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Is Your Innovation in Box 1 or Box 3 ? -- #BEI13

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Vijay Govindarajan is a management thinker, professor, consultant and innovation rock star.

Ranked 5th in The Thinkers50 ranking of 2013--Clayton Christensen another innovation visionary--was #1 this year, "VG" challenged the #BEI13 audience asking which box are developing strategy for?

Box 1 = Managing the present
Box 2 = Selectively forgetting the past
Box 3 = Creating the future

The "future" time frame should be at least 15 years ahead of where you are today. To be an innovation leader you should be thinking about what you are doing today to be intersecting the present of 15 years ahead of yourself--meaning spending most of your thought on Box 2 and Box 3 initiatives.

Pretty common sense, but reality is that it is not common practice.

VG lit a fire in the #BEI13 audience by breaking down the why of where you spend your time, while managing the "performance engine" which is the territory of Box 1 thinking.  Box 2 & Box 3 thinking should be focusing on "Opportunity Gaps" while Box 1 focuses on "Performance Gaps."

VG's core lessons from his recent book "Beyond the Idea" distill down to Parables for the Fundamental principles for Innovation, and Developing "Strategy for Boxes 2 & 3"

1. Companies must shift time and energy from the Box 1 side to the Box 2 & 3 sides of innovation--from a focus on ideas to the focus on execution.
2. Organizations are not built for innovation are built for ongoing operations--they are Performance Engines, maximizing efficiencies.  Result: Incompatibilities will exist between both.
3.  There are 3 models for overcoming these incompatibilities:
     i. Small initiatives attempting to squeeze innovation into small slivers of slack in the performance  engine.
     ii.  Repeatable initiatives to make innovation as repeatable and predictable, delivering ongoing series of similar initiatives.
     iii.  Custom initiatives that are beyond the limitations of either the Small or Repeatable variety.

These three models, the Small, Repeatable and Custom are the key dynamics of Box 2 and Box 3 thinking.

The takeaway thought is that Performance Engines can do more, but they can't do different things.  

Box 2 and Box 3 must have its own logic.  The logic of Innovation process, and going beyond the ideas. The core perspective of executing innovation.

Where the rubber meets the road is VG's operational zone.  To learn more of his thinking on innovation, from exploring innovation for the developing world, to the core forces and process of executing innovation, check out his books including:  The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (2010) was a broad coverage of all innovation efforts; Reverse Innovation: Create from Home, Win Everywhere (2012) addressed the challenge of innovating in fast growing emerging economies; and Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution (2005) addressed high risk--high growth ventures from within established organizations.

Box 3 Rules if you want to live breakthrough innovation!

Paul Ruppert is a senior executive in the mobile industry having been responsible
for new product

innovation, development and launch; revenue driving and
globilizing markets within startups, fast moving large service providers
and Fortune 50 companies. He's driven over $300 million in revenues
over the last decade, and is a co-author of a patent enabling SMS to go
around the corner or across the globe. He blogs at www.globalpointview.com and tweets @mobilepointview .  He is one of the "Official Bloggers" for the Back End of Innovation conference.

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