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 Vijay  Govindarajan, Ph.D Image

Vijay Govindarajan, Ph.D

Distinguished Thought Leader on Strategy and Innovation; Author of the International Best Seller Ten Rules For Strategic Innovators

Travels From:
New Hampshire
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Featured Videos

TEDxBigApple - Reverse Innovation


Vijay Govindarajan is widely regarded as one of the world's leading experts on strategy and innovation. He is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of the Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Dr. Govindarajan was also the 2009 Professor-in-Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant for General Electric.

Dr. Govindarajan has been recognized by BusinessWeek, Forbes, and The London Times as a top thought leader in the field of strategy. He works with CEOs and leading management teams in Fortune 1000 corporations to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy. Dr. Govindarajan is the co-author of the bestselling book, Ten Rules For Strategic Innovators: From Idea To Execution, which has been rated by The Wall Street Journal as a "Top 10 Recommended Read". He is also a regular keynote speaker at CEO forums and major conferences including the World Innovation Forum and BusinessWeek CEO Forum.

Speech Topics

Leading strategic experiments is the triple-flip-with-a-quadruple-twist of general management. No matter how talented and experienced the leader, chances are that this is a new and unfamiliar challenge. Dr. Govindarajan can help you understand the three fundamental challenges faced by strategic experiments, and can offer several specific recommendations to help you overcome them.

Even world-class companies with successful business models eventually hit the ceiling on growth. That’s what makes emerging industries so attractive. These markets represent huge opportunities for capturing long term growth and competitive advantage. But because they lack a proven formula for making a profit, they are risky and expensive with dire consequences for failure.

Dr. Vijay Govindarajan argues that every organization’s survival depends on strategic experiments that target such untested markets, but few firms understand how to implement them successfully. Too many managers think that a great idea is enough to get them from business plan to profitability, but somewhere in the middle of the innovation process, most organizations stumble. Dr. Govindarajan reveals where firms go wrong on their journey from idea to execution and outline exactly what it takes to build a breakthrough business while sustaining excellence in an existing one.

Based on an in-depth, multi-year research study of innovative initiatives at ten large corporations, Dr. Vijay Govindarajan identifies three central challenges to strategic innovation:

  • Forgetting some key assumptions that made the current business successful

  • Borrowing assets from the established organization to fuel the new one

  • Learning how to succeed in an emerging and uncertain market

Dr. Govindarajan illustrates ten rules to help organizations overcome these challenges, and shows how firms must rewire their organizational DNA across four main areas: staffing, structure, systems, and culture, in order for a promising new venture to succeed. He also spells out the critical role senior executives must play in managing the inevitable tensions that arise between today’s business and tomorrow’s.

Breakthrough growth opportunities can make or break companies and careers. Dr. Govindarajan can present a guide to execution in unexplored territory.

Securing global presence is anything but synonymous with possessing global competitive advantage. Presence in strategically important markets is certainly a precondition for creating global competitive advantage. To convert global presence into global competitive advantage, the company must pursue three value creation opportunities: adapting to local market differences, exploiting economies of global scale, and maximizing the knowledge transfer across borders. Pursuing these value creation opportunities requires the firm to design the right type of organization (in terms of structure, systems, people, process, and culture), an organization that can simultaneously optimize local responsiveness, global scale, and knowledge transfer.

During Govindarajan’s interactive presentation, participants develop an understanding of the following issues:

  • How does global presence create three potential avenues for value creation: adapting to local markets, capturing economies of global scale, and leveraging knowledge across subsidiaries?

  • How to design the structures, systems, incentives, people and processes to realize the three value creation opportunities

  • How to build a global organization that promotes a “global mindset”

We now live in an era of constant change, driven by the dynamic forces of technology, globalization, the Internet, changing demographics, and shifting customer preferences. As a result, companies find that their strategies need almost constant redefinition either because the old assumptions are no longer valid, or because the previous strategy has been imitated and neutralized by competitors.

Rooted in these premises, the strategic and organizational challenges become:

  • How do we identify the market discontinuities that could transform our industry?

  • How can we create new growth platforms that exploit new market realities?

  • What are our core competencies and how can we leverage them to generate growth?

  • What new core competencies do we need to build?

  • What organizational DNA will allow us to anticipate and respond to changes on a continual basis?

  • How do we execute breakthrough strategies?

This compelling presentation will explain how to overcome these challenges and succeed in the ever-changing business environment that is now reality.

Reverse Innovation is any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. In the past, reverse innovations have been the rare exception to the rule, but the phenomenon is becoming ever more common, and the implications for multinationals are profound. In particular, thanks to the rise of reverse innovation:

  1. You must innovate, not simply export, if you want to capture the mammoth growth opportunities in the developing world.

  2. The stakes in emerging economies are global not local. Passing up an opportunity in the developing world today may invite formidable new competition in your home markets tomorrow.

  3. Legacy multinationals must rethink their dominant organizational logic if they are to win in an era of reverse innovation.


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