The Renaissance Innovator

Thoughts, examples and updates on the Renaissance Innovation Method

Posts by Karan Girotra

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…

Renaissance Innovation @ INSEAD Knowledge

Posted on June 1, 2011


Check out  this  interview we did for INSEAD knowledge, our in-house business publication. The write-up and the companion video (embedded after the break)  summarize the key aspects of our theory of Renaissance Innovation and we answer some common questions related to the practice of Renaissance Innovation.  Regular readers of the blog will notice that we mention many of the example that we already blogged about here. We find that videos are  a great tool to liven up discussion in the boardroom or classroom, and we welcome you all to use the video to initiate the uninitiated… Click through to see the video interview…