We recently featured a post on so-called “jugaad innovation.” In the Harvard Business Review Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja have some thoughts on how to incorporate its principles into today’s frugal economic climate:
1) Create “good enough” products that deliver high value for money: Over-engineering products is no longer sustainable — both for economical and environmental reasons. Rather, Western firms need to make simplicity a key tenet of their innovation process by developing “good enough” offerings that deliver significant value for money to cost-conscious consumers. . . .
2) Foster healthy rivalry among global R&D teams: CEOs may find it difficult to persuade R&D teams in the US and Europe — used to abundant resources and pushing the technology frontier for its own sake — to embrace frugal innovation. Yet engineers and scientists love challenges. Western CEOs can create challenges for global R&D teams by introducing artificial constraints that foster a sense of urgency and healthy rivalry that can lead to frugal solutions. . . .
3) Tap partners in emerging markets who excel at innovating more with less. Rather than relying exclusively on in-house R&D teams to develop frugal solutions, companies in developed economies need to connect with entrepreneurial organizations in emerging markets that have a knack for innovating on a shoestring. . . .
There’s more here. Whether this is a step forward or backward is worth considering. Check out the authors’ discussion in the video below.