Vijay Govindarajan

International Expert on Strategy & Global Leadership

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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 at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He worked with GE´s CEO Jeff Immelt to write "How GE is Disrupting Itself", the Harvard Business Review article that pioneered the concept of reverse innovation - any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. Harvard Business Review rated reverse innovation as one of the ten big ideas of the decade. This idea is further explored in Vijay´s newest book Reverse Innovation, debuting in April 2012.

Govindarajan has been identified as a leading management thinker by influential publications including: Outstanding Faculty, named by Business Week in its Guide to Best B-Schools; Top Ten Business School Professor in Corporate Executive Education, named by Business Week; Top Five Most Respected Executive Coach on Strategy, rated by Forbes; Top 50 Management Thinker, named by The London Times; Rising Super Star, cited by The Economist; Outstanding Teacher of the Year, voted by MBA students. Additional accolades include BusinessWeek, which features Govindarajan as one of the "superstar" management thinkers from India, and very recently as #3 on the 2011 Thinkers 50 list.

Prior to joining the faculty at Tuck, VG was on the faculties of Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad, India). He has also served as a visiting professor at INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France), the International University of Japan (Urasa, Japan), and Helsinki School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland).

The recipient of numerous awards for excellence in research, Govindarajan was inducted into the Academy of Management Journals´ Hall of Fame, and ranked by Management International Review as one of the ´Top 20 North American Superstars" for research in strategy and organization. One of his papers was recognized as one of the ten most-often cited articles in the entire 40-year history of Academy of Management Journal.

VG is a rare faculty who has published more than ten articles in the top academic journals (Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal) and more than ten articles in prestigious practitioner journals including several best-selling Harvard Business Review articles. He has published nine books, including international best sellers Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators and The Other Side of Innovation.

VG works with CEOs and top management teams in Global Fortune 500 firms to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy. He has worked with more than 25% of the Fortune 500 corporations including: Boeing, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Deere, FedEx, GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, New York Times, Procter & Gamble, Sony, and Wal-Mart. He is a regular keynote speaker in CEO Forums and major conferences including the World Innovation Forum, BusinessWeek CEO Forum, World Business Forum, and World Economic Forum at Davos.

VG received his doctorate from the Harvard Business School and was awarded the Robert Bowne Prize for the best thesis proposal. He also received his MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School where he was included in the Dean’s Honor List. Prior to this, VG received his Chartered Accountancy degree in India where he was awarded the President´s Gold Medal for obtaining the first rank nationwide.

Changing the Rules of the Global Game

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?

Organizational Capabilities for Global Leadership

The ideas of this presentation are drawn from his book, coauthored with Anil K. Gupta, The Quest for Global Dominance: Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage. The book is an outstanding guide for executives charged with global expansion and maximizing the potential of a global organization. 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"?

Building Breakthrough Businesses Within Established Organizations

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. VG 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. 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. 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, multiyear research study of innovative initiatives at ten large corporations, 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

Govindarajan illustrates ten rules to help organizations overcome these challenges, and show 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.

Govindarajan can present a guide to execution in unexplored territory.

  • Bild Vijay Govindarajan: Reverse Innovation
  • Bild Vijai Govindarajan: The other Side of Innovation
  • Bild Vijai Govindarajan: The Quest of Global Dominance
  • Bild Vijai Govindarajan: Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators
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Video & Audio
  • Vijai Govindarajan on Reverse Innovation
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