Many Leaders are fond of “committing” to innovation but are remiss in getting “involved” in innovation. Much like leaders did at the peak of the quality movement; executives would commit to quality and then commission the Quality Department to manage and lead the TQI efforts. Innovation, like quality, must become a collective mindset and effort. Everyone must look for and be willing to engage in innovations in our own spaces of influence, to include product, service, cost, design, and efficiency innovations. Innovative cultures do not “yeah BUT” ideas to death. Innovative cultures “what if” ideas to life. When this happens, innovation becomes deeply rooted in the DNA of a company, all people, everyone, everyday, everywhere, get involved.
The innovation of the Tata Motors’ Nano, a $2,500 car, offers valuable strategies for accelerating innovation in any business. After spending time with Ratan Tata, Chairman and Patriarch of the Tata Conglomerates, we realized the impact of his involvement in this global innovation. When Mr. Tata went public with his vision to democratize the roads by creating a car for about the cost of a motor scooter ($2,500), he didn’t just hand off his bold and ballsy commitment to a team of engineers. Ratan Tata got involved and worked directly with his team of engineers to design a REAL car (not an apology car). The vision was to a design a safe (in all weather) form of transporation for the millions of people who can only afford a scooter.
Tatas’ reputation in the UK and SE Asia is respected, honored, and
revered. Employment with Tata is often a multi-generational badge of
honor. For over 140 years The Tatas’ have embraced innovation, creating
places where people in all areas collaborate to make the world better.
Their path to disrupting automotive design was uncertain; at times the
challenges seemed impossible. Engagement and
commitment to the vision ebbed and flowed, teams were retired, new teams were formed, and material costs sky rocketed. Yet their vision offered clarity when challenges were dizzying. The innovation of the Nano was messy but Ratan Tata’s involvement helped pave the way for revolutionizing car design globally.
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About Kevin & Jackie Freiberg
Entrepreneur…Dr. Kevin Freiberg is the president of San Diego Consulting Group, Inc., a professional speaking and consulting firm dedicated to equipping leaders for a world of change. For over 20 years, Kevin has been profiling revolutionary business leaders in some of the world’s most innovative companies. He has successfully turned those profiles into roadmaps that help clients create their own revolutionary strategies for growth.
Author…Kevin is the co-author of the forth-coming NANOVATION: How a Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big. In his international best seller, NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, Dr. Freiberg uncovered the strategies that created the greatest success story in the history of commercial aviation.
In NANOVATION, he takes you behind the scenes and shows you how, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the people of Tata Motors created one of the greatest innovations in the auto industry since the Model-T. The Nano, dubbed The People’s Car, is not only a 1 Lakh ($2500 USD) phenomenon that has taken the world by storm; it is a road map for sustained growth and long-term business success.
Kevin and his wife, Jackie, are also the authors of BOOM! 7 Choices for Blowing the Doors Off Business-As-Usual! and GUTS! Companies that Blow the Doors Off Business-As-Usual.
Thought Leader…Recently named one of the “Top 30 Best Minds on Leadership” by Leadership Excellence Magazine, Dr. Freiberg is among the most influential voices on the speaking circuit today.
Dr. Freiberg has appeared on CNBC, CBS Sunday Morning and the CBS Morning News for his views on the critical links between leadership, corporate culture, innovation and exceptional customer loyalty. He has also appeared on the television series Lessons in Excellence for CNBC India. His articles and interviews have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, India’s Economic Times, India’s Business Standard, India’s Financial Times and Capital Business & Finance Magazine of Dubai.
Executive Coach…Dr. Freiberg has a global practice working with firms in Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, India, the Middle East, Central and South America, as well as companies throughout the United States and Canada.Kevin helps business leaders better understand the impact of their choices, attitudes and behaviors on employee engagement, corporate culture, innovation, customer devotion and organizational performance. He has challenged corporate leaders all over the world to question the unquestionable, jettison the “incumbent” mentality, look beyond customer imagination for the next big thing and build companies that are hungry for change.
Professor…Before becoming a full-time speaker and consultant, Kevin taught for eight years at the University of San Diego and San Diego State University, where he met his wife, Jackie. He received his bachelors’ in English literature and masters’ degree in speech communication from San Diego State; he earned his doctorate in leadership at the University of San Diego.
Husband, Father, Activist…The Freibergs live in San Diego with their three active children: Taylor-Grace, Aubrey Hope and Dylan. They are active supporters of Good News to the Poor, a global movement dedicated to living out the principles of servant leadership, Voices for Children, an organization that defends foster children in the courts, and of Monarch High School, a first-of-its-kind high school for homeless children in San Diego.
For over 20 years, Jackie has been on a mission to expose the unconventional, business-best practices of globally admired leaders.
As a bestselling author and leadership expert, Jackie has dedicated her career to helping executives and managers practice the art of leadership and build great companies, where great people can do great work.
Jackie has become a connoisseur of cool companies, places where people want to work and choose to stay. Jackie is on a mission to cure the Dead People Working™ syndrome, a global epidemic sweeping through so many companies today. Her goal is to create a movement of leaders who choose to defy mediocrity, take charge of their success at work and make a difference in their own little corner of the world.
Over 13,000 votes were cast, by leaders around the globe, and Jackie was voted a “Top 5 Leadership Speaker”. She is also recognized as one of the “Top 30 Best Minds on Leadership” by Leadership Excellence Magazine, and is one of the most sought-after female business speakers in the nation.
Her articles and interviews have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, Dubai’s CapitalME, India’s Management Next, India’s Business Standard, India’s Economic Times and India’s Financial Times.
Jackie earned a doctorate in Leadership from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in Communication from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of New Hampshire.
Jackie is a public speaking coach to the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office. She has trained more than 1500 Marine Recruiters a year on the Fundamentals of Delivering a Winning Presentation. Semper Fi!Jackie served as a member of Southwest Airlines’ Culture Committee. She was one of only two non-employee members invited to serve on this highly influential leadership committee.
Jackie served as an executive consultant for the Center for Creative Leadership, providing feedback to executives participating in the five-day Leadership Development Program.Jackie was the Manager of Corporate and Professional Programs at the University of San Diego’s Executive Conference Center before joining Freibergs.com in 1993. During her tenure at USD, Jackie co-founded the Family Business Institute, founded the Certificate in International Business Program and was the Director of the Institute for Quality & Productivity.Jackie has taught leadership, public speaking and communications courses as an adjunct professor at USD.
Jackie was an HR specialist for NCR Corporation. She was in charge of college recruiting, all employment issues, new hire on-boarding and all internal employee communication programs and publications.
Most important! Jackie is the Freiberg family anchor. She is the chief choreographer and lead in coordinating the schedules of their children, Taylor-Grace, Aubrey and Dylan. Jackie skis, bikes, runs and works out hard to keep healthy and SANE. She and Kevin have been working, parenting, writing, speaking, traveling, living and married for more than 20 years now. They were married in San Diego, CA in February 1988.