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More than the problem, our inability to handle that problem disturbs us!

Showing articles in Innovationclick to show all.

Did Curiosity Kill The Cat?

Innovation Leadership Influence The Future of Artificial Intelligence 

How to develop curiosity? How to get more creative? Unfortunately, answers to these questions often are vague and abstract. If you want five practical tips to bolster your curiosity, become more creative and innovative, this one is for you. If you want to stay curious and become more creative, start learning the facts for yourself. Stop relying on Google or the internet.

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

High-speed Innovation with Distributed Leadership

Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of 

If you look carefully at the current organizational mix, you will see an exciting emerging trend. Most companies now have at least three different generations in their employee mix. It is interesting because each of these generations looks at management principles and leadership quite differently. So, the question is, with such a wide mix of talent, ideologies, thinking, and operating styles, how do you ensure high-speed innovation? I have rarely seen an employee that wants to be told what to do. Instead, most of them want leaders to trust them for being capable of doing the right thing. And, from that perspective, most of the management principles from the past are not applicable anymore. When we think of a progressive organization and innovation, these factors need to be accounted for.

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

Want to Innovate? Stop Focusing on Customer Problems

Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of 

Okay...let us start with the basic and yet core question. "What is a problem?" Sounds trivial, but it is more than a trick question. A quick Google search might tell you that definition of a problem is, "A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome." So, let us take an example to dig down further. Let us talk about Jimmy, our customer. Jimmy is an art lover and recently purchased artwork in an auction last week. Now he wants to install it on the wall of his living room. But Jimmy does not have all the necessary tools to do that. He does not have a hammer, nails, or drill-machine, etc. In this scenario, Jimmy wanting to install an artwork in his living room is not a problem.

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

When It Comes to Innovation, Data Is Useless

Innovation Leadership The Future of Disruption 

Do you remember the famous quote of Henry Ford? “If I have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But think about it. Why should that be the case? That is when you start to see the limitations of incremental innovation and ideas around it. In comparison, radical and transformative innovations are miles apart, especially when comparing their outcomes. Moreover, the process of selling these (radical or transformative) innovations is significantly different. Incremental innovation is often the “pull-then-push” type, whereas radical and transformative innovations are exactly the opposite. They need the “push-then-pull” methodology of selling the concept. It makes all the difference, along with my assertion and the title of this article. Let me explain.

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

Change The Game with Transformative Innovation

Innovation Transformation Leadership Disruption 

You can also transform and change the game, but only if you think two steps ahead of disruptors. If you want to do that, you must shift your focus from customers’ problems to customers’ intents. When you respond to those intents in the best way you can, you will stay ahead of the curve! However, most organizations are not designed for the third type of innovation, i.e., disruptive innovation. So, when they attempt doing that, they look like a dad dancing at a teenager’s party.

Reading time: 8 min, read now...

Nothing Happens For Decades, Then…

Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of 

This month marks the first anniversary of one such week of the last year. The disruption was certainly unwarranted (the word says it all) and unplanned. However, it highlighted several flaws in our ecosystem at several levels. It highlighted how our ways of doing work have many pressure points. How, several things that we do daily could fall apart by just changing its medium, e.g., meeting virtually instead of in-person. And why we must be agile, resilient, and well prepared at all times. Nonetheless, it already happened! So, what happens now? What comes after disruption?

Reading time: 7 min, read now...

My Manifesto for 2021

Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of Disruption 

Last year I predicted that this decade is going to be a significant one for humanity as I see much disruption planted on the way. Oh boy, was I wrong? Nothing happens for decades, and decades happen in a week. This would an apt definition of what happened last year. But make no mistake, it is far from over yet. And that is why, if you are making any resolutions or manifestos for this year, please factor in these possibilities. Second and third-order effects usually follow any chaos, disturbance, or disruption. And most often, the third-order effects are more prominent and intense. In fact, in engineering parlance, they are known as third harmonics.

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

Why a Better Camera Might Not Make You a Better Presenter

Innovation Transformation Influence The Future of 

When I was a little kid, just about the same time of the year, my family and I went to the local Dussehra festival. It was a fun experience with all different carousels, merry-go-rounds, slides, and many other things. There was this musical instrument seller who had all different kinds of flutes and trumpets. He was playing the flute to attract the audience. Indeed, he had great talent to create that kind of mesmerizing music. I was so fascinated by that; I requested my father to buy one flute for me. Giving in to my nagging, he bought one. I was very excited to play with it and show off my friends that day as we headed back home. After freshening up, I picked up the flute and started playing.

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

Why You Must Stop Focusing on Customer Problems

Innovation Transformation Leadership The Future of Disruption 

You will often hear when someone is talking about disruptive innovation, "Uber didn't kill the taxi business; limited access and fare control did!" And when you hear this, the typical response comes in one of the two ways - the first says, take the help of incremental innovation and try to fix those problems. In contrast, the other response is to adapt to the disruptive innovation playbook. But, I argue, both are not sustainable, not enough!

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

The 13 Principles to Help You Maintain Sanity in Business

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

Businesses often get carried away by the smart technology at the disposal and assume that we can use it to solve every problem around us. Emerging technologies are new hammers, avoid treating all the issues as nails. You must avoid rushing into the emerging future. Instead, deliberate efforts, coupled with thoughtful steps, can yield long-lasting positive results. This approach is crucial because it is challenging to undo strategic and technological mistakes these days. While working with over 85+ businesses of various sizes in the last 20 years, I discovered a characteristic pattern in the companies that were the best and the rest. I have tried to model this into an explainable and understandable form here as The Sanity Model.

Reading time: 6 min, read now...

Role of Tech-ethics in Consumerism and Sustainability

Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future of 

If you think online shopping has made everything easier, you would be so wrong! When websites start to offer you more and more products to purchase, it has long-term consequences on your digital, physical, and emotional environment. Technology can be a force for good. But we need more people with the right mindset for using it. My TEDx talk calls out this idea of tech-ethics by sharing a personal anecdote and finding parallels between the business models being employed by most e-commerce websites today.

Reading time: 7 min, read now...

Innovation in Virtual Presentations

Transformation Innovation Leadership Influence The Future of 

When the first lock-down was imposed, almost all events were canceled. People thought everything would be back to normal in a few weeks. It was anything but that. As everyone came to senses and accepted that virtual gatherings are here to stay, many of us picked up the pace to get our act together. The initial few months gave us enough practice to be reasonably comfortable with virtual meetings and presentations of all kinds. But the novelty is wearing off. People have developed more discerning eyes and ears.

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

The 7 Things a Business Coach Must Do when Working with Founders

Innovation Leadership Influence The Future of 

There is a critical difference between armchair experts and people who have been there done that. Every founder does not have to repeat the same mistake to learn valuable lessons. They can learn from others, only if others are willing to share their mistakes and experiences without adding any spice to their version. People often tell entrepreneurs, especially startups that they need to know their “why”, the purpose of being in the business. But in my experience, they already know it. Instead, the most challenging part for them is almost always — how?

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

My Name Is Google, and I Am a Victim

Innovation Leadership Influence Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

I lure you with the pretense of free services. Then I capture your personally identifiable data and surveil your behavior. I sell that data to advertisers and make billions in revenue, but I do not pay (fair) tax. I also crawl other's websites and show you snippets of news and other content, so you don't have to go to their website often. But, how dare you ask for fair compensation for your data and content? I am not happy. I think it is unfair. Hello, my name is Google, and I am a victim!

Reading time: 6 min, read now...

Three Types of Innovations in Business

Transformation Innovation Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

In his seminal work “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Clayton Christensen discussed the three main forms of innovation. Borrowing from that idea, here is the explanation of the first three kinds of innovation and their impact on jobs, capital, and economy.

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

The Reaction is Instinctive, the Response is Intelligent!

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption 

We see in our daily lives; many things disturb us. Some irate us, frustrate us or make us sad. What do we do with them? Most of the time – we react! It is a natural human tendency to react. However, I think a response has more to offer than mere reaction. Think about the traffic - it is not the traffic that disturbs us. What really annoys us is our inability to handle the disturbance and frustration caused by the traffic. If we know how to keep calm or find a better way out of that traffic, we don't dwell on it much.

Reading time: 3 min, read now...

On Attention

Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future of 

Once an expert thief said to his young son, “Son, you are grown up now. I should start training you early. I want you to become a better thief than I am !” His son nodded in affirmation. Both decided to start the training very next day. The next day – thief says to his son, “Let me first assess your basics. I will give you 20 minutes.” He said, “Your task is to pick my pocket without getting caught. Your time !”

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

A Systematic Approach to Risk Mitigation

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence 

Generally speaking, it is a project management strategy in which a project team imagines a project failure and works backward to determine what potentially could lead to that failure. This working is then used to handle risks upfront. However, in the risk management context, I am going to use this (pre-mortem) term interchangeably to represent a more sophisticated and engineering-oriented methodology, known as Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, i.e. FMEA.

Reading time: 9 min, read now...

Special Purpose Teams in the Future of Work

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

There are two key characteristics defense forces exhibit, which corporates can learn from – the first is agility by design and second, mission-based approach. These two traits make them resilient and help in handling disruptions effectively. For any defense mission, tasks, resources, and success guarantee are critical, and it is the same for corporate projects too. Each mission begins with a small team that follows three high-level steps. I recently spoke with my army veteran friend to understand more.

Reading time: 3 min, read now...

Business As Platform for the Future of Work

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

Think of an onion - as you peel it, layer by layer, it starts to unpack a lot of punch. Traditional business models center around single-stream processes, which they manage and execute inhouse. It often creates bottlenecks and increases dependencies. But more importantly, it has an adaptability problem with changing customer demands. Artificial Intelligence and other technologies are enabling significant changes in the economy. Now the time is ripe to make transformative changes; hence business as a platform!

Reading time: 3 min, read now...

Distributed Leadership for the Future of Work

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption Artificial Intelligence The Future of 

There is an exciting and emerging trend being seen in organizations these days. Most of them now have at least three different generations in their employee mix. It is interesting because each of these generations looks at management principles and leadership quite differently. Nowadays, most of the employees do not want to be told what to do. Instead, they want leaders to trust them for being capable of doing the right thing. Most of the management principles are not applicable anymore.

Reading time: 3 min, read now...

The Key to a Great Story is Not Who, What, or When, but Why!

Transformation Innovation Leadership 

Whether it is for theatrical reasons or practical ones, purpose or motive has always been the driving factor of the story. Knowing the Why makes things crystal-clear in trying times. It acts as a guiding star when we are in a problem. As far as the business context is concerned, not having an answer to this critical question poses a fundamental problem in almost all the change management initiatives. Additionally, when an organization is trying to revamp, go to the next level of excellence or advancement, not knowing this (why — the purpose) becomes a roadblock. Any suggested change or idea is rejected due to firm beliefs formed by employees over a long period in an organization.

Reading time: 4 min, read now...

When Working With Emerging Technologies...

Transformation Innovation Disruption Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things The Future of 

Machines make mistakes, just like humans do, and they will keep making them in the future too. Businesses must accept this fact and know that machines, much like humans, also need attention, retraining, and a performance improvement plan before they go live again. Do not get carried away and assume that just because we have cool technology, we can use it to solve every problem around us. Emerging technologies are new hammers, let us avoid treating all of the issues as nails and avoid rushing into the emerging future. It is challenging to undo strategic and technological mistakes these days. Sometimes, it is better to deal with humans than machines, sanity is the key!

Reading time: 5 min, read now...

What You Are Seeing Is Not the Future of Work

Transformation Innovation Leadership Disruption The Future of 

What you see right now is not the future of work. But it is undoubtedly a perfect trigger to change several things at once. Adapt to the current working requirements with all the grace, but make no mistake; this is not the future of work. It is just the tip of the iceberg, call it a stimulus if you will. The good part is, no one has seen how the future of work looks; it is entirely a greenfield area. You can bring in transformative changes and become a business of the future, and show others what it is like to be the one.

Reading time: 6 min, read now...

Innovation in the Time of Crisis

Transformation Innovation Disruption The Future of 

We often hear that crisis breeds so much innovation. So, what leads to such innovation? If you can understand that, you can use it to our advantage and drive some beneficial changes in your organization. In my view, three factors come into play. These three factors are creativity, perspective, and the environment. If you want to leverage any crisis as a stepping stone, then understand these factors and do this.

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

On Perspective

Leadership Innovation The Future of 

When I was about 8 yr old, my father told me a story — an interesting perspective on perspectives. A businessman was passing by a large farm in his car when he saw a farmer resting under a tree. The businessman got curious, so he stopped and approached the farmer. On approach and pleasantries, he asked, “Mate, what are you doing?”. The farmer responded, “Resting !” Businessman, being what he is, said to the farmer, “Well, instead of wasting your time by resting, you have such a huge farm, why don’t you work hard ?”

Reading time: 1 min, read now...

What Are You Delivering, Value or Fluff?

Transformation Leadership Innovation 

Although I spoke about this topic in a few forums several years ago, my recent experience made me revisit it because this (phenomena) keeps happening now and then. I firmly believe that how customers and suppliers perceive each other mostly and directly impacts the results. If we want to create a real value for everyone, we must shed our perceptions and see-through customer lenses to be more productive. Value always implies an explicit trade-off between what you give and what you get. And it applies in almost any context.

Reading time: 2 min, read now...

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