Innovation Drama


from America to China

Main Article:

Over the past several years, was extremely lucky to work in a highly diverse and multi-cultural environment, working with some of the best inventive minds from countries like America, Germany, Singapore, China, Australia, India, and others. As I fondly recollect my experience, in hindsight, it was a well scripted Bollywood movie in the making with all ingredients of love n hate, failures n victory, smiles n frowns, and loner to a leader, finally all is well in the end, a happy ending for a new beginning. I personally cherished this journey as each culture had something very significant about them as far as innovation and creativity was concerned. Each culture has so much, thanks to all them, who I personally consider to be the great gurus of innovation.

Sharing few thoughts on innovation drama, as I witnessed it I will give this story a little-creative flair. To start, I shall presume that innovation is very similar to making a film.We all know that to make a film we need various stakeholders to participate and story of innovation is no different either. In a nutshell, it’s very similar. To make a movie we must first need a producer and where else to look but to the west. I guess Americans have all that takes to make a movie or innovation happen. They have their creativity flowing all day long, big risk takers and more importantly, they are masters when it comes to marketing and selling. Innovation needs these attributes at its very best in nature to make it happen. I guess, the very culture is a strong reflection of how they grew up, which is lot of free will experimentation be it in their own life, to the kind of lifestyle they wish to have. They simply are greatest champions of innovation and mind it to make a big profits, we need producers who can chew risk with ease and handle creativity with comfort. To cut the story short, the movie is just as good as it sells & so is innovation. Sell hard.

Takeaways: Selling, Creativity, Risk Taking & Enjoy the small talk- some of best ideas emerge from here :)

Movie shall never happen with just producers on the board, we need good directors. For the best directors, seek out the Germans.


Arguably, they are the best when it comes to directing and leading innovation. I simply cannot think of having anybody else apart from a German as my movie director, alias, and innovation-director. They simply love work, don't they? No big need to sell and strategize innovation. They simply do it and they do it systematically and more so execute it relentlessly. Directing a movie is a pain-taking execution process which requires great eye for details and a never ending faith in work. A tireless pursuit to execute, the endless iteration and not to quickly conclude without validation is a hallmark trait of what I see as, German Way of Innovation. In pursuit of this, they build & deliver world class products or services. Pursuing the big q's & making the big efforts is what every director relishes and I guess any producer would die to have such directors on board.

Takeaways: Work Discipline, Execution, Innovation a systematic habit & not a strategy.

A good producer and a great director do not stitch-up the story well. Every producer would know that he needs a good production manager who can handle all the chaos and structure with fair ease and charm. To hire the best production manager, my two eyes shut recommendation would be a Singaporean. A production manager should be great at handling diverse sets of people and they need to be masters at embracing cultural diversity. A little mishaps could turn film making into mayhem and I see no big difference when it comes to managing innovation. You need a production manager who can bind the unit as one and so is a role of an innovation manager who needs to bind the entire team to resolve the pieces of innovation puzzles. Some of best minds here can simply connect, coordinate and orchestrate innovation. Management is their greatest asset backed-up firmly by their high demanding standards of work discipline. Production manager is the fulcrum which dictates the balance of film making and I acknowledge, we better get it straight right from the start.


Takeaways: Facilitate & Manage

A movie is as good as the work of a cinematographer & the success of innovation is only as good as its architect. To hire the best cinematographer, you need a team member who never tires up to master perfection. Look no further than east- Hire Chinese, They simply never tire up or give up. I feel this is the ultimate trait for innovation success, you simply cannot teach this, needs to be ingrained within. As a cinematographer, endless try-outs on perspectives is what adds to the scene the needed beauty that it entails. It is very essential that director and cinematographer work well and for that to happen we always need a cinematographer who respects and trust authority. Once the trust is established here between the director and cinematographer, the communication starts to flows freely, you can be rest assured to experience the power of creative exuberance and execution in its full might.


To construct and build products we need to garner trust and be imposed on every team member. Every cinematographer would say that getting the right colors, textures, lighting, props & performances come by practice, simply said, practice makes perfect and so is the work of an innovation architect, ruthless experimentation defines & constructs innovation. A great director with brilliant cinematographer is a sure shot recipe to box office collection. Get them on board today!

Takeaway: Practice hard, Experiment , Trust, Never Give Up

Every story needs a hero and stories like that of an innovation, needs big heroes. Thinking of it, the mighty Aussies are the ones, I reckon. A hero is someone who people idolize and look up to for inspiration. Hero plays the role of anchoring the story forward. A hero needs to set an example and lead the people from the front and champion the cause. As we know, the story of battler or underdogs is always cherished in this culture, so is the story of innovation. You need someone who comes from the background who has mettle and the strength to fight the odds of innovation. Not all paths to innovation is paved with gold, it is simply a hard fought battle. To win you need a gladiator or a hero. Hero symbolizes courage and hope. I would certainly want my heroes to be Aussies, as you can be certain that it will be well a fought battle no stones left turned on the path to glory. I would love to work under someone who can lead us to glory and take all the hardship upon himself to safeguard the team. Innovation needs heroes. The Big Hero!

Takeaway: Fight Hard, Leadership, Work as unit

Finally to stitch all the pieces together, I would leave it to my native Indians. A movie success largely depends on the post production team, on how well they bridge the pieces of puzzles together. In context of innovation, system thinking, problem solving and knowledge workers are needed to streamline any innovation efforts. I proudly call them the innovation engine. Mind that this is a culture which has a starting problem and fear of failures ;-)


but one can be rest assured that Indians excel on well laid roads or in hindsight, in the hands of a good leaders or companies. I guess as Indians, we are deeply blessed to absorb various point of views and rationalize them for a particular result. Post production team in a movie exactly does that and they are indeed the boilers room for the film making. Mind it with an Indian on board the engine room will be noisy, messy & in chaos but will work at its best ;-). We blame it on our genes :)

Takeaway: Critical thinking, Problem Solving, Chaos

It indeed fascinating to learn from different cultural traits and its impact on innovation and I know there is more sides to it than what is expressed. I thoroughly cherished my little experience with all & I am all set to learn more. I take it all I learnt with due regards and my gratitude

Well, you can now wonder how would they all work together to make a movie? I would like to leave this portion open ended and if need be, pen it up next time. I would like to sign-off with some food for thought here for you all



Rate This Article:  
No votes yet
Author:  admin
Posted On:  Monday, 12 January, 2015 - 12:21

Leave Your Comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
5 + 15 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.