In this episode, Dr. O talks about frugal innovation and why the world’s developed nations need to embrace this necessary method of advancement.
Simplicity takes effort and motivation. Simplicity needs to become part of an organization’s culture. Complexity creates inefficiencies, waste, and wasted mental energy. Knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore is the critical steps toward simplicity.
Never forget, “keep it simple and good things will happen”. Focus on problems, use creative thinking, and most importantly use common sense. Listen more than you speak and fully understand the situation. Simplicity is hard, but necessary as the global business environment becomes increasingly complicated and ambiguous. Having the mental courage and flexibility to simplify your world, takes a strong mindset so practice and do not give up. Remember, everything can and should be simplified.
The Lego Group has an amazing history and the brand has the capacity to reawaken the sense of experimentation and play that resides within everyone. From its founding in 1932 to the introduction of the interlocking toy bricks in 1949, to the massive losses in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the story of Lego is an amazing business tale of struggle, success, failure, and reinvention. With relentless innovation over the company’s 8+ decades and overcoming aggressive competitors offering electronics or other forms of building sets, Lego has survived and prospered.
This episode I review a great book, The Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between GI Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them by G. Wayne Miller.
Toy Wars outlines the battles of the leading toy companies from the 1970s through the 1990s. Focusing primarily on Hasbro and Mattel, the book provides an excellent historical overview of each company and the legendary products they developed and the challenges of competing in a highly volatile industry that balances success and failure on the whims of short-lived fads.
Most people have incorrect assumptions about creativity. They think you either have it or you don’t. Many people also think new ideas just happen, serendipitously—but creativity is not mysterious. Everyone can (and should) become more creative. Not enough of us use creativity to improve ourselves, our organizations, and our communities.
But don’t worry, you can overcome these barriers with a positive mindset, learning the tools and techniques to develop new, creative ideas, practicing, and then applying your new ideas to create innovative new products, services, or processes. In addition, you can begin developing a creative culture within your organization by gaining senior leadership support, experimenting, and accepting failure as a critical part of the creative process.
Indian companies have gone global, and are dominating key industries. I recently read the book India’s Global Powerhouses by Nirmalya Kumar. This great resource shows how India’s global powerhouses are focusing on lucrative high-margin markets in the developed world while maintaining low-cost bases in India.
This episode will review several of these global Indian firms which have dominated their respective markets. Indian firms are innovating and building low-cost business models to reach India’s masses and still be profitable. They combine frugal engineering and innovation, along with a low-cost business model to provide a growing customer base around the world.
For ages man has tried to control the weather, be it to keep cool or warm. Most early ways to cool was open windows and mechanical systems. And to deal with summer heat before air conditioning, most people would sit on their stoops or fire escapes, eat or drink cold foods and beverages or even sleep in parks, or other places outside.
The early applications of air conditioning were for consistency in manufacturing, not for the comfort of people. Factories were brutal “sweatshops” – built for profit not for comfort or employee well-being.
Air conditioning was the hybrid of two technologies – electricity and refrigeration. It did not immediately take-off with the public due to its costs and space needed for the large amount of equipment. Also, most people thought AC was a dream, not a possible reality. Pioneers like Willis Carrier envisioned a world of manufactured weather to allow people to escape the challenges of heat and cold and poor internal environments.
The Tata Group is India’s biggest conglomerate company, founded in 1868 by Jamsetji Tata and headquartered in Mumbai, India. The Tata Group operates in over 100 countries throughout the world is believed to be India's best-known global brand within and outside the country. The ongoing mission of the group has been and is to develop India into a modern industrial nation. The story of the Tatas is another great example of dreaming big and never stop innovating.
Innovation is the lifeblood of an economy. Every one of us needs to continually improve ourselves and the world around us. Developing new, fresh ideas is vital as the world goes though monumental change in terms of socio-economic forces and rapidly changing technology. The goal of innovation should not solely be profit, but most importantly a way to improve the lives of others.
This episode is a high-level overview of innovation and why everyone must innovate, every day. To truly change the world we must overcome the status quo and dogma. We must have laser-like focus and the ability to visualize our future. With the proper tools and techniques, along with an attitude and mindset of optimism, positivity, and passion, we can (and must) change the world, for the better.
Eiichi Shibusawa was Japan’s first modern venture capitalist. He financed and started more than 500 new businesses which he would leave when he felt they could operate on their own. As a serial entrepreneur, he championed the modern shareholder and corporate governance. He created the non-zaibutsu corporate model and created a vision for society as helped to create over 600 philanthropic institutes (zaibutsu: large Japanese business conglomerates, often controlled by one central family).