West has already found the word for Jugaad – Frugal Innovation. Now they are all out to analyze it to the extent possible and write about it. Authors Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja come together to write a book on Jugaad and in this HBR article they talk briefly about the characteristics of Jugaad
. They opine that Jugaad is faster, cheaper, better, adaptable and inlusive. I think it is their own definition of jugaad and this may be A way of doing innovation.
While I personally think Jugaad is being over-analyzed, it is a quick solution to a problem thought and implemented instantly by people when the obvious solution is not available. People do not do Jugaad systematically, it happens in the absence of solution or a resource that should have been there but is not there. E.g if you miss your train and hitch hike to your destination that is called Jugaad. If you plan to hitch hike in the first place that is not Jugaad. In the poplar parlance that the Jugaad is used, it is not repeated and it is not a permanent solution for the problem.
Having the basic understanding of the word Jugaad, I am now thinking about how the definitions can change even when the word is translated to another language. I wonder if they would be ever able to find an exact translation of the word. Frugal innovation is an interpretation of the word.
Jim Whitehurst of Red Hat talks about the limits of open innovation in this video.
Good food for thought. You need to understand situations where open innovation works and where it may not. Sometimes it may work completely independently, sometimes it may work on the part of the complete innovation cycle. It can be a great source of idea generation where the product has consumers and it can be source where say the product is a software or a service.
Can you identify how is open innovation relevant for your organization?
Bain & Co’s Darrell Rigby talks about the future of shopping in HBR
. It says: Customers want everything. They want the advantages of digital, such as broad selection, rich product information, and customer reviews and tips. They want the advantages of physical stores, such as personal service, the ability to touch products, and shopping as an event and an experience. Different customer segments will value parts of the shopping experience differently, but all are likely to want perfect integration of the digital and the physical.
Author coins a term Omni Channel retailing that is a combination of information availability on online channels couples with a rich in-store experience. It says that traditional retailers do not innovate and face a threat from online stores. While online stores come with a lot of advantages they miss out on the customer experience. So the future would be a combination of two, where a user can identify the product to buy, find all information about it including the best deal available and then walk into the nearby store to pick it up.
I agree the eventual future is a combination. Right now online and physical stores exist at two ends of the spectrum, each lacking the positives of the other. How the commination will work and would would be a good mix ratio for different retail segments is what we need to watch out for….
Paul Sloane in his article on how to sell your innovative ides to your bos
s ends up acknowledging that middle management is a bottleneck in most organizations. They do not let the bottom up ideas go beyond them. One primary reason for this is that they are no burdened with delivering their targets that they can not think of anything beyond them. Another could be that Innovation is not a part of their performance measuring parameters so they have no motivation invest any of their or their team’s energy into initiatives which may or may not succeed. They would rather focus on what they know, what is within their control and succeed rather than put their bets on unknown turfs.
This leads me to a question – For a successful innovation program, are organizations enabling the middle layer enough?
Saul Kaplan mentions in his HBR articles the 5 reasons that companies fail at business model Innovation
In my mind all this comes from the resistance to change at the top leadership level, particularly at the CEO level. It also comes from the short sighted view of quarterly results for the publicly listed companies. The pressure to deliver every quarter, which is not too long a period coupled with a comfort at the status quo prevent them from looking at the disruptive innovations like business model innovation.
This leads to a question should the ability to change or at least be open to change be a key criterion for choosing a CEO of the company. Should they be judged on how many different models have they explored in their term as CEOs?
At the same time we have companies like Coca-Cola which have flourished for more than a century on the same business model. They primarily do incremental innovation by way of introducing new products or penetrating new markets, but the business model has remained same. They work with partners across the world and excel in marketing. This leads to a question is the business model innovation a choice based on type and stage of business is it a must?