Jugaad Innovation Book Summary - Jugaad Innovation Book explained in key points
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Jugaad Innovation summary

Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja

Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth

3.3 (23 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

Jugaad Innovation by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja, explores the concept of frugal innovation - doing more with less. It provides examples of how individuals and companies can use limited resources to create innovative solutions.

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    Jugaad Innovation
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    Outdated R&D methods and top-down approaches hinder innovation in many Western firms.

    As North American and European economies expanded during the 20th century, Western corporations became characterized by ever-increasing institutionalization. With dedicated research and development (R&D) departments and standardized business processes, emphasis was consistently placed on managing innovation.

    While this structured approach has indeed proven successful, it’s not particularly sustainable. Not only are institutionalized methods expensive and a drain on resources, they also lack flexibility and are insular to the point of elitism.

    Consider “Six Sigma,” the leading dogma for major Fortune 500 firms such as Boeing and General Electric. An integrated set of management techniques, Six Sigma is designed to reduce defects and increase efficiency in production.

    Six Sigma was pioneered by Motorola in 1986, and although it works wonders in limiting production mistakes – ensuring 99.99966 percent of products will be manufactured defect-free –  it hardly allows any room for change or development. In an age of diversifying customer groups and rapid technological shifts, this is a significant drawback.

    Six Sigma and other standardized approaches also serve to stifle novel strategies put forth by a company’s more enterprising employees, even when these unconventional methods can solve business problems in ways that traditional approaches cannot.

    The reality is that many Western firms are ill-equipped to survive, let alone innovate, in the complex market environment of the future. Scarcity, diversity, hyperconnectivity and breakneck globalization all present never-before-seen challenges to businesses.

    Hierarchical communication, linear planning and insular approaches to innovation suggest that these companies will struggle to adapt to major trends, such as increasing social media use.

    Facebook, for example, has become a brainstorming center for many young employees, as one firm revealed to the authors. However, the company admitted that they simply couldn’t manage to funnel these ideas back into its corporate R&D system.

    While many organizations are at a loss as to how to incorporate future challenges into their structure, there is a solution. It’s called jugaad innovation, and it’s simple, yet effective. Learn more in the following blinks!

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    What is Jugaad Innovation about?

    Jugaad Innovation (2012) provides some much-needed guidance for business leaders who want to drive innovation in today’s increasingly unpredictable global marketplace. These blinks look to innovators in India, China and throughout Africa for fresh, bottom-up approaches, frugal techniques and flexible management strategies to give the reader a strong understanding of jugaad principles.

    Jugaad Innovation Review

    Jugaad Innovation (2012) explores the concept of frugal innovation and how it can be applied to solve problems creatively, particularly in emerging markets. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • The book presents real-life examples of companies and individuals who have embraced jugaad to develop innovative solutions that are affordable and accessible.
    • It provides practical insights on how to foster a culture of frugality and resourcefulness within organizations, encouraging innovation and efficiency.
    • By challenging conventional thinking and promoting a mindset of "doing more with less," this book offers a fresh perspective on problem-solving and inspires readers to think outside the box.

    Best quote from Jugaad Innovation

    One cannot alter a condition with the same mindset that created it in the first place. - Albert Einstein

    —Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja
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    Who should read Jugaad Innovation?

    • CEOs seeking to improve innovation in their companies
    • Start-up founders interested in alternative management approaches

    About the Author

    Navi Radjou is an independent consultant on innovation and leadership based in Palo Alto, California, and is also a fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Business School.

    Jaideep Prabhu is a professor of Indian business at the University of Cambridge.

    Simone Ahuja is the founder of a marketing and strategy consulting firm Blood Orange, based in Minneapolis and Mumbai.


    © Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja: Jugaad Innovation copyright 2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    Jugaad Innovation FAQs 

    What is the main message of Jugaad Innovation?

    Jugaad Innovation teaches us to find innovative solutions with limited resources and embrace a flexible approach.

    How long does it take to read Jugaad Innovation?

    Reading Jugaad Innovation takes a few hours, but you can read the Blinkist summary in 15 minutes.

    Is Jugaad Innovation a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Jugaad Innovation is worth reading as it unlocks creativity and offers strategies for thriving in uncertain times.

    Who is the author of Jugaad Innovation?

    The authors of Jugaad Innovation are Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja.

    What to read after Jugaad Innovation?

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