10 Mar 2016 20:42 IST

‘Execution, key to innovation excellence’

Prof Vijay Govindarajan says converting ideas and getting them to work is critical for innovation

Indian businessmen and entrepreneurs are not short of ideas. In fact, they are bristling with them. But the key charm in innovation is execution, says Prof Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, a Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School, an author, and a strategy and innovation expert.

“We don’t lack ideas. Converting ideas into a scaled-up business is important. There are three major lessons to learn: In execution you need to reduce your innovative ideas into a series of assumptions and convert assumptions into knowledge. In order for your innovation to happen you have to have a dedicated team separated from the core business. Third, while the team should be separate, it should not be isolated, and has to be linked to the mother-ship. Only then can execution excellence be achieved,” says Prof VG, as he’s popularly known.

Execution, he says, is a disciplined process and anyone can master it. It’s a question of understanding the key principles of execution to be followed.

Prof VG says if you don’t innovate in India you cannot protect your manufacturing. India needs to establish an innovation laboratory that can offer its expertise in executing ideas.

“There is a need for an institutional framework and incentives; without an eco-system, individuals cannot innovate. The most important piece is execution guidance; put the systems in place and people will respond to incentives.”