Don’t listen to her. She’s only a child!

I stumbled upon this video that made me numb and hopeful at the same time.

Severn Suzuki addresses the UN conference on Environment 1992 at Rio on behalf ECO  (Environmental Childrens Organisation) run by a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds. She must have turned 33 this year. 2 decades and 1 year on, we’ve only plundered more.

When will we STOP!!?

Her morality accuses our ethics.

Did you hear the anger, the angst and the anxiousness? Did you hear her plead for us to stop plundering the planet? Did you hear her cry for justice and for a safe future for her children? If you didn’t, hit the play button again. And again … and again, till you do.

Amen.

Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest – NYTimes.com

An Indian court has issued an arrest warrant for Matthias Müller, chief executive and chairman of Porsche, the German carmaker, and eight other executives from the company.

Another case of German high-handedness where they show little respect to Indian partners, knowing they can rely on their legal system to side with them.

Whether the arrests will happen or not, this action by the Jaipur court is a strong signal that Indian companies have come into their own and will not allow themselves to be walked all over.

Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Matthias Mueller, chief executive of Porsche, posing inside a 911 sports car, at the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany on Jan. 9.

via Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest – NYTimes.com. Continue reading “Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest – NYTimes.com”

Innovation, Now!

The continuing financial Tsunami has ceased to make waves. We ought to have seen it coming but were too scared to open our eyes. Like we’ve done in the past – all we’ve ever learnt to do is to solve problems based on ‘fitting historical patterns’ – we believe that we’re at the bottom of the economic downturn and things will look up from here on. Anybody noticed that the slide has been going on since September 11, 2001? And we’re satisfied waiting. The time for innovation is here and is urging us to do something – differently.

Talk to technology and business people and they will tell you that innovation is a tool. Therefore researching a need and then developing a solution to address it is called innovation. Then why call it innovation, why not keep calling it R&D? Are we simply using the word because it sounds nicer? Continue reading “Innovation, Now!”

Innovation 101 – The Jugaad phenomenon

This post is meant for those of you who have set up automated alerts for the new magic word ‘Jugaad’, the most fashionable innovation thread about India these days. Several innovation ‘gurus’, management experts, authors have latched on. The common thread – they’re mostly based in the US and are of Indian origin. The more equal of us. Keith Sawyer calls it a ‘fad from India’ and that’s exactly what  it is.

Business Week* reports on a management fad from India, that goes by a Hindi slang word, jugaad (say joo-gaardh). It means “an improvisational style of innovation”. It’s “inexpensive invention on the fly”. It sometimes has negative connotations, like cutting corners. The idea is that it doesn’t have to be perfect or fancy; it’s just good enough to satisfy immediate needs.

>>*See the comments at the end of the article.

Don’t be fooled – Jugaad is jugaad and innovation is innovation. Jugaad is a dangerous mindset – you heard right, a mindset. You ‘fix’ things by simply putting together bits and pieces, never mind that they don’t fit or that the final product is unreliable, unsafe, whatever. When something goes wrong, you can always use the excuse of not having time, resources, skills, etc. After all you did achieve ‘cheap’, didn’t you.

Maruti Gypsy 2020?

Continue reading “Innovation 101 – The Jugaad phenomenon”

Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history

Wow, what an amazing Valentine’s weekend! Thankfully “The Consortium of Red-faced, Jobless and Retrograde Men of India” ( male counter to the Facebook group “The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”) was kept in check to allow India’s youth to celebrate Valentine’s day.

 
Vikram Kirloskar launching the new TOYOTA INNOVA
Vikram Kirloskar (left) – Launch of the new TOYOTA INNOVA.

But that aside, I had a blast. My friend Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, invited us to the most memorable evening with Jagjit Singh, the Ghazal Maestro. His satin voice had everybody spellbound for a riveting two hours. In Vikram San’s words – “It is Toyota India’s heartfelt gesture of gratitude to our customer ‘family'”. The event was fraught with simplicity and genuine warmth. I wish some people would take lessons from Toyota and especially from Vikram on humility and the natural way to live and work.

In concert with Jagjit Singh
In concert with Jagjit Singh

 How business can ‘flow along’ with such warmth. And to top it, to be immersed in such soul-stirring music. What more could I have asked for. My take away was that the “Toyota way” goes far beyond shopfloor efficiencies and product quality. It is a statement of life and living.

Then came Spiritual Sunday at the Chinmaya Mission precincts on Lodhi Road in New Delhi. Before you start imagining yoga mats and a saffron-robed Godman, I must tell you that the event had to do with the launching of Anil Sachdev’s SOIL – School of Inspired Leadership. Continue reading “Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history”