The conference I moderated at the University of Pisa on the topic International business development. Is there a common enlightening and empowering trait? featured interaction among the International MBA students and a panel of four entrepreneurs and managers active on the global market in different fields (mechanical industrial, fashion, new technologies applied to health management and improvement, services for patent and innovation development) from the start-up to the major corporation.
Innovation. Teamwork. Talent.
Three have been the common traits emerging strongly from the debate: innovation, teamwork, talent. All of them related to the overall need to create value in the perception of the customer, and the customers are not all alike even within the same sector.
Innovation. It is not just fashionable or trendy, it is a must demanded by a market in continuos dynamic evolution and increasingly demanding from several points of view. Innovate to personalise to the customer needs while increasing efficiency and managing to slow down a progressive, almost inevitable, shrinking of operational margins almost across all of the sectors.
Teamwork. It is increasingly the essential leverage to performance. Both at the technical or managerial level, without the ability to lead stimulating actual teamwork turns into an ineffective and dangerous for survival waste of resources.
Talent. Creating value through innovation and teamwork nowadays depend on talent. The ability to express top level performance in a consistent way. To note that within the debate we have had different perspectives on talent selecting and managing: is it better to have top talented people with low interpersonal skills (even nasty) or talented-tending-to-average people with effective interpersonal skills? Some have had no doubt: it is part of the job description of a manager to handle ‘nasty’ talent and make it effective even within teamwork. Some have stated that in any case the development and focus on international skills for anybody is paramount.
The interaction among professionals and the MBA participants has been strong, stimulated by all of this. Overall a concept has been clear: international markets are changing and shifting at an increasingly speed. There is the need to consistently analyse where is the best place, the best contexts, where to develop production, sales markets, financing projects.
During the first two weeks of the year I have been travelling extensively across India with my friends and colleagues Samit Naik and Walter Sciacca (co-authors with me of the upcoming book ‘Fast Track Innovation’ www.fasttrackinnovation.it ; lots of the traveling was relevant to interviews and meetings that will be featured in the book itself ). We have spent time in several cities and we have had the opportunity to observe many things that are currently happening in India perceiving clearly a momentum for change in progress. Prime Minister Modi has coined a slogan “Make in India” focusing on the fact that manufacturing needs to get back to actually boosting a concrete economic growth. For example, companies as Mahindra (automotive) point out that this is actually happening by advertising on main national newspapers the production record that they achieved amounting to 5.000.000 units.
January 2015. Mahindra celebrating its 5 million vehicles manufactured
In addition, the educational context directly related to economic development is growing at full speed with companies clearly seeking higher level skills and talents. The focus in not only on technical subjects but also on managerial and economic ones signalling the concrete drive for an overall industrial and organizational growth.
January 2015. Organizations in India recruit at full speed on campuses
There is no doubt that something is happening; change is in the air and its progress is gradually perceivable. We have had several meetings with business people in various sectors and organizational contexts and all of them pointed in this direction. Yesterday even The Times of India has published an article highlighting the same trend “India’s growth to reach 6.3 per cent in 2016: UN report” .
Prime Minister Modi is perceived has the energetic and focused leadership driving and stimulating these changes. I am currently enjoying reading his recently published biography by Andy Marino “Narendra Modi. A political biography”, pointing out that “innovation – doing things better and smarter – engages and animates him”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
I invite everybody to get more acquainted with the way he developed his path to political prominence and is currently implementing organizational and managerial policies. The focus is set to giving the opportunity to public servants to discover and give their best rather than getting stuck within the same dynamics of stale bureaucratic routine. A kind of routine that is too often double knotted in corruption practices representing a heavy cultural and practical burden to economic development.
For good or bad, this is represents a new way to frame and manifest the organizational role of government to the concrete development of a country. No matter what kind of progress actually happens in India, or the speed of it, many of the actual managerial practices Modi utilizes over the inner working of government should be closely analysed by many other countries. Let’s stay tuned to closely observe trends, facts and outlooks.
On Wednesday December 17th I had the opportunity to be part of the Fp4batiw project http://www.fp4batiw.eu/ (Fostering partnerships for the implementation of best available technologies for water treatment & management in the Mediterranean) with about twenty people coming from many of the Mediterranean countries (professors, researchers, leader of development business institutions alike). The project is organised by the innovation center Innovabic – Messina Italy.
The topic of the seminar
I lead a one-day seminar with them on the topic of “Creative Innovation and Change Management” choosing to focus on concepts and practices of unstructured innovation (in particular Jugaad innovation) linked to the structured one.
Pictures from the seminar
Once again, as it has happened and it is happening in different countries throughout my career as international public speaker, it has been revealing to realise that it is possible to instil energy and ‘off the wall’ focus even within experienced academia enviromnets traditionally considered as set in their ways and somewhat conservatives in the way they approach such events. When together we are able to open each other minds, it has been fantastic to generate new perspectives and ideas while enjoying each other company and getting to know each other.
Pictures from the seminar
The Mediterranean basin no doubt offers many opportunities to contribute to economic and even social development and progress (and the definition of progress I mean is the one enabling the majority of the people to express and reach the very best of their potentials). In the near future I feel that is an additional direction I would like to focus on.
The book “Innovazione a tutto gas!” (innovazioneatuttogas.it) (title translation: Innovation Full Throttle!) has introduced a new fresh way to look at innovation inspired by the past, present and future of Motorsport.
Now the time is right to develop all of this on an international stage with the same fresh managerial approach mixed to new anecdotes and real life stories told by their direct protagonists. All of this linked in many ways to the global pulsing hearth of Motorsport and Automotive. Stay tuned to follow the fast development of a new book leading all of us to innovate… the faster and faster way! … 😉
Riccardo with Walter Sciacca and Samit Naik, co-authors of the upcoming new book …
During the premiere presentation of the italian edition of ‘Innovation full throttle!’ (innovazioneatuttogas.it)at the press room of the Misano Adriatico (Italy) track, Samit Naik (co-founder of Synergy Pathways and author of the book Appendix) points out key concepts of of the potential of this connection to be explored.
This represent goes to the roots of a strong potential for active internationalisation Synergy Pathways develops thorough a business model leveraging upon innovation.