This article relates selected multidirectional patterns of change—“force fields”—in the business environment to innovation strategy within the context of Zen philosophical principles. Three force fields are selected for brief evaluation: 1) domestic vs. global markets, 2) economic growth vs. environmental quality, and 3) entrepreneurs vs. customer base. Given the omnipresence of force fields in the 21st century, businesses should maintain flexible structures for innovating both incrementally and radically. They also need to engage in collaboration at all institutional levels. Collaboration can facilitate the Zen objective of integrating conflicting ideas, a key feature of innovation over the long run.
Studying how companies in the emerging markets innovate can offer Western engineers and designers important inspiration, and challenge them to develop products that are much cheaper. Such “frugal solutions” will become increasingly important in order to stay relevant in the stagnant markets of the West – as well as for the upcoming global middle class of developing countries. This study focuses on the “jugaad” innovation of India.
Resourcefulness amid serious constraints is known in India as ‘Jugaad.’ In this article, Accenture’s Mitali Sharma suggests this simple concept — which gave birth to a $2,500 car, a $12 solar lamp, and a life-saving incubator made from car parts — might be the antidote to the complexity plaguing your innovation process.