Five Deadly Mistakes of Organization Transformation That Leaders Must Avoid.

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So you are ready to transform your organization? You want your organization to leapfrog the industry? You want to deliver above industry average growth? And do you know what are the most common mistakes that leaders and even very smart and experienced leaders make? The most common one is sticking with the usual way, the easy way and the proven way. There is no usual, easy and safe way if the company has not been doing well or satisfactorily underperforming. It is not just about making a good product anymore. Leaders need to ask how does one make a meaningful contribution to society with product?

Whenever I was tasked to help global enterprises to move the next level, the first thing I did was to stop…
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China Is Pushing The Frontiers Of Innovation. It Needs To Move Beyond Just Technological Progress. China Is Behind In Commercialization And It Is A Big Gap To Fill.

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There were lots of interesting debates about "new thinking around innovation and future development of enterprises in China.” With almost three decades of sustained economic growth and orchestrated government support for advance technology research resulted in a large talent pool (but still not large enough) and many are well trained by foreign univerisities and companies.

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China has made impressive achievement in many areas including network technologies, article physics, structural biology, genomics, human space exploration, supercomputing and high-speed rail which is part of China's centrally designed and state-led innovation model. Moving towards a…
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It Is Time For China To Think Real About Innovation And What Policies And Practices Can Propel China Into The Next Century When Labor Cost Will Double In A Few Short Years And Intensified Talent Shortage..

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It’s election time in the US and everyone is talking about China. China bashing happens before the election and after it’s over, people will be back to business as usual. The fact is US trade deficit is due to domestic factors and not Chinese policy and we need to address the very core of "structural competitiveness" rather than these nonsense talk. We should be focusing on innovation on a large scale and reinventing industries of tomorrow. US will always procure from low cost countries whether it is China or others.

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China is an integrated…
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It Is Time For India To Think Big And Stop Their Obessions With Jugaad. What They Need Is Bigger Asipirations And Design Thinking Competencies.

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I wrote a blog post about two years ago titled “Is the Age of ‘Indovation’ and ‘Chinovation’ Becoming Real?” and it was very popular piece and I’ve got a few publications calling me including Knowledge@Wharton and others seeking out my point-of-view. Two years later and I am writing this post in India and will be in China next week, perhaps it is time for an update.

Let’s start with the question around innovation in India and is it really happening? Or happening enough? Well the answer varies depending who you talk and what industry sectors you’re referring to.  For the Indian pharma industry, it is not without trying but there were no commercial or very…
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Design Thinking Is A Cognitive And Intellectual Process That Balances The Rational And Emotional. Not Included With Your MBA.

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What is Design Thinking? Because of the word “design” and many automatically associate it with the craft of design or design as a profession. Actually it is less to do with “design” and more with “system”. There are many ways to define "design thinking" and this list is not exhaustive:

A way to instill customer-centricity and empathy A framework for exploration and experimentation An approach to sense-making and problem solving A methodology to foster exploration and experimentation A design buzzword to tell you a designer can do more than design A management buzzword sold as the “next” strategic tool A marketing slogan or tag line A self-gratifying term for those who think they are creative

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The…
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Design Thinking And Growth: What’s The Connection? Why Do We Need Growth?

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The Harvard Design Thinking Semina was a great one. High quality particiapants and great turn out with beatiful New York City spring weather. Lunch on the rooftop is way better than a banquet room or a faculty's dining hall. No place on earth can beat the view of New York City. So much energy and creativity. Many participants came all the way from China, Argentina, Mexico and Korea. Thinking of the nex one outisde US, perhaps somewhere Europe and Asia?

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Growth is a funny word and often misunderstood just like other words such as strategy or innovation. I have heard from people from 25 year old young smart people to 45 year old seasoned…
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Now Everyone From Samsung to Nokia and LG Is In A Perpetual Competitive Race To Get The Next Gadget Out In The Market. It Is Becoming Crazy.

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My last stop before heading home is Seoul, a few more meetings and I am ready to head back. Only today I managed to take a few hours off and visited some art galleries. Korea is really trying to become a key player in the world of design, so much goverment money is pouring into supporting the industries.  The emphasis on design is very much focused on industrial, brand and graphics and not a higher leve of design thinking and applications. They are at least 5-7 years ahead of China and Taiwan. They should be starting from understanding that the design is not only part of industrial/economic policy but a strategic capability to affect all areas of industries and national competitiveness.

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Japan’s Structural Barriers To Innovation Is Hurting Them. Korea And China Are Just Around The Corner Ready To Take Over.

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It is nice to be back in Japan this week although I am just here for 3 days and off to Seoul. Went to this restaurant in Subuya,impressive design where the kitchen is raised and opened like a theater and the manager is the conductor. Although he looks more like a headmaster standing on a podium. I wish the chefs can come out and sing a tune or two once 30 minutes.

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I used to spend a lot of time in Tokyo 15 years back and it was probably the most innovative city in the world for a long time. Is this still the case? I don’t think so. Many ask me the question…
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Don’t Waste This Crisis. It Is The Best Time For A ‘Reset’. Sometimes It Takes A Life Shake Up To Put Us Back On The Paths We Need To Be On.

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There were tours visiting our office last week, people were curious about what we do and what kind of people we hire. It is an interesting question. I guess our job is to help large companies go through mid-life crisis.

Crisis is a popular word these days and it seems like there are no shortages of them. We use the term in today's economic, humanitarian, political and environmental climate. The word is much associated with extreme negative 'tests' of our human abilities or survival as a species. This is also a test on our intelligence and also a test of humanities and to what extend it exists.

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How do we get out of this…
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“Corporate Repsonsibility Is An Illusion?” According To Prof Karnani. What Is He Thinking?

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This is an argument that will not go away anytime soon. I have had heated debate in our b-school days way back.The question goes back to the core of the modern corporation. What role does business plays in creating value in societies? Or the question should be more about the ‘how’? Among B-schools there are many different point of views on what is a modern corporation.

CSR is becoming a buzzword much as social media. There are many real experts and many wannabes. Why the rush now? Well, the answer is simple, with all those money thrown into advertising whether targeted at institutional or retail investors in WSJ or general public adverting on cable TV, they are almost a total waste of money. Net net,…
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