Management

NAVI RADJOU – L’innovation frugale au service de la cité intelligente

Intelligente, frugale, astucieuse… l’innovation, dans tous ses états, était au cœur des débats lors de la conférence « Wise innovation » organisée à Singapour le vendredi 7 octobre, à l’initiative de la Chambre de Commerce (FCCS) et avec le support de Bolloré Blue solution. Au programme, une présentation de Navi Radjou, auteur de « Frugal Innovation- How to do better with less ».  Cerises sur le gâteau : 3 tables rondes consacrées respectivement aux stratégies d’innovation, à la mobilité intelligente (smart mobility), et à la globalisation intelligente (smart globalisation), ou à quelles conditions les « smart solutions » développées à Singapour peuvent être exportées ensuite vers d’autres pays-régions.

Navi Radjou s’est acquis une réputation internationale, comme consultant et conférencier, dans le domaine de l’innovation frugale, auquel il a consacré plusieurs livres parmi lesquels « Jugaad innovation » ou « Innovation frugale – Comment faire plus avec moins ». Intervenant à Singapour le 7 octobre 2016 dans le contexte de la conférence « Wise innovation- a journey  toward smart society » organisée par la Chambre de commerce française (FCCS) – sa présentation avait valeur de stimulant à la réflexion et aux échanges entre des participants venus de multiples secteurs de l’économie pour débattre de l’innovation au service de l’émergence d’une cité intelligente, efficiente et agréable à vivre.

Qu’est-ce que l’innovation frugale ? C’est, en substance, l’art de faire plus avec moins. Navi Radjou fait le constat que l’innovation mobilise souvent des dépenses extrêmement lourdes dont le retour sur investissement n’est pas toujours à la hauteur des attentes. En 2015 les dépenses de R&D cumulées aux Etats-Unis, en Europe et Asie ont représenté un investissement global de 6880 Milliards de dollars US. Mais, indique le champion de l’innovation frugale, ces dépenses sont souvent consacrées « à réinventer la roue » et ne débouchent pas, d’un point de vue systémique, sur des améliorations proportionnelles aux ressources mises en oeuvre. Ainsi, à titre d’exemple, les investissements dans la recherche médicale et pharmaceutiques aux Etats-Unis ne se traduisent-ils pas, dans les chiffres, par la baisse d’un indicateur aussi fondamental que celui de la mortalité infantile. Tout se passe, souligne Navi Radjou, comme si les dépenses de R&D fonctionnaient comme un vaste panier percé. La question propose-t-il est la suivante: pouvons-nous trouver des solutions pour réduire ces fuites ? Et s’il était possible, suivant l’inspiration d’un Lavoisier pour qui « rien ne se crée, rien ne se perd, tout se transforme », de considérer l’économie de manière circulaire et de faire plus avec moins, c’est à dire de concevoir des produits et services qui créent plus de valeur tout en consommant moins de ressources.

Né à Pondicherry, Navi Radjou a fait des études à l’Ecole Centrale de Paris et à Yale et vit depuis 1998 aux Etats Unis. L’avantage, indique-t-il, d’avoir grandi dans un pays émergent est qu’il y a été sensibilisé et entrainé dès le plus jeune âge à la pénurie ou la rareté des ressources, certaines aussi vitales que l’eau, et, par conséquent, à trouver des manières intelligentes de faire plus avec moins. Confronté aux insuffisances des efforts de Recherche & Developpement, Navi Radjou ,évoquant son parcours personnel, indique que, à ce stade, il a ressenti le besoin de se reconnecter avec ses racines ; celles d’un environnement dans lequel tout manquait, à l’opposé de celui dans lequel il vit aujourd’hui (à Palo Alto). Les pays émergents, à commencer par l’Afrique, constituent selon lui des territoires privilégiés pour la mise en œuvre d’innovations frugales, dont les résultats peuvent aussi, ensuite, être exportés vers les pays développés.

Faire plus avec moins. La formule met en équation la production de valeur (économie, social, environnement) et les ressources (capital, énergie, temps) mises en œuvre pour l’obtenir. Comme le suggère Navi Radjou, cette formule est intéressante mais pas révolutionnaire quand numérateur et dénominateur sont affectés d’un facteur 1. La démonstration prend une dimension totalement différente quand on imagine des facteurs 10, 100 ou 1000 ( Super disruptive innovation : produire 1000 fois plus de valeur en utilisant 1000 fois moins de ressources). Et Navi Radjou de citer des exemples illustrant la faisabilité de ce type d’innovation, tel qu’un dispositif conçu pour l’Afrique, (cf Photo ci-contre) permettant de remplir les mêmes fonctions qu’un incubateur pour les nouveaux nés prématurés, pour un coût de 20 US$ soit 1% du coût d’un incubateur (2000 US$).

Proposé aux participants à la conférence le concept de Wise innovation, selon Navi Radjou se distingue de sa consoeur, seulement smart, par le fait qu’il s’agit de « comprendre ce que l’on fait ». Un engagement qui invite à reconsidérer la pertinence d’un indicateur tel que le Produit National Brut qui ne prend pas en compte des aspects qualitatifs tels que le développement humain ou les aspects sociaux économiques, et à envisager l’innovation dans le cadre des smart cities, en mettant l’accent non plus simplement sur le confort matériel mais aussi sur la réalisation de son potentiel et des talents et le transfert aux générations futures. Une perspective qui propose de rompre avec la vision de consommateurs passifs pour lui substituer celle de « prosumers », consommateurs actifs, partie-prenantes, par exemple dans le cadre des Makers fairs qui se multiplient, des processus de conception et de réalisation des produits et services.

Proposée dans l’écrin vert de la « cité dans un jardin », l’intervention ne pouvait se terminer sur autre chose que l’invite iconoclaste d’une « learning expedition » au jardin botanique : la Nature comme source d’inspiration. « Dans la Nature, souligne Navi Radjou, tout est partagé. Il y a une sorte de symbiose industrielle. Chaque arbre, par exemple, produit 20 services qui bénéficient à son environnement ».

Bertrand Fouquoire (www.lepetitjournal.com/singapour) mercredi 12 octobre 2016
 
Le sujet des smart cities est l’un des centres d’intérêt privilégiés de la FCCS qui compte un comité dédié à ce sujet pour favoriser les échanges d’information, d’idées et d’intérêts dans ce domaine. En 2015, à l’initiative de la FCCS, un portfolio a été réalisé mettant en scène 150 French smart city solutions pour Singapour.
 

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The new frontiers of management

With this study, we focus on « nomadic managers» as key actors of companies' international development.

Who are these "nomadic managers"? They are managers who are generally covering a large geographical area. As their team are set up in various countries, they have to set up customized management techniques to deal with the remoteness, and sometimes isolation, of  their collaborators. They often deal with multicultural challenges. They are themselves highly mobile (from frequent travels to expatriation) and make an extensive use of mobile & collaborative tools.

Objectives of the study:

  • Understand and describe the nomadic managers' working conditions and techniques, particularly with regards to remote people management, mobility and the use of technology. ;
  • Identify what are the companies' perceived stakes associated with "nomadic management", and to which extent it leads to the development of specific policies and practices;
  • Elaborate a global framework for the development of "nomadic practices" and the optimization of nomads' management.

Process:

  • Interviews of executives
  • Realization of corporate case studies.

Duration: 2012

Expected output:

  • Publishing of (nomadic managers) portraits on this website
  • Writing of a book on "nomadic managers".

You are interested by this study and wish to take part to its completion?

Contact us: here

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Women leadership in Asia

The Asia Society has recently released the results of a survey on women leadership in Asia. Led by Astrid S Turminez, Vice Dean Research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, this wery well documented report describes the contrasted situations of women access to top management positions in the different countries of the region, with a global observation: women in Asia are significantly paid less than their male counterparts; only a limited percentage of them get access to the General Manager job.

Amongst the key findings of the report:

The growth of wealth in Asia has reduced the gab between men and women in many countries, particularly in the areas of health, life expectancy and access to education, economic opportunities and polical engagement. But the situation remains highly contrasted: the countries where the gender gap is the weakest are New Zealand, The Philippines, Australia,  Sri Lanka and Mongolia; those where unequality is highest are Pakistan, Népal, India, the Républic of Korea and Cambodia.

Concerning women leadership, rankings differ according to the indicators being emphasized. Globally, New  Zealand, Australia and the Philippines are leading the rankings. When considering economic aspects and other elements sucjh as women access to top management position, or wage & compensation equity, thos 3 countries are joined by Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand and Malaysia. In the political arena (number of women having a seat in Parliament, number of women ministers or Head of States), the hierarchy is paradoxically reversed, with India, Sri lanka and Bangladesh amongst the 5 best ranked countries; a situation that is explained by the number of women, in these countries, who have become Head of States through family or dynastical links. 

The country's level of development generally represents a favorable indicator of an accrued access for women to leadership positions. But such an analysis suffers a number of exceptions: Japan and Korea are poorly performing on the number of women in top management or Board positions, or on compensation and political engagement equity. Otherwise, China, Singapore and Hong Kong continue to display important imbalances.

In Asia, concrete measures would be becessary to plug "leaks in the pipeline": an impressive number of women abandon their professional activity when moving from mid level to top positions. This abandonment rate amounts to 70,24% in Japan, 52,88% in China, 48,83% in Hong Kong and 45,9% in Singapore. Those measures, which would aim at easing the choice for women to pursue their career without abandoning their mother role and family responsibilities, could take the shape of maternity or paternity leaves, child and elder care, and more equitable retirement schemes.

The report mentions for that matter a number of best practices initiated by States, NGO's and Companies.

One example is the shared cab system implemented by Google in  Bangalore for the sake of all it's employees, which enables women leaving the office after 8 PM to be accompanied back home by a security agent and to be prioritary amongst their male colleagues to be driven home first whatever the itinerary.

 

►Download the report "Rising to the top" on the Asia Society's website: Women Leaders of New Asia

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How Linkedin works

Realized by Infographic Labs, this image shows the multiple usage of Linkedin, particularly in the field of recruitment and business development.

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New trends on recruiting practices

For recruiters:

  • Second life used to be the darling of technologically savvy recruiters not so long ago. but the bubble burst rapidly because of the length of learning curve.
  • Recruiters are increasingly using social media to screen for candidates (linkedin, viadeo,..) or to google their web print.
  • They can use new ways to carry out interviews : video interviews...

From the candidates' perspective:

  • They must still pay particular attention tho their CV.
  • They can use and must manage their profile on the web.

 

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Social media at work

Social media - Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and the like - have not only invaded multiple parts of our personal lives. They are now infiltrating our professional environment, changing the rules of the office and the workplace. Companies have to adapt, but most of them are unusually lagging behind social trends. While some, for respectable reasons, can be tempted to control and restrain the usage of social media in the workplace, others try to tame the beast and initiate bold and sometimes highly rewarding experiments. But there is a long way to go to become a social media savvy company, the path remains unchartered and each company should find it's own way according to it's goals, activities and culture.

Social media are fast expanding and do not respect traditional boundaries

New to social media? Check on a presentation by Marta Kagan on slideshare, where social media are liken to teen sex: "everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it's finally done there is surprise, it's not better". Did you know that Facebook users were now more than 400 millions? In January 2010, unique visitors on Facebook outnumbered for the first time yahoo's (133 millions, compared to 132 millions) and should soon outnumber Google's (140 Millions) as well. 5 billion minutes are spent on Facebook everyday. It would take more than 400 years to watch all videos posted on Youtube. There are more than 13 millions articles available on wikipedia and an average of 3millions tweets per day on tweeter...

The social media phenomenon is huge. It expands 3 times as fast as the overall internet rate. It encompasses various websites and activities: social networking (Facebook,...), professional networking (Linkedin, Viadeo...), microblogging (twitter), document sharing (scribd, slideshare, Ted talks,...), social bookmarking (delicious), expertise sharing (wikipedia). It was bound to permeate the professional environment, with increasing pressure on those who could have a pretention to control it: IT specialists, Human Resources professionals, Legal, Marketing and Public relations experts.

 

Companies may be tempted to resist

Social media at work are far from being welcome. Amongst fears, there is security and productivity. Companies may be worried of negative buzz, espionaje or invasion of privacy. They emphasize the impact on employees contribution: if employees are spending their working hours watching Youtube videos or surfing facebook, then surely they won't be doing what they are paid to do. In front of increasing usage of social media at the office, some companies organize the resistance: according to a survey by Robert Half Technology in Singapore, 38% of 1400 Chief information Officers polled would have implemented stricter social-networking policies, twice as much as respondents saying they have relaxed their company's rules on social networking sites such as twitter and facebook. 55% of respondents felt it was critical to ban the use of social networking at work altogether. Some other companies, like IBM, preferred to set guidelines on social media activities that are not only valid during business hours but also whenever a self identified IBMer participates online.

But temptation to use social media reveals irresistible

Meanwhile, more and more companies are already using social networks for recruitment or sourcing purposes. They use social media to develop their corporate brand or to drive leads to their corporate website. they find new ways to build a two way communication channel with clients and prospects in order to increase satisfaction and client retention. They design internal social platform to manage their employees, build communities, spur motivation and enhance knowledge sharing. For those companies, the risks of social media usage in the workplace are to be balanced with the risks of failing to jump on the bandwagon: failing to snatch opportunities to reduce costs or to develop business; failing to manage one's brand on internet and being unable to react when the brand is attacked on social media; failing to attract top notch generation Y talents, as an increasing number of the latest show concern on their technological environment and the overall technological maturity of the firm they will join.

The number of companies and recruiters using social media tools to screen candidates is expandind rapidly, and professional networking sites like linkedin provides them with customized solutions. Companies like IBM keeps in touch with ex-employees through a hub on linkedin called The Greater IBM which proves to be an important platform for business communications. The company has also improved employee collaboration and work productivity with IBM's Innovation Jam, an interactive website which enables an online exchange of ideas aiming at "solving organisational and global challenges with a "crowd sourcing methodology. It is doing a lot of training on wikis, so that any number of experts on a particular subject can share information and capitalize on experience and knowledge. EMB, a subsidiary from OCBC Bank created an official Emb Facebook account. The platform is seen as a way for colleagues to better connect and socialize with one another.

How to become a social media savvy company?

The road to excellence is not only perillous but also difficult. Using social media and using them well, requires from the company that it dedicate to learning new ways and new approaches to do business and management. The same way it took Serguei Bubka several years to master his new perch, companies have to invest for the future and go all the way through the learning curve. The probability that a one can fit all policy might emerge remains low, and companies should work on building practices that fit the best it's goals, its activities and it's culture. For that matter they should be encouraged to engage all their stakeholders in the process: IT, HR, Legal, Marketing and PR specialists as well as all employees occupying frontline positions with the public.

 

 

 

 

 

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