80 Seats Left; Saving Massive Amounts of Time; Four Short Interviews; EO Ft Worth
April 5, 2012
Freedom & Fun; Attracting Talent; Top Industry Valuations; April 26 Webcast
April 12, 2012

Reverse Innovation; Gatorade’s Real Back Story; Mike Maddock; Favorite Paragraph

"…out-innovate the competition"

HEADLINES: (32 seats left for the Fortune Leadership Summit)

You can't read the label when you are sitting inside the jar.
  Mike Maddock, Free the Idea Monkey

Reinvention: The New Realitymy April Growth Guy syndicated column is published, but first…

Free the Idea Monkey — Mike Maddock's one-hour online seminar outlining practical ways to unleash innovation in all departments in your firm is available (100% money back – no risk to watch), but second…

Huge Opportunity for Growth Firms — a groundbreaking book is being released today entitled Reverse Innovation: Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble. Both profs at Dartmouth, Vijay served as GE's first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant. Vijay sent me an advance copy to preview and I immediately booked him to keynote our fall Growth Summit. Reverse Innovation is exactly how growth firms compete with the giants. Here's a link to a website describing the book in detail.

Gatorade was a Reverse Innovation — get a copy of the book and go right to the Introduction and read the opening story about Gatorade. Yes, it was formulated by doctors associated with the University of Florida "Gaters" football team, but they found the formula in a British medical journal that documented a centuries-old treatment used in Bangladesh to rehydrate patients suffering from cholera. Next read in the Introduction the sidebar story of Mahindra and Mahindra's success against Deere tractor. Book club members will get the book early next week.

Most Important Paragraph — my favorite paragraph in Vijay's book "GE was playing a traditional market-share game in India, China, and other developing nations. The company was trying to sell lightly modified global products into markets that instead needed fresh ideas — breakthrough innovations engineered for local realities. Consequently, it was my opinion that if GE expected to tap into these trillion-dollar opportunities in a significant way, it needed to play a market-development game, not a market-share game." Concluded Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE "For GE to win in the U.S., it must win in India and China."

Harvest Innovation from Emerging Countries — in reality, most large firms will struggle with reverse innovation (Vijay and Chris have contributed a new biz term). This provides a huge opening for growth firms to beat them to the punch. Book a trip to India (I'll be there the week of April 23) and explore how emerging market solutions might be brought back to your own markets. In turn, figure out how you would deliver your products and services to a market where you have ten people who can spend a dollar vs. one person who can spend 10 dollars (another favorite line from the book) – then bring those solutions to the developed world and crush your competition.

Two Books Featured — my latest Growth Guy column (750 words) highlights both Vijay's Reverse Innovation and Mike Maddock's Free the Idea Monkey books. Take two minutes to read the short column for some practical tips from both books (three guiding principles of Reverse Innovation and three strategies for preventing innovation myopia) – and how Gazelles has already benefited from reverse innovation ourselves. This is your most efficient overview of these important books.

Innovation: Quarterly Theme — if you're struggling for a theme this quarter, have everyone in your firm execute one innovation that will make what they do better, faster, or cheaper. Watch Mike's online seminar (his firm is one of the G200 participating companies as well); choose Reverse Innovation for your book-of-the month; then ignite everyone's imaginations and see what they come up with. Use the guiding principles and strategies outlined in my column. Get the innovation train running full steam inside your firm in 2012 and meet Mike at the Leadership Summit and Vijay at the Growth Summit.

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.