Many nations use non-linear innovation methods to succeed
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Many nations use non-linear innovation methods to succeed

Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 11:28 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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Many nations use non-linear innovation methods to succeed
Bangalore: In developing countries, where investment is scarce and markets are smaller, many businesses have found that their key to success lies in a leap-frog approach to the next best thing and not the traditional linear model embraced by many large multinational companies, writes Andiara Petterle, CEO of Brazil based Bolsa de Mulher, in Forbes.

Executives in developing nations use great creativity, not to mention flexibility, to make quick decisions, and they do not fear reinventing their products and services on the fly. Also, the executives in developing nations must consistently challenge themselves to not let accepted business practices prevent them from making unconventional decisions. Fast-growing companies in developing nations don't have time for incremental steps. Executives save time and financial resources by investing in innovation that will stand the test of time, as opposed to implementing incremental enhancements.

A prime example of a big innovation is India's Tata Motors ( TTM - news - people ), which is the second-largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the world. The company recognized the enormous opportunity for an affordable vehicle in India's burgeoning market and launched the Tata Nano in 2009. While the idea is big, the car is small--and the price tag smaller. The Tata Nano is designed to be the smallest automobile in the world, and sells for approximately $2,000. In order to accomplish its design and pricing goals the Tata team had to change its entire manufacturing process and create new design techniques. The company took a hard look at all facets of the traditional automobile and challenged itself - as well as its partners and suppliers - to think different. The result? The Tata Nano recently won the 2010 Car of the Year Award by Bloomberg UTV-Autocar. Tata Motors recognized that to make an impact with its Nano automobile, it couldn't do it halfway, and took big steps to ensure that this tiny car would be a global game-changer.

Entrepreneurship is a way of surviving in developing countries. And this very spirit leads Latin American companies to survive great storms and stay the course when everyone else is failing. Companies in developed countries need to hire more entrepreneurs and fewer employees. Entrepreneurs are harder to manage because they are free thinking and show initiative. However, they see what no one else sees and find innovation where most other employees do not. Hiring individuals at every level of your company that possess the same entrepreneurial spirit as your leadership team will foster a greater sense of purpose for the entire company.

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Reader's comments(2)
1: In an interesting article NON-LINEAR PROBLEM SOLVING, Michael S.Slocum ( 14,2007) wrote:

Our ability to problem solve will be greatly increased if we incorporate abstraction and analogic thought into a non-linear multi-step problem solving process. This process in its simplest format would be specific problem à generic problem à generic solution à specific solution. We would leverage abstraction for the transition from the specific problem to the generic problem and we would leverage analogic thought to transition from the generic solution to the specific solution. This non-linear abstract and analogic problem solving model defeats the bias innate in the linear two-step model and allows the user to problem solve using the open and potentially adaptive innovative approach. The quality or solutions generated using this approach will be considerably higher. Also, compromise will be minimized thereby reducing competitive opportunities.
Much is to be gained by adopted non-linear processes for problem solving and we can see evidence of this by looking at the non-linear problem solving model found in Six Sigma. Six Sigma uses a model that is comprised of the following key steps: practical problem à statistical problem à statistical solution à practical solution. This model allows for the utilization of abstraction and analogy with a focus on statistics. Statistics allows for the inclusion of qualitative and objective (data based) decision making. We can include these same benefits in problem solving that does not involve optimizing a closed system. We would call this innovative problem solving. Innovative problem solving allows for the generation of solutions that are outside the system (open) as well as the opportunity to adapt someone else's solution to solve your problem. These are critical elements of the science of innovative problem solving and are leveraged when a non-linear problem solving method is adopted.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by:Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 30 Mar, 2010
2: I appreciate Andiara Petterle's ideas
Posted by:Rajeev - 30 Mar, 2010