What can Executives learn from Obama’s State of the Union speech? (Part 1)

29 Jan

In the State of the Union speech, Obama touched many critical issues related to the growth of the United States. Delivering his annual State of the Union address to the US Congress, Obama made various references to emerging economies like India and China. He also unveiled his plan to maintain American leadership in an increasingly competitive world marked by the surge of nations like India and China. His plan relied on four key pillars – innovate, educate, build, and reform. These are four few crucial things that Executives should learn from his speech. In this blog, I will concentrate on innovation.

In today’s environment, most of the companies are reducing their R&D spending by drastic amount. They are trying to cut almost everything to reduce their spending and improve their profit margin. This might be the good strategy for the short-term, but it is definitely not sustainable on long-term basis. History speaks for itself. By just one Google search, you will be able to find various companies, who lost their competitive edge by reducing their spending on R&D. Reverse of this is true too. Look at Apple for example, it differentiate itself by bringing innovative products in to the market. Maybe that’s the only reason why they have crazy fan following.

Obviously, just pouring money in to R&D without an actual plan will get you nowhere. So, create an innovation plan before you think of investing in R&D. Define your goals and clarify your objectives. One thing that might help is to create a small research team, who think more broadly and creatively without outside pressure. Don’t be like those big companies, who eat their own children. Create an environment where your employees can feel innovative. Don’t be afraid of disrupting your own revenue stream with a new unit. Empower your employees to innovate, and change the organization’s culture to think out of the box. Don’t ever ditch all the little initiatives to focus on core business without at least acknowledging them.

So, what do you think? Do you have any other ideas to create an innovative environment? If you do, then please feel free to share your opinion with me. I would love to hear from you. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management


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