The Renaissance Innovator

Thoughts, examples and updates on the Renaissance Innovation Method

Posts from the “Theory” Category

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…

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 and startups

Posted on November 20, 2011


In this blog we discussed Renaissance Innovations of many companies, small and big, old and new.  Some of the startups we have already covered are Diapers.com, Objective Logistics, Amazon.com and many others. I hope that our blog makes it quite clear that the ideas of Renaissance Innovation method apply equally to startups and established companies.  However, in this post I wanted to focus just on startups.  The approach that is gaining a lot of momentum and good publicity is called “The Lean Startup“, most recently the new book debuted as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. On the surface, this sounds like doing something on the cheap. These who know something about operations management will also recognize that “lean” is synonymous with…

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…

How to Build Risk into Your Business Model

Posted on April 23, 2011


Check out our new article  in the May 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  This is the first published preview of the theory behind  renaissance innovation.  The reader of the article will notice that, so far, our blog simply described in more detail,  the examples that appear in the article. As we have already hinted throughout this blog, the key behind successful Business Model Innovation is managing risks: in our view, all innovative companies we described in this blog have done the same thing right: they understood and managed the risk-return trade-offs in the design of their business model. This is, in our view, is a simple yet novel insight: all other works out there that study Business Models, typically focus on improving…