Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators

HSM Global recently hosted a webinar with Dr. Vijay Govindarajan of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in the run up to the World Innovation Forum. In 2010 he gave a similar speech at the London Business Forum. Here it is:

One of the main points of the webinar is that managers need to consciously look at how they allocate time between:

Box 1 – Managing the Present
Box 2 – Selectively Forgetting the Past
Box 3 – Creating the Future

When Dr. Govindarajan speaks of the future, he is speaking about planning ten years out.

He asked webinar attendees how they allocate their time between the boxes, and the unscientific results were that 92% of the participants spend up to 90% of their time in Box 1.

According to Dr. Govindarajan, the rule of thumb for a world class company is to spend 50% in Box 1 and 50% in Box 2/Box 3. Even in a recession the ratio should still be no more than 70-80% in Box 1 and 20-30% in Box 2/Box 3.

His research shows that the economic expansions following recessions usually last about three times as long as the recession, and that the best time to prepare for expansion is during the recession. The competitive landscape usually fundamentally changes after recessions.

Here is one way to look at the three boxes and strategic balance:

Box 1 is about:
— Closing the Performance Gap
— Restructuring

Box 2 & 3 are about:
— Closing the Opportunity Gap (projects for 2020)
— Renewal

At the end of his presentation there was a Q&A session including one from yours truly. 🙂

What do you think?

You can see Dr. Govindarajan in person at the World Innovation Forum 2009 and still save up to $610 on registration if you register by May 1, 2009 using the discount code – INNOVATE.


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