Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Customer Centered Innovation Map

While going through material on Innovation to engage a full term for students on Effective Innovation, I came across this excellent paper in Harvard Business Review by two practitioners from the industry.

They introduce a term called job mapping. Job mapping is different from process mapping in that process mapping maps the various steps in the process that is being carried out. This has been done for more than a hundred years. 

In Job Mapping, the goal is to try to identify what the customers are trying to get done at every step, not what they are doing currently. 

For example when I am driving a car to go to work in the morning, what I am essentially engaged in is to get in the job of transporting myself from home to office in the car.

There are many alternatives I can resort to in getting to the office on time.

Sequence of steps offering many opportunities to innovate, credit to HBR
1. If I can get a lift in my friend's car to go to office, I would not mind taking it.
2. If the office is willing to pick me up from home and drop me in the office, I do not mind taking it.
3. If there is a convenient public transport from near my home to the office and if it takes me less time than what it would have taken in private transport
4. A Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) like a metro train would be cool ..
5. If I am a health freak I do not mind walking or jogging to the office on time and get ready to attend to work after a shower
6. I can use a sega wheel and go to office
7. I can stay near to the office avoiding commuting altogether
8. i can use an air balloon to go to office
9. I can use a jet pack which takes me to the air and in the shortest path and time, I can reach office.
10. If I can get enough bandwidth on my internet link, I can digitise myself at home IP address and transport me over the high bandwidth and download myself at the office IP address and get to work in matter of a few minutes..      The possibilities are limitless..

The question that arises here is, is there a better way to  see that I reach the campus from home ?

Innovation opportunities likewise abound in many many ways even for small tasks we do at work or at home.
A culture of carrying out innovation by looking not at what is being done and trying to improve upon it, instead to what is being done to get the job done and how can it be done better, opens up a whole lot of innovation opportunities and is more important.
George ..

Ref : Customer Centered Innovation Map -  - Harvard Business Review, Bettencourt, Ulwick, May 2008.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Why china is losing out to India ..

There are many interesting reasons why China is losing out to India , but some of them are listed here.

An old article highlighting China's predominance in supply chin infrastructure.

1. Communist government which intrudes into every citizen's personal life
2. communist government policies that do not promote entrepreneurship
3. communist govt that throttles individual liberty and freedom
4. less competitive and capable space technology regime
5. less freedom for foreign technology companies
6. problems with China's unethical, erroneous and falsified reporting on its infrastructure and economic growth
7. killing individual enterprise with regressive communist govt policies
8. crumbling chinese bureaucracy due to increasing corruption
9. Chinese govt which clandestinely helps rogue nations in nuclear proliferation
10. Chinese govt which clandestinely helps rogue nations in missile proliferation
11. a throttled press and media
12. blocking foreign companies from discharging their responsibilities and duties, eg Google, facebook etc 
13. state ownership of property and enterprises, resulting in low incentive and motivation to perform and succeed
14. decisions imposed using top-down approach are less lasting than those which are decided and implemented from bottom-up ..........

A country which has very low integrity in the international arena can hardly survive.. 
The next frontier for global development is going to be India ..

Technological superiority, democratic governance, economic might and nuclear capability  are the four poles on which India will grow and lead the world for the next three centuries ..


India successfully launches Astrosat and 4 US satellites..

Astrosat ..
The opportunist United States of America has been dealt a severe blow by India when ISRO launched its first Indian space observatory and 4 US satellites aboard PSLV C30 this morning at Sriharikotta, AP.

The space observatory Astrosat, the first Indian 'mini Hubble', helps India observe deep space using multi wavelength telescopes and study evolution of Universe and the different constellations and galaxies, in addition to pulsars, white dwarfs, black holes and the like.

Remembering when US blacklisted India for it's nuclear ambitions and denied critical cryogenic technology for space missions, India took it in its stride. It was an opportunity for India to understand its true friends and foes. (even now we are skeptical whether some of the 4 satellites that have been launched, though for maritime tracking from private players, will be used against India to help US spy closely at Indian space efforts and pull us down)

Now US is trying to hobnob with India, put arms on Indian shoulders and rub shoulders with us. As usual India is keeping its dignity and high standards of social etiquettes in tact. India is reminded of the great saying - A friend in need is a friend indeed !! US is a close, helpful, selfish and "untrustworthy" friend. Like a chameleon, we are still unaware when its colours will change. 

India knows for sure that US will again alienate, antagonize, estrange and sour relations with India if it gets to know that India is progressing despite US's 'selfish' interests - and India is very much prepared for such an eventuality.. 

Please step back European Space Agency and China ! We are ready to give you  a helping hand, handholding, to conquer near frontiers of space ! Wait for the success of India's manned Moon mission and Venus mission in the next few years ..

Space is the next frontier India will conquer and sure we will do it, in style and confidence !


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Welspun's supply chain secret, from Vapi, Anjar to Walmart stores .

An excellent case (from The Economist, July '15) of Welspun towels supply chain from Vapi, Gujarat.

From the supplier of cotton seeds to the final end product distribution at Walmart stores. Welspun's secret -  being able to supply large quantities of towels of good quality quickly at low prices ..

Demonstrating the mighty potential of things to come out of India !

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pope Francis : Unprecedented refugee crisis, stop the global arms trade ..

"Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War." Pope Francis opening his mind at the US Congress yesterday, 24 Sept, 2015.

Who is responsible for this refugee crisis of great proportion and suffering inflicted on this world. We may say it is Islamic State, who funded Islamic State, from where do Islamic State soldiers continue to get their deadly weapons ?

"Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade."

Whom does the arms trade benefit ? Some selfish individuals and corporations in the western world, who are out to make blood money by all and every means.

A big shame on the immigrant Americans, in fact all of them except 5 million, original inhabitants. It was the curse on the land that it had to pass through this phase of being ruled by immigrants from all around the world who are destined to destroy not only their adopted motherland, but the world too.. When will the original owners of North America get back their land from the evil invaders and immigrants ?
Lest Americans forget their history ..

The papal visit should help the ordinary American understand the evil he stands for, how he is a threat to the world, in the name of freedom and liberty of the individual.

Only peace and concern for other individuals, your neighbours can bring peace to this world. For that matter, one does not have to follow any particular religion, all religions are good, until they are hijacked by the extreme rightwingers of that religion.

A revolution can only bring more bloodshed, but a peaceful revolution on love, understanding, unselfishness, no hatred, can bring peace and prosperity to this world.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Renault KWID launched at Rs 2.57 lakhs basic price.

Renault India launches the killer compact SUV Renault KWID at basic Rs. 2.57 lakh for the standard version. VALUE FOR MONEY for the ultra frugal Indian market .. with digital dials, media navigational unit, single wiper and 25.2 kmpl mileage, it is simply great cost and value innovation by Renault.. 

300 lt boot (bigger than Hyundai i20), 3.68 m long, 800 cc, 3 cylinder aluminium petrol engine, 53 BHP, 7.34 kg-m torque at 1200 rpm, 670 kg, 180mm ground clearance on the CMFA platform, giving Maruti Swift Dzire a run for its money !

Marshmallow challenge - an effective Lean Operations game ...

Marshmallow challenge is a great LEAN game where despite limited supplies of raw materials and against all odds, the team should build the highest free standing structure ( value) incurring least waste in a fixed time of 18 minutes !!

Even though it is mostly featured as a design game, leadership game etc, I think it can be put up as a lean game too as it tells us how to use the limited resources of material and time without wasting, to generate maximum value for the customer (free standing tallest tower) .Here is a TED talk on the same .,.

Objective : Building the tallest free standing structure that can support a marshmallow sweet (or a jelly sweet) from limited resources in 18 minutes.

Items needed : 20 plastic straws, one metre thread and one metre cellophane tape ..

Learning :  is multifaceted
1. generate low waste,
2. foster innovation
3. creative thinking and
4. provide maximum value to customer in the given time.
5. importance of planning
6. fosters leadership
7. tells the importance of prototyping in final model building

Stress is on reducing waste and improving value to the customer (building the tallest free standing structure) that supports a marshmallow sweet. It is a great game that stresses on bonding between team members

It is a great challenge to foster innovation, teamwork and importance of team building. Invariably it is observed that kids do better in this than college MBA kids.. The world record is about 36 inches ..

All it takes is 18 minutes, 20 plastic straws for each team, one metre of packing tape, one metre of thread (easily breakable), and a marshmallow sweet ( or any soft sweet) to keep on the top of the tallest structure.

The team (usually of 4 members) which builds the tallest structure that supports the marshmallow is the winner. 

Instructions on how to do it..

Planning to do it in the class.

Watch this ppt


Monday, September 21, 2015

India's Astrosat - India's own space observatory ..

PSLV C30, all set ..
India's own Space Observatory- Astrosat, is being launched on 28 September 2015 at 10 AM through ISRO's PSLV C30 mission from Srikarikotta, Dr Satish Dhawan Range.

After US, Russia and Japan, India will be the fourth in the world to have such a space observatory. Europe and China will take many years to try this novel act, as they are still kids in space research.

Astrosat will help India study deep space in visible, X-ray and UV spectrum. Astrosat will help study distant stars, white dwarfs, pulsars, black holes and the like ..This space observatory will be a great boost to sustain India's efforts to understand deep space and its immense possibilities ..

Besides Astrosat, ISRO's PSLV C30 also carries one satellite each from Indonesia, Canada and four from United States.

It is the first time and a great occasion for India that US with confidence in Indian capabilities, is seeing four US nano satellites being carried on PSLV C30 for the first time ..

ge,, (photo courtesy ISRO)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

E Sridharanji accepts invite to be on UN HLAG-ST. .

On invitation from UN Secretary General. Ban-Ki Moon, metro man E Sridharan at age 82 years, has accepted to be on the UN High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST) for next three years. I really admire his tenacity, energy and youthfulness. 

May the world benefit from the vast and rich experience of this great Indian, a humble and great technocrat-cum-manager !

Global recognition and honours flowing in, national recognition just trickling !


Level 5 leadership from V J Kurian, CIAL.

The Level 5 leader, MD of Cochin International Airport Ltd., V J Kurian, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala, who by motivating his team with his great leadership, sheer hardwork, grit and determination, gifted the world its first energy neutral airport. 

The world looks forward eagerly to see the success or otherwise of this critical infrastructure, before embarking in a big way on less critical installations like government buildings, educational institutions  etc. 

A tipping point in global solar energy acceptance ??

A first-of-its-kind in the world ! No wonder the world is looking for Indian leadership, peaceful, calm, nourishing and engaging, way to go !!

Click here for Jim Collins 2005 seminal article on Level 5 Leadership ..


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Effective quotes on competition ..

A competitive spirit is always good, it helps you see your hidden strengths and helps you enjoy more than the rest..

E Sreedharan dedicated his entire life to the country ..

On Engineers Day, the birthday of Sir M Vishwesaraiah, let us also read about the "living legend of India", a top technocrat, decorated as one of the top Asian heroes by Time magazine, Padmabhushan awardee and our own METRO MAN, Elattuvalappil Sreedharan (IES), NIT, Calicut, the only central Govt employee in Indian history to have been given extension for 19 years to retire at the ripe age of 79 !! Kolkata Metro, Konkan railway, Delhi Metro and now Kochi Metro !! What a list of accomplishments ! Wow !!

The nation got many great "world class infrastructure" because of him, but never considered him fit enough for its highest civilian honour, a Bharat Ratna.

Sreedharan could, like the rest of his batch mates have ditched India and decided to contribute instead to another country by migrating to a developed country. He could have enjoyed the high life style offered by those developed economies and spent his life there with family. 

Instead he never entertained any such thoughts. Whatever his country was willing to shower him with, he accepted it with folded hands and never whined.

Will his motherland, at least at this last minute, show some gratefulness and thank him for the  great things he has done for his motherland with a higher recognition ? Let's wait and see ..

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mentoring process ..

Mentoring is a process where the mentee (person who undergoes mentoring  by the mentor) is guided to achieve great success in life or achieve short-term goals by meeting the mentee frequently, giving advice on career decisions, higher studies, growth and guidance in job etc and evaluate progress at short intervals.

Mentor possesses the skills, knowledge and experience and the mentor who is seeking to increase his skills, knowledge and experience.

The benefits are manifold, in an academic setting it helps the student to do well in academics and in his future life  helping him get a good job to start with and for an indutrial employee it affects the employee success, ensuring career saisfaction and longevity of stay ( retention) within the organisation.

Mentoring is unique in the sense that each partner is aware of the inequality in the levels of skills, knowledge and experience of the partners, while at the same time, both the partners being equally committed to the success of the partnership.

At a structured level, mentoring  could be undertaken by answering these six basic questions.

1. what do both the partners want to gain from the relationship ?
2. what do each poartnetr have to offer ?
3. how frequently will the partners meet ?
4. will contact be in-person or online. ?
5. how long will the mentoring partnership last ?
6. what is the level of confidentiality agreed to by both the partners in their dealings with each other ?

Stage I : It is essential that the partners need to know where they are at the start.

- whats going well with each of them?
- what are they looking forward to change in the coming few months or years ?
- what all can they together try to influence to change ?
- what are they prepared to do something about ?
- how will taking action help ?

Stage II: Where do the partners want to be ?

- what is defined as success in this constructive engagement ?
- how and when to know that success has been achieved, what are the metrics that will be assessed ?
- what visible change would be observed by others and what intangible change would be felt by the partners ?

Stage III : How to get at the place the partners want to reach (from stage II)

- what progress is already made
- what are the knowledge and skills acquired till now that will help thm ?
- what extra ideas and options are available to reach at the place (from stage II)

Stage IV : what actions are they prepared to jointly take ?

- what are they prepatred to do the en result (from stage II)
- how confident are the partnerts of doing it ?
- what (external and internal) support is needed ?
- who could finally help to enable the partners reach their goals in this constructive engagement ?

Some of the tools that can be used in this process are listed here.

1. note taking (both mentor and mentee)
2. learning log ( only mentee)
3. noting feedback from stakeholders (what all to continue, stop and continue afresh)
4. Keeping a record of achievements ( congrats messages, feedback notings, positive strokes received at different points of time)

Mentoring is a very beneficial process both in an academic and non-academic setup.  It helps the mentor use his vast experience and the mentee to grow into his full potential..
Pl check this file . The process benefits the mentee in many great ways.

Ge (with inputs from oglethorp)

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