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Idea is just the beginning, execution is all important, says strategy guru Vijay Govindarajan

24-January-2006
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Idea is just the beginning, execution is all important, says strategy guru Vijay Govindarajan

Prof Vijay Govindarajan, one of the world’s Top 50 management gurus and a leading authority on strategic innovation, has a lot to share in his new book ‘10 Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution’, written along with Chris Trimble. “Idea is just the beginning,” says Govindarajan, “Execution is all important.”

In the country to launch his new book, Govindarajan said, “The first and foremost strategy for successful brand building is focusing on new business models. Companies should experiment and learn. Fundamental breakthrough in innovation is required.”

“Breakthrough growth opportunities can make or break companies and careers. ‘Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators’ is every leader’s guide to execution in unexplored territory,” says the jacket of the book that according to critics is likely to be one of the biggest business books of 2006.

The first chapter sets the tone of the book. “Why strategic innovators need a different approach to innovation” explains the common pitfalls that plague a great idea from the drawing board stage to the final execution stage. “The error is in assuming that the company has already hurdled the most difficult barriers to innovation: finding a great idea and a great leader. In fact the biggest challenges are still to come… Ideas get you only so far,” says Govindrajan in his book.

Govindarajan, who is often referred to as VG, is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School and founding director of Tuck’s Center for Global Leadership. He is also the faculty co-director for Global Leadership 2020, Tuck’s executive education program that focuses on global management and is taught on three continents.

He has come a far way from his beginnings in the temple town of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. He did his B.Com from the Annamalai University, then completed his Chartered Accountancy degree, where he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for obtaining the first rank nationwide. He then worked with DCM for a while before leaving for the US for higher studies in 1974, where he did his MBA and Doctorate at Harvard.

Prior to joining the faculty at Tuck, VG was on the faculties of The Ohio State University and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has also served as a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France), the International University of Japan (Urasa, Japan), and Helsinki School of Economics (Helsinki, Finland).

Govindarajan was ranked by the Management International Review as one of the Top 20 North American Superstars for research in strategy and organisation. VG works with CEOs and top management teams in Global Fortune 500 firms to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy.

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