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The three box solution

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A snapshot and key takeaways from Vijay Govindrajan' Book "The Three Box Solution ..

Published in: Leadership & Management
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The three box solution

  1. 1. S The Three Box Solution Vijay Govindrajan A strategy for leading Innovation Harvard Business Review Press
  2. 2. About the author S Serves as a faculty on Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and a Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard. S Been as Chief Innovation Consultant & Resident Professor – GE S Keynote speaker in various forums – TED, World Economic Forum, Business CEO forum,… S Previously faculty at INSEAD ( Fontainebleau) & at the IIM, Ahmedabad. S Has s Doctorate & MBA distinction from Harvard Business School. S Authored many books including New York Times best selling author of “Reverse Innovation” S VG and his wife Kirthi divide their time between Hanover, New Hampshire & Boston. 16/04/17 VI Inc.2
  3. 3. The Three Box Solution A simple proven method of allocating the organization's energy, time, and resources in a balanced measure – i.e. across three boxes.. The book solves once and for all the practical dilemma of how to align an organization on critical but competing demands of innovation. 16/04/17 VI Inc.3
  4. 4. The Three Box Solution S Box 1 – The Present S Manage the core business at peak profitability. S Box 2 – The Past S Abandon ideas, practices and attitudes that could inhibit innovation. S Box 3 – The Future S Convert breakthrough ideas into new products and businesses. 16/04/17 VI Inc.4
  5. 5. Case Studies S Box 1– URI (United Rentals Inc.) in Crisis. S Box 2– IBM’s Fall from Grace. S Box 3 – John Sylvan’s - Keurigs’ Coffee with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. S Balancing the Three Boxes – Willow Creek Community Church. S Leading Innovation – Mahindra & Mahindra 16/04/17 VI Inc.5
  6. 6. Box 1- Manage the Present S Strategy S Run core business at peak efficiency; use linear innovations within existing business model to extend brands and/or improve product offerings S Challenge S Keep focus on near customer needs, optimize operations for high efficiency, reduce variance from plan, align rewards & incentives with strategy. S Leader Behavior S Set challenging goals for peak performance, analyze data to quickly spot and address exceptions, create a culture of doing everything smarter, faster and cheaper. 16/04/17 VI Inc.6
  7. 7. Key Takeaways S Box 1 excellence begins with strategic clarity, executed with discipline and supported by system & process that sustain performance. S Healthy Box 1 performance is essential for Box 3 creation. S A fully engaged board of director is invaluable to an organization resiliency. S Box 1 is different than Box 3 but needs to be pursued simultaneously. S A leaders capacity to understand the human dimension of difficult business decisions can drive a healthy transparency. 16/04/17 VI Inc.7
  8. 8. Box 2- Forget the Past S Strategy S Ability to build future day by day begins here; create space and supporting structure for non linear idea; let go of the past practices, habits, activities & attitudes. S Challenge S The past always fights back so be prepared to take tough calls about values Box 3 needs to leave behind( remembering that some are still useful and needed in Box 1 ). S Leader Behavior S Establish formal regime of planned opportunism, i.e.( gathering and analyzing weak signals), champion the idea of maverick thinkers; do not tolerate obstructionism- set an example for the enterprise by visibly and publicly penalizing foot draggers; anticipate the needs for orderly process of automation. 16/04/17 VI Inc.8
  9. 9. Key Takeaways S You must fill Box 2 before you can fill Box 3 S It is possible to break even the heaviest of chains. S Acknowledge the three traps Complacency, Competency & Cannibalization. S Abandon the traditional planning process for formulating a new strategy. S Use Box 2 as a filtration system to successfully build special teams in Box 3 16/04/17 VI Inc.9
  10. 10. Box 3- Create the Future S Strategy S The nonlinear future is built mainly by experimentation that tests assumptions and resolves uncertainties hedging risk; new learning either strengthens the idea or reveals its weakness. S Challenge S Its not always obvious which ideas to pursue first- you need a method to gauge relative value and priority; expand the variance, knowing success rate in Box 3 experiments is low, don not trim sails on Box 3 projects in a downturn. S Leader Behavior S Measure Box 3 efforts not on revenue but on quality and pace of learning from experiments; many nonlinear ideas launch into embryonic markets. Its important to test assumptions not only about the product but also the business model and developing market. 16/04/17 VI Inc.10
  11. 11. Key Takeaways S Box 3 innovation is painstaking that calls for patient leadership. S Your best opportunities may include a possible business model of alliance with others. S The right combinations of depth & breadth adds creative potential to anyone's skill set. S Learning always precedes innovation. S Place small bets before big bets is the best way of limiting investments. S It is important to create a box 3 culture in your organization. 16/04/17 VI Inc.11
  12. 12. Balancing the Three Boxes S Do not distract those who work in core Box 1 business. S Box 2 is the indispensable element of the Three Box. S Good Box 3 hedging strategies are important. S Create formal process that both serve the goals of Box 3 and increase the likelihood of achieving balance among all three boxes. S Think of the Three box Solution as endlessly cyclical. S The Three Box Solution imposes on leaders a requirement for humility. 16/04/17 VI Inc.12
  13. 13. Six Leadership Behaviors 1. Avoid the traps of the past 2. Be alert to “weak signals” that may point to long-term trends and nonlinear shifts. 3. Create the future as a day to day process and recognize that the future is now. 4. Experiment & Learn. 5. Practice planned opportunism to be resilient in the face of change. 6. Invest energy in “Horse” you can control in order to influence “Horse” you can’t control. 16/04/17 VI Inc.13
  14. 14. “Simple, powerful & purposeful” Jeffery. R. Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric Company THANK YOU 16/04/17 VI Inc.14

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