It’s not that long ago that a colleague told me that innovation would come out of China two generations hence. I did not believe him after seeing a little of what China was doing first hand.
Interesting to read this article today in the Start Advertiser:
As a result, China is expected to overtake Japan soon as the world’s second-largest R&D investor, although it still remains far behind the U.S. China’s domestic doctorate awards in science and engineering have also increased more than tenfold since the early 1990s, and its share of the global pool of researchers has grown from less than 14 percent in 2002 to more than 20 percent today.
Only a few years ago, China’s approach to innovation hardly played a role in international economic diplomacy. Today, it is a hot topic in U.S.-China economic relations, adding further to contentious disputes about exchange rates, trade and foreign direct investment.
The article continues:
Rather than fearing China, we need to focus our research and policy debates constructively on how this relationship can be improved.
I could not agree more. The entire article can be found here.
And now this in the Harvard Business Review Blog on August 4 for another perspective.
I cannot wait to see the movie The Economics of Happiness. For a long time I have been a real fan of globalization – and the underlying technology that makes it possible.
However the trailer (see below) of The Economics of Happiness tells a different story – the real desire of the community to go back to the “village atmosphere”, where once again manufacturing was local. And indeed, the economics of this seem to back up this move.
Maplecroft has today released research figures that shows that of the BRIC nations, India is at ‘extreme risk” with respect to their population becoming stifled by a lack of digital inclusion i.e. the ability for their population to use and access ICT technology. Maplecroft uses 10 indicators to calculate the level of digital inclusion found across 186 countries. These include numbers of mobile cellular and broadband subscriptions; fixed telephone lines; households with a PC and television; internet users and secure internet servers; internet bandwidth; secondary education enrolment; and adult literacy.
Of the BRIC nations, India (39) is the only country to be classified as ‘extreme risk’, meaning that the country’s population suffers from a severe lack of digital inclusion. China (103) Brazil (110) and Russia (134) are rated ‘medium risk’. Despite huge economic growth, the BRICs nations are still significantly outperformed by developed nations in the Digital Inclusion Index. The countries with the best access to ICTs are the Netherlands (186), Denmark (185), Luxembourg (184), Sweden (183) and the UK (182). Trends suggest that the BRICs nations may not lag behind for much longer however.
Read more here.
Great video about life, change and who you really are.
Vineet Nayar and his team have committed HCL to a goal—reverse accountability. David Kirkpatrick, then Fortune magazine’s top tech writer, profiled the company in an piece entitled: The World’s Most Modern Management—In India. More recently, HCL has been the focus of a series of Harvard Business School case studies.
The global R&D outlook for 2011 is increasingly stable and positive, according to analysis performed by Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. Having endured one of the worst recessionary periods in recent memory, R&D managers are adapting to expectations of moderate sustainable growth while competing on a global scale for market share and resources. Reflecting recent trends, prospects for R&D funding vary by region, with the United States (U.S.) expecting R&D growth to track GDP growth, Europe contemplating fiscal austerity that may restrict investment for several years, and most Asian countries maintaining strong financial commitments to R&D.
Total global spending on R&D is anticipated to increase 3.6%, to almost $1.2 trillion. With Asia’s stake continuing to increase, the geographic distribution of this investment will continue a shift begun more than five years ago. The U.S., however, still dominates absolute spending at a level well above its share of global GDP.
During the recession, the Asian R&D communities generally, and China specifically, increased their R&D investment and stature. As a Reuters headline noted, “While the world slashed R&D in a crisis, China innovated”. China entered the recession with a decade of strong economic growth. During that time, it increased R&D spending roughly 10% each year—a pace the country maintained during the 2008-2009 recession. This sustained commitment set China apart from many other nations.
In the U.S., a recession-related drop in industrial R&D spending in 2009 is expected to be recovered by increases in 2010 and 2011 at levels exceeding the rate of inflation.
Among the global research communities, the state of R&D in the European Union (EU) is the most concerning. Challenged by weak economies in Greece, Spain, and Ireland, Europe is struggling to recover from the recession and to cut deficits, which in turn affects government support of R&D.
Read the full report here.
Most of us will have heard about the low cost car that is set to revolutionize travel in India. Many of us will have heard of its innovative model of distribution throughout the country. But not many of us have linked the innovation by Tata to ideation.
But it is.
An executive of an Indian conglomerate credited a corporate culture that encourages innovation with the creation of the world’s cheapest everyday car, a fuel-efficient, $2,500 four-seater that the company plans to export to Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
Sunil Sinha, an executive in Tata Quality Management Services, told a Harvard audience Tuesday (Oct. 12) that the car was the result of an unlikely — but public — promise that the company’s leader made in 2003, setting to work a team of engineers charged with rethinking how cars could be designed and made. The result, which went on sale last year, is the Tata Nano, a tiny, two-cylinder model that gets 55 miles per gallon and meets all of India’s vehicle emissions and regulatory requirements.
So where does ideation fit in? Sinha described a culture of innovation at Tata that includes employee-awards programs for both successful and unsuccessful ideas. What’s important, Sinha said, is that employees feel comfortable in bringing forward ideas, even ones that don’t pan out, and that they feel they work in a place that values fresh thinking.
The innovation culture has produced several notable products, he said. One is a water purification system that costs just $20 and produces enough water to keep a family of four supplied for more than a year.
Read the full article here. If I find a video of the talk, I will post it.
I thought this was an interesting perspective on globalisation
Points of relevance are:
- In a globalised world, culture is usually ignored
- Rather than flattening culture in a flat world, we should be embracing and harnessing differences.
- We are not good at working across different cultures
- Are we addressing the following issues in a globalized world?: individual versus collective orientation, patterns of activity, work habits, dress, language, gender roles, hierarchy, view of time, communication practices, tastes
We have the opportunity to harness cultural differences as we globalize, but I do not believe we are successful at doing so. Large corporates, with centralized practices such as HR, finance, etc, tend to continue to roll out the western culture machine irrespective of location – China, India, etc. The local satellites struggle to integrate western practices locally – those employees who fail are deemed to be not resilient enough in a global economy.
The opportunity is to harness the differences in culture, embrace and capitalize on them, not flatten them with the western steamroller.