carry out a pairwise comparison using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
The Output given below - gives on the x-axis - relative score for Enterprise Readiness and Feasibility of the idea and y-axis gives a relative score of Customer Value. The size of the bubble gives the relative score for Business Potential.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
that analyzes expert opinion - combining delphi method and crowdsourcing.
Have a look HERE.
I think this is the search for a killer app in "Meaning" - after email, after social networking - what next!
Meaning will see more and more apps!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
What is Crafitti's vertical? Please visit http://www.crafitti.com
Well, I am afraid it has to be OTHERS or ALL!
As we are an Innovation Research and Consulting firm - and our existing clients include.
1. A consumer care company (one of the big Indian companies)
2. A Motorbike manufacturer in India ( one of the top 5)
3. A Consumer Electronics Giant ( one of the top 5 in the world)
4. Many Software Services Companies
5. An SME in Engineering products (mining equipment)
6. Intellectual Property firms (patent analytics, patent lawyers)
7. One of the top three Oil (petrol) firms in India
8. Many Start-ups
9. One of the World's top 3 Data/Information companies of the world
and so on ...
We also have the India's first online patent analysis product using our own propriety algorithm called SocialCitnet http://www.socialcitnet.com
Hope it make sense - unfortunately we cant be bucketed in any vertical and may be an horizontal called "Innovation"
Looks like Crafitti's very existence as a Horizontal on Innovation in Business, Science and Technology - is a change that the world has not seen!
Hence very existence of Crafitti is an Innovation!
I keep on going back to our initial conversation in 2008 with a set of evaluators - when we told them we are an innovation research and consulting firm
They said are you McKinsey of the world, Google of the world or the Infosys of the world. My answer then was - may be we are all of them and none of them at the same time - but definitely we are the "Crafitti" of the world!
the answer STANDS today as well! We empower ideas together!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
We need to start the Next Freedom Struggle - To make India Innovative - !
"Ideas" are those thoughts that become the genesis of change - these may be serendipitous or may be orchestrated. Since the genesis of change and in turn innovation (successful change creation) lies in ideas - it is must to enable ourselves with ability to generate ideas through thinking - may be systematically or may be through random triggers to the mind - Both are fine - but we need new type of thinking.
A new integrated thinking where three new thinking dimensions become important - "value thinking" - which has also been termed lean thinking, inventive thinking and finally holistic thinking or systems thinking. These three combined with existing analytical and logical thinking - is the framework that we call LIST (Lean Inventive Systems Thinking) - and our company CRAFITTI CONSULTING offers this an integrated approach for making your organization and in turn your country innovative.
3 rules while keeping wickets - that I learned during my more than a decade of wicket keeping -
(a) never get up before the ball hits pitch
(b) always join the gloved hands by keeping the little finger of your right hand on the little finger of your left hand
(c) most likely the snick will come to u in the first ball of the start of the match and after any break!
There are very interesting life lessons in this as well - ! Do you get it?MY LESSONS
(a) Decision making based on facts - delay decision as late as you can (Toyota's principle as well)(b) A catch vs a drop depends upon how closely you work as a team - two hands need to be joined - there should not be any gap
(c) Complete continuous concentration on what you are doing - a small nap and opportunity escapes!
~~ These are my lessons ~~
Can you write your own lessons?
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
One more version of the interview (more complete) was published in The Hindu. One can access that version HERE
The complete Q&A I am also including below (the unedited interview :))
1) First, what is software innovation? And, why is it important?
Before getting to “software innovation”, it is important to revisit what is software. Software has been defined as instructions and data structures (computer programs) that when executed on a machine provides desired function and performance along with documents that describe the operation and use of programs. The essence of software entity has been described by Brooks in his classic The Mythical Man-Month, as complexity, conformity, changeability and invisibility that makes it inherently difficult to build. Further, unlike hardware, software doesn’t “wear-out”, rather it evolves by addition of new functionality.
Now, let us look at software innovation. To me a very useful definition of innovation is successful creation of change by (new) ideas. Combining the above, software innovation has to be successful creation of change by new ideas in developing computer instructions, data structures and associated documents. This should include how to develop software, how to evaluate software and also what software to develop to achieve desired functionality and performance to meet a need or set of needs. I call this the software innovation triangle – the two “how’s” and one “what” of software innovation.
Coming to the importance of software innovation, software has transformed our world in multiple ways than many of us would even comprehend. In my book, Strategic Decision Making – Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process, I described technology to be the most important factor defining the structure of current and future world, besides the factors such as power systems, geo-political systems, social systems, economic systems and forms of organization. Starting from our mobile phone or rather mobile device – it is the inherent software based changes that are giving us a new functionality every day!
2) How are large tech enterprises approaching software innovation?
I mentioned three key parts of software innovation triangle – creating successful change in “how to develop software”, “how to evaluate software” and most important “what software to develop”. The large tech organizations are grappling with how to use software to solve client problems, provide new ways of achieving key functions, faster, better and cheaper. In this regard, the relevant infrastructure needs to be developed. The inherent software in infrastructure (IT or non IT) need to be a creator of change. Third, managing the inherent information complexity that has been enmeshed in the large organizations need to be either untangled or made useful. All these require software innovation. The product development companies – protect the “What software to be developed” part of software innovation triangle. They define, describe, contextualize, get Intellectual Property Rights and then get to the development part. In the “how to develop software” – they look for in-house software development structures, outsource to another organization or look for open source development. Finally, in the third part – “how to evaluate software” – which also includes software testing, measurement, metrics, reliability and other quality metrics, they look for in house or third party software evaluation. In all the three, they would like to look at software innovation per se. The large IT development companies are looking at “how to develop software” and “how to evaluate software”. Specifically, Indian IT companies are focused predominantly on how part of software innovation triangle. Indian It companies need to focus on “what” part of the software innovation triangle, as it not only has more value but it is that leg that one can protect by ways of IP rights as well.
3) Do you see software innovation happening in smaller enterprises, too? Any examples.
Historically large enterprises have innovation-inertia. The next software changes – be it something that SAP, Dell, Amazon, Wikipedia and Google did in 1990s, or Skype, Facebook and Twitter did in last decade, will most likely be created by smaller enterprises. What these companies did was the “what” part, hence their valuation and value created by them was much more than say companies that were focusing on “How” parts of software innovation triangle. Indian IT services companies have been predominantly focused on “How” part of software innovation triangle. Even large technology companies, although they themselves want to create the “what” part of software innovation, they want their partners – whom they outsource the software development – to focus on “how” parts of software innovation. Obviously, it is in their interest to keep the software development partners to continue to be in “how” part of software innovation triangle. Software development companies need to figure out “how” to do “what” part of software innovation.
4) What do you see as the major challenges faced by software innovation?
Scale is the first challenge. We are making big systems and these large systems are evolving into humungous systems. The methods, principles, capabilities one uses to make systems at a particular scale are found insufficient when the scale increases and complexity explodes. The glue that is making systems huge and evolving into higher and bigger forms is software. The increasing demands on “what” of software innovation at large scale need new “hows” of software innovation. Scale – requires multiple changes in the way human-machine interaction evolves, decentralized ways to implement network forms instead of hierarchical forms of system organization, ways in which design is becoming central to creating meaning, top down engineering is replaced by computational emergence based on mechanism design, and adaptable and robust system infrastructure and system quality for the uncertain future. Since software is the glue, “what” software to build to solve world problems pertaining to sustainability, harmonizing global economic imbalances, creating a connected future for the globe and minimizing terrorism causes and impacts, are the key challenges.
5) Any suggestions on the policies and framework that can promote software innovation?
Surprisingly, despite 150 years old proposal by Darwin’s, “Evolution” as a model of reality is a recent phenomenon. The technical systems, just like living beings, also evolve was discovered by a Soviet Engineer, Altshuller, in 1946, after studying scores of patents in multiple domains. He used this study to propose a Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (acronym TRIZ in Russian). TRIZ identifies discrete technological stages on lines of evolution. TRIZ evolution lines based on system laws can be very nicely used to generate next generation concepts. As mentioned software systems also evolve, a software innovation framework need to have TRIZ, definitely. Second component is Lean thinking coming from actual practice by Toyota motors. However, Lean considered by many as waste reduction (and mapped to people reduction in many IT companies), is not what I propose. It is Value Maximization view of Lean that I would like to consider. Finally, systems thinking - which includes scenario planning, thought experiments and understanding the new sciences of complex adaptive systems and network centric organizations – including social networks, is the third component. This combined framework I call the Lean Inventive Systems Thinking (LIST). However, LIST by no means eliminates the analytical and logical thinking that have stood the test of time. In effect LIST integrates Lean Thinking, Inventive Thinking and Systems thinking, together with analytical and logical thinking for software innovation challenges. LIST as the five dimensional thinking framework has great potential.
6) Other points of interest.
I think time has come for Indian IT companies to start defining the “what” part of software innovation triangle. This is a challenge as the existing IT companies have been winning by continuing to be in the “how” part of software innovation. Now we need to move towards the “what” part and one solution that I can see and offer is Lean Inventive Systems Thinking (LIST) – a potent framework combining analytical and logical thinking with three different forms of thinking to own the future.