Guest AuthorPavan Soni

Inflexion Point, June 2023

By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist

Welcome to another edition of Inflexion Point. 
Here, we understand if one should start a career with a startup, when to listen to the customer and when not to, Bruce Lee’s lost interview from 1971, why design thinking to innovation is like six sigma to quality, and how Indigo maintains customer centricity along with operational efficiency to remain ahead of the competition.
When it comes to launching your career, the decision between joining a startup or a large enterprise is a crucial one. With India emerging as a massive startup destination, and with rising unemployment in traditional sectors, the debate takes heightened importance. Starting your career with a startup can offer some advantages, but a deferred entry is more advisable. Three reasons: 1) Enterprises teach you the power of discipline and processes, 2) Startups offer little distinction between design and luck, and 3) Experience at large enterprises paves way to your own startup. (Source: People Matters)
Listening intently to the customers may often be self-limiting, if not outrightly self-defeating. You must know which customer to listen to, especially if you hear conflicting demands. Let’s understand the nuances better. Usually it’s good to be close to your customer, but when you are dealing with an unproven, radically different technology and/ or a radically different business model, then you must momentarily overlook what your existing customers have to say, and instead pay heed to the technological possibilities. (Source: Your Story)
Bruce Lee, the internationally acclaimed actor, martial art proponent and a student of philosophy, died at age 32 in 1973. Very few people know about his deep grasp of philosophical topics and his ability to remain grounded in spite of his enormous success in the United States and Hong Kong. In this 1971 interview with Pierre Berton, Lee shares insights on living, acting, fights, culture, love, and humanity. He talks about why one must be like water, taking the shape of the container, always in a state of flow, and one with its environment. And several such insights. (Source: YouTube)

Design Thinking is to Innovation what Six Sigma is to Quality

If half-a-century ago one were to argue that quality could be a matter of discipline and processes, instead of people and their personalities, it was a thing of ridicule. But today, thanks to statistical process control and tools like Six Sigma, quality has become a matter of choice rather than luck. The state of innovation is no different today. We still believe that an innovation culture is a result of high-caliber talent led by a charismatic leader, giving little credit to systems, processes, and routines. Well, Design Thinking is that antidote to this belief, much like Six Sigma of the decades gone by. (Source: Entrepreneur)
There are very few companies in any price sensitive industry that consistently make profits. India’s low-cost airlines, IndiGo, is an exception in this regard. Since its inception in 2006, the company has maintained a steady and profitable growth. There are four key reasons for this success: 1) Continuous innovation for customer convenience, 2) Building a strong consumer brand, 3) Adopting technology alongside human-touch, and 4) Unparalleled focus on employee training and engagement. Further, with the adoption of appropriate technologies wherever possible, such as hand-held scanners, self-service kiosks, ACARS and chat features, the airline has maintained its customer proximity and efficiency focus. (Source: Medium)
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