Archive for October, 2010

Beyond the Status Quo’s Grasp

October 1, 2010

Attached, below, is an insightful video interview from The Economist’s “Tea with The Economist” series.  The gentleman featured in this interview, Vijay Govindarajan, struck many resonating cords with me concerning two topics: Innovation Implementation and The Economy of Smalls.

First, implementation is usually the catalyst that causes many organizational innovations to not succeed.  Creating a new idea or “cool tool” is relatively easy.  There are many cost-effective, efficient or cutting-edge ideas born out of concept meetings, think-tanks and the like.  However, executing or getting that concept in place for full operation – implementation – is where  the difficult work, diligent commitment and organizational mettle are tested.  I feel the primary factors that stifle implementation, which directly and negatively impact innovation, are fear and lack of senior executive support.  Complacency is a corollary to stifled innovation as, I feel, personnel who become comfortable in their basic tasks believe they have contributed enough to the organization.  This happens because of a lack of direct supervisory leadership coupled with fear of disturbing the status quo – the fear of change.

Next, the Economy of Smalls.  Basically, this is a business concept that states more good, increased market penetration and increased profits are realized when larger populations of less affluent groups, or economies of scale, are the business focus.  A primary example is the growing market of micro loans.  A mirco-lender can reach more borrowers by offering smaller loans (from $500 to $2000) at low-interest rates than the traditional lender who markets to the affluent few who apply for loans ten-times – or more – larger.  The smaller loan default rate is relatively low, more businesses are created, more products are sold, more wealth is incurred, more people apply for loans, and then the cycle repeats itself.  The speaker in this video offers cogent examples how this concept has been successful.

Global, cultural, organizational and societal benefits are numerous when traditional, antiquated concepts – along with fear – are dispensed.  Strength, viability and growth are achieved when one strives to reach beyond the status quo’s grasp.