If innovation has become a word that is met with a lack of enthusiasm, this article from Kaihan Krippendorff may inject fresh inspiration and motivation.
People talk about innovation a lot… but often in the conversation around innovation, there isn’t an innovation strategy. If there’s a semblance of an innovation strategy, it’s not often clearly articulated or it’s not connected to an overarching business strategy. That is when things start to fall down.”
Dr. Simone Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange, a global innovation and strategy firm headquartered in Minneapolis, USA. She is co-author of the international bestseller, Jugaad Innovation. This practical innovation playbook makes clear how and why leaders must support the passionate and purpose-driven “intrapreneurs” inside their organizations to drive innovation and achieve sustainable growth.
Dr. Ahuja has served as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. She provides innovation and strategy advisory and consulting services to organizations including 3M, UnitedHealth Group, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Stanley Black & Decker, and the World Economic Forum. She is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and a practitioner of improvisational comedy.
Dr. Ahuja’s Top Insights:
An innovation problem is a mindset problem: Most times when innovation is unsuccessful, it’s because of an organizational mindset problem. If innovation is seen as a separate “shiny object” that is not connected to achieving existing business goals faster, better, and with fewer resources, organizations will not see innovation action and results. Innovation must confront and solve the right business challenges that are connected to overarching business challenges. Leaders need to articulate why innovation matters, how it links to existing business strategy, and what it looks like to put innovation into action.
Jugaad innovation is fast and effective: While working in Northern India, Dr. Ahuja learned the concept of ‘jugaad,’ a concept of hacking or rigging a vehicle made from parts of other vehicles to become a multifunctional solution. She came up with the term ‘jugaad innovation’ to describe a process of quickly assessing and moving ahead with existing resources, even in the case of severe resource limitation. Jugaad innovation is frugal, flexible, improvisation, and inclusive of who can participate.
Organizations can amplify the practice of jugaad innovation: Dr. Ahuja hears three common questions from leaders around innovation, 1) How can we build a culture of innovation?, 2) How can we do more with fewer resources?, and 3) How can we transform without changing out entire organization? Look for employees who are practicing jugaad innovation–these are the people who are not waiting for permission and large budgets but who are using what they have to start and then altering their approach based on continuous feedback. Amplify their results and use their experience to codify a process for others.
Key points include:
A mindset problem
Hacking and rigging
Questions from leaders
Read the full article, Integrating Jugaad Innovation into Your Organization with Simone Ahuja, and access the interview on Linkedin.