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Excerpts on ‘ Frugal Innovation’

  • By faber
  • November 15, 2015

As a part of Fab Faber series here we are with few excerpts from another business book “Frugal Innovation – How to do more with less” by Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu.

 “Innovation is not about saying yes to everything, it’s all about saying no to all but the most crucial features.”  – Steve Jobs

Today is the era of high global competitiveness, where every organization is striving for excellence leading to success.  Innovation and change are the major tools to achieve the above goal. There has been a misconception that innovation is new idea which can be applied by adapting new resources to meet new requirements of consumers, however ‘Innovation’ refers to how to do more with the less i.e how to utilize the existing resources to create a new idea.

Frugal Innovation is a way that companies can create high-quality products with limited resources. In this book, both the authors Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu identify high-impact macro changes and how they are forcing companies globally to change so that they can deliver the best-in-class, affordable, sustainable, and high-quality products and services with the use of minimal resources and in less time.

‘Frugal Innovation- How to do Better with Less’ identifies the philosophy, principles and techniques behind frugal innovation, which, if adapted in the right way, can help companies become global leaders. It is about revolutionising business and reshaping management thinking.

There are 6 key takeaways, on the six principles and recommendations made by the authors which can be taken from this wonderful book.

1: Engage and Iterate:

The first principle explains how innovation requires R&D to move away from an insular way of working to an approach which involves intense customer interaction – observing customer behavior in their natural environment. A better solution with high-speed innovation call for new kinds of titles and incentives.

2: Flex your assets:

The second principle describes the trend towards mass customization and how through new tools and approaches such as social manufacturing and continuous production, the operations managers can extract more from production, logistics and services, and the whole value chain supporting it.

3: Create sustainable solutions:

The third principle brings out the way customers are making their choices to buy a new product or service, and how companies are implementing practices like ‘cradle-to-cradle’. A new trend is also the rise of the ‘sharing economy.’ Sustainability should be built right into the R&D phase, and should be promoted as cool and aspirational.

4: Shape customer behaviour:

The fourth principle gives the marketing manager new insights on how to tailor and position frugal products and services. In addition to changing their own goals and structures, companies can also actively engage with their customers to promote sustainable living. Visualization tools, self-monitoring, gamification, social comparison, social learning and storytelling are useful techniques here to motivate, nudge, inspire, and empower customers.

5: Co-create value with prosumers:

The fifth principle, describes how co-creation and crowdsourcing can help harness the collective wisdom and skills of consumer communities, and the mindset shift required from R&D and marketing managers to be on top of this. Consumers today are transformed into prosumers who want meaningful brands conversations and personalized solutions. A useful categorisation of such customers is dreamers, validators, ideators, makers, evangelists, sales agents, and fixers.

6: Make innovative friends:

The sixth principle brings out the strong need in the new flat world, for R&D to be highly networked, lean and flexible, and how companies can leverage the ecosystem to make this happen. Companies need innovation brokers who understand the language of the organization, its creative partners and customers. Corporations need to become more agile and not just file patents but monetise them.

This is an inspiring book which is grounded in reality and can trigger new thoughts and ideas to build a frugal innovation engine, which can help companies across the world to become global leaders of products and services leading to them to excellence.

At its core the book ‘Frugal Innovation’ describes how innovation is now a global endeavor involving large and small firms, mature and emerging economies, tool and talent approaches, both in the West and East.

Compiled by: Faber Raveena Rathi