The Renaissance Innovator

Thoughts, examples and updates on the Renaissance Innovation Method

Posts by Karan Girotra

Generating New Business Opportunities

Posted on April 3, 2012

Over the last 2 weeks, I have been teaching a newly developed INSEAD MBA course  on Identifying New Business Opportunities (INBO).  The class is structured as a hands on  experiential workshop that combines three novel approaches to Innovation/Entrepreneurship: Business Model Innovation, Idea Tournaments and Lean Startups/Discovery Driven Planning. As regular readers of this blog know, Business Model Innovation is all about  identifying entrepreneurial opportunities via innovating the business models in existing competitive industries. Idea Tournaments is a process that leverages the wisdom of the crowd for selecting and developing amongst new business opportunities. Discovery-driven planning  philosophy prioritizes tasks to limit entrepreneurial risk. Taken together, these approaches are in contrast to the conventional serendipitous, solitary  process of innovation and it instead provides a systematic, risk-limiting pathway to realizing innovative outcomes.…

SXSW: INSEAD @ South by Southwest

Posted on March 18, 2012

The 2012 edition of the South by Southwest conference (SWSX)  wrapped up in Austin last week. Over the last years, this  has become one of hottest stops on the startup circuit, earning a reputation as the biggest breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies– notably, both foursquare and twitter  catapulted to the big leagues after they  presented early versions at SWSX.  To coincide with all the buzz around SXSW,  I  decided to spend a better part of  this week’s sessions of Identifying New Business Opportunities, an MBA class I am currently teaching, discussing some of the hottest trends from the conference.  A small contingent from the class had attended  SXSW and they got us started by  sharing what caught their attention at the conference (Thanks Nicole, Charlotte…

The Henry Ford of Cardiac Surgery

Posted on February 15, 2012

Cardiac surgery is a sophisticated, dangerous and delicate procedure; but an Indian surgeon and his hospital group have successfully transformed  it into a factory style mass operation, bringing high quality care to the many millions who could never before afford it. Dr. Devi Shetty’s  Bangalore based flagship, 1,000-bed Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital,  charges $2,000, on average, for open-heart surgery, compared with hospitals in the U.S. that are paid between $20,000 and $100,000, depending on the complexity of the surgery. Narayana Hrudayalaya reports a 1.4% mortality rate within 30 days of coronary artery bypass graft surgery, one of the most common procedures, compared with an average of 1.9% in the U.S. in 2008, according to data gathered by the Chicago-based Society of Thoracic Surgeons. This despite the fact…

The Renaissance Innovator joins the INSEAD bloggers network!

Posted on January 22, 2012

From today, our blog, The Renaissance Innovator, is part of the official INSEAD bloggers network. So if you arrived here through the INSEAD blog, Welcome to our blog and read on for what this blog is about. For our loyal regular readers, nothing changes, you can read our blog posts exactly as you did before, and  we’d also recommend checking out some of the other excellent posts on the INSEAD blog. I often open my industry engagements on innovation with a simple thought experiment for our participants — I  ask them to think of the most innovative organizations and identify what exactly they did that made them so innovative. The answers we hear are very predictable– no matter if we pose this question to…

Changing the Way People Give…

Posted on January 9, 2012

The world is full of problems– poverty, malnutrition,  medical access,  climate change, natural disasters, etc. It is also full of many tenacious do-gooders  with solutions,  and thankfully many generous souls who would like to financially support  these do-gooders.  Unfortunately,  the “marketplace”   that  matches the do-gooders with solutions is what economists would call very inefficient, that is many matches that are in the interest of  everyone involved are not made. GlobalGiving, GiveIndia and a new breed of startup donation platforms are attacking these inefficiencies with a new business model for charitable giving and forever changing the way people give. More  interestingly, how can we apply some of the renaissance innovation techniques that we talk about on this blog to take giving to the next level? Read…

A New Model for Gifts!

Posted on December 24, 2011

Christmas is in the air and I am sure many of you have been buying gifts for your loved ones.  Not to be the Grinch– but there is strong empirical evidence  that shows that gift-giving destroys a third of gift value. Gift-receivers on average, value  gifts a third less than what the gift giver paid for it!   Essentially, gifts are really inefficient ways to show you care.  But, a startup conceived and developed in one of our classes on renaissance innovation has an elegant solution to offer.

Operational Analysis for Business Model Diagnosis…

Posted on December 17, 2011

I spent the better part of the last 6 weeks in the classroom with our incredibly talented MBA participants here at INSEAD. I was assigned to teach a class on  operations management, but we took a slightly different take on the subject, a renaissance innovation take. A traditional MBA class on operations builds basic tools of  process analysis, inventory  and supply chain management in the context of managing a firm’s sourcing, production and distribution. In our newly developed operations class at INSEAD, we take the same basic analytical principles but we learn and  apply them in an entirely different context– to help us analyze, diagnose and reinvent the business models of firms. In our work with numerous companies on helping them innovate their business model, we have come…

Renaissance Innovation @ The World Knowledge Forum

Posted on October 19, 2011

Last, week I had the opportunity to speak on Renaissance Innovation at the World  Knowledge Forum, 2011 in Seoul, Korea. The event was very well attended with  many interesting speakers, from government, (Sarah Palin, Gordon Brown, Seiji Maehara), academics (Larry Summers, Nouriel Roubini) and business (Tom Albanese, Nishida Atsutoshi). For me,  there were three  interesting observations. First, how innovation has come to completely dominate the policy and business agenda. Second, how little we know about how to actually become innovative and third, how innovation translates across borders. Let me elaborate.

Learning the Process of Renaissance Innovation

Posted on July 27, 2011

On this blog, we often share examples of firms that have successfully innovated their business model. While most find these examples inspiring, we  often get asked if there is a toolkit or a step-by-step way for firms to innovate themselves along these lines. In our executive teaching, managers routinely want to take “home” a toolkit so that they could transform their companies in the same way as Rolls-Royce did. Our MBA students, often ask us for techniques so that they could become Renaissance Entrepreneurs, a la Michael Dell or Amancio Ortega. This is exactly what we have been working on in our research– the renaissance innovation method.

Innovating the Innovation Process

Posted on June 26, 2011

We talk a lot about business model innovation on this blog. In previous posts, we have talked about firms that are innovating different elements of the business model- such as selling, staffing, promotions, etc. But what about the innovation function itself?- Can one innovate this part of the business model too? Hypios, a company that I have worked with over the last few years is helping many firms do exactly that– change their business model for innovation… Read on to find out how…