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April 5, 2012

News & Opinion: Jugaad Innovation

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 8:56 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Innovation continues to be a concern for Western business, as manufacturing struggles and local movements continue to push toward supporting regional companies and products. The issue lies in how either of those efforts can gain more leverage by innovating processes and products.

Navi Radjou, Jaideep Parabhu and Simone Ahuja encourage companies to discover new innovation practices by looking East, in their book Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. The book is filled with case studies about companies like 3M, Apple, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, and PepsiCo who looked to countries like India, China, and even Africa to learn new, bottom-up approaches to business and innovation.

The six underlying principles of the book are:

- Seek opportunity in adversity
- Do more with less
- Think and act flexibly
- Keep it simple
- Include the margin
- Follow your heart

Although it all sounds rather easy, the book will show how these principles in action transformed the organizations, which is not such an easy thing to accomplish. And through the case studies presented, such as an Indian villager that developed a refrigerator made entirely of clay, it becomes clear that costs and materials can be re-examined in many cases. In essence, this is an interesting book for leaders that want to think differently about how they approach business, and not spend unnecessary money and energy to do so.