Friday, October 24, 2008

One more time: Time to Value.

When the US Print industry gathers in Chicago next week, many decisions are going to be top of mind. Some decisions will be made. In yesterday's post, I argued that a good decision making rule is ROT (return on time - Dr Joe Webb.) It works much better than ROI (return on investment.)

Today, I found a blog at Harvard Business Publishing that is managed by Navi Radjou. He works at Forrester and is focused on India. In one of his posts, he talk about "time to value" as a replacement for "time to market." Since the purpose of innovation is to get money in the door, everything else is secondary. It's just common sense.

He also replaces "value creation" with "value extraction." Printers at Graph Expo might be well served focusing on extracting the value already embedded in their firms. It's much faster than creating value for a new market. It will give the printer a much higher ROT.
I also showed how Indian companies like ICICI, Larsen & Toubro, and Asian Paints are exploiting technology differently than their Western peers. Instead of reinventing the technology wheel, the CIOs and CTOs in these Indian corporations transform and broker tech innovations across their global business networks. As such, these tech execs are redefining themselves as Chief Innovation Transformers and Chief Knowledge Brokers who are obsessed with accelerating value-extraction from emerging technologies.
And from another post by Mr Radjou,

Some senior European execs that I met with this week pointed this out and suggested that India’s patent filing prowess provides evidence that the country is becoming a world-class innovator. They're right: Indian companies indeed are emerging as top-notch innovators. But they're also wrong: What proves they're world class innovators is not that they are filing patents to protect the IP they generate, but that they are damn good at monetizing the IP they generate.

These European execs’ notion is indicative of a huge conceptual difference between Western CEOs and Indian CEOs in how they define and drive innovation, and how they measure its success. For Western CEOs, IP might as well stand for “intellectual pride.” Many American and European CEOs proudly report to their shareholders that their firm was very innovative the previous fiscal year because it filed scores of new patents.

But Indian CEOs interpret IP as “intellectual profit." Patents, for them, are just an indicator of how inventive a company is, not how innovative it is. What makes Indian firms proud is not the number of patents but rather their unique ability to rapidly transform their patented inventions into profit-making assets in the marketplace, in the form of new products, services, or processes.

Take Tata Motors: its 40 patents will be useless if Tata's factories can’t transform the Nano’s design specs into 250,000 real-life cars launched on-time and under-budget. That’s why, as CIO Manish Gupta points out, Tata Motors’ innovation metrics not only include number of patents, but also “time-to-volume" and "time-to-value” for new inventions.

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