wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
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Vijay Govindarajan (1949- )Vijay Govindarajan


Indian expert in innovation and global management who works at the Tuck Business School in Hanover, New Hampshire (pictured right) .



Key books

Vijay Govindarajan

Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution (2005), written with Chris Trimble (pictured right)


Innovation in strategy (“strategic innovation”) is vital to an organization’s long-term success.

This requires:


1. Box 1-2-3 strategy


Box 1 - present 

(which has to be managed).


Box 2 - past 

(to be selectively forgotten to avoid the past's mistakes but keeping its good bits).


Box 3 - future 

(which must be created through creativity - see point 2).


2. Creativity 

The generation of new ideas by

  • using resources from existing businesses.
  • forgetting some of the key assumptions for the organization’s current success.


2. Execution

The effective implementation of innovative strategies through the “organizational DNA”:

  • staffing (talented and motivated employees).
  • systems (efficiency of processes like production and continuous learning and improvement).,
  • structure (ensuring the organization’s structure encourages customer responsive innovation).
  • culture (values shared by all employees).


Vijay Govindarajan

How GE is Disrupting Itself (2009 Harvard Business Review article), written with Jeffrey Immelt (pictured right) and Chris Trimble

“Reverse innovation”, used by General Electric (GE), develops a new product in a poorer/developing country like India or China and sells it to rich countries like America.

This reverses the normal policy of “glocalization” - developing new products in rich countries that are sold (with slight modifications) to poorer countries.


 Vijay Govindarajan

The Emotionally Bonded Organization (2009 article), written with Subroto Bagchi (pictured right)

In the “emotionally bonded organization” employees sacrifice their own short-term aims (without any extra money) for the sake of the organization’s long-term success.

This requires an “emotional architecture” that creates positive employee attitudes towards each other and the organization.

These attitudes result from:

  • visible, visionary and empathetic leadership.
  • effective two-way communication.
  • “bonding through adversity”.
  • inspirational corporate values (reinforced by organizational myths and rituals).
  • employee support networks.
  • recruiting the best people.


Key quotes on communication 

Emotionally bonded organizations experience rich communication.


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