Friday, September 28, 2012

Catalign Quarterly – September 2012

Catalign Quarterly is an attempt to put together insights relevant for fostering a culture of innovation in organizations – both for-profit and not-for-profit. Through articles and interviews we explore principles, practices and policies that help organizations become more innovative.

Theme for this quarterly is “Building experimentation capacity”. Why worry about building experimentation capacity? Well, how far can you fly with the wings of ideas? Experiments give shape and provide anchors to ideas. Most importantly they also tell us which aspect doesn’t work. For leaders, experimentation provides a better alternative in selecting ideas as opposed to Powerpoint or prejudices.

The main article is “4 levers of building experimentation capacity”. The 4 levers explored are: Right to experiment (RTE), laboratory, innovation sandbox and open innovation. Other articles explore each of these four themes. Mahatma Gandhi was a great experimenter. But how open was he in others experimenting? “Mahatma Gandhi and the Right to Experiment” explores this aspect. This article on Galileo's life explores how an instrument such as telescope can take the experimentation capacity to a new level. 

We may be carrying fixed set of ideas of what a lab might look like. Agastya Foundation shatters the concept by beautifully combining two metaphors: A school in a lab and a lab in a box. Wright brothers epitomized systematic experimentation. This article explores how they increased their experimentation capacity from 1 flight a day in 1900 to 100 flights a day in 1903. What happens when a lab turns into an innovation sandbox? This article based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book “The emperor of allmaladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee narrates one such story in the journey of cancer research.
Theme for the next quarterly is going to be: "Design Thinking" - very much in line with my next open program (with the same title) to be held on Nov 7-8 in Bangalore.

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