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A New Theory of Creation

“The new game is about more efficiency and more innovation,” write

CK Prahalad and MS Krishnan in their new book The New Age of Innovation: Driving co-created value through global networks. As a motto for companies battling with the most severe economic downturn for 60 years, it takes some beating. And as the man responsible for concepts such as ‘core competence’ and ‘strategic intent’, and described by Business Week as possibly “the most influential thinker on business strategy today,” Prahalad deserves listening to. The main theme of The New Age of Innovation is that the most successful companies no longer invent new products and services on their own. They ‘co-create’ them with their customers in a way that produces a unique experience for each customer. But because no company owns – or can possibly own – enough resources to provide unique experiences for all its customers, companies must organise a constantly shifting global web of suppliers and partners to do the job. To harness these resources properly, in a way that allows them to be more flexible to customers’ needs, organisations need to become less hierarchical and more attuned to the needs and development of individual employees in order to build on and reconfigure their collective talents.

And critically, not only does the nature of the relationship between a business and its customers have to change, but it also needs to be supported by extensive use of innovative technology. Indeed, claim Prahalad and Krishnan, companies need to build their strategy around these new processes and technology which, for most, will require them to completely restructure. Prahalad, the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, has been developing his world view for many years. Born in Madras (now Chennai), he inherited his curiosity from his father, a well-known Sanskrit scholar and judge. At the age of 19, in between earning a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Chennai and a management

degree from the Indian Institute of Management, he worked as a manager in the local Union Carbide battery plant – an experience he describes as ‘a major inflection point’ in his life.

His doctoral thesis at Harvard Business School was one of the first studies to argue that corporations need new structures to project global strategies while adapting to local needs. At Harvard he also began nurturing concepts that he would build on later in his career – for example, that entrepreneurs should not let limited resources constrain their ambitions or let deeply ingrained biases blind them to revolutionary change.

He has built a strong following among global chief executives as a blunt and demanding corporate adviser, and he has helped multinationals such as Citibank, Philips and Philip Morris break out of ingrained mindsets and craft new business models. But his reputation as the world’s most innovative management thinker stems primarily from three ground-breaking books – Competing for the Future (coauthored with Gary Hamel) in 1994, The Future of Competition: Co-creating value with customers (co-authored with Venkat Ramaswami) in 2004 and The Fortuneat the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating poverty through profit in 2004. Competing for the Future, regarded as a classic, helped spark a management revolution in the 1990s with its central tenet that companies should identify and focus on their competitive strengths – or ‘core competence’. The Future of Competition first introduced the concept of ‘co-creation’, with Prahalad and Ramaswami arguing that the traditional ‘company-centric’ approach to product innovation is becoming obsolescent. Prahalad has also wrestled with the complex and political issue of poverty. It was his interest in this area that led him to write The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, in which he identifies the world’s poor as a potential untapped market for companies, worth anything up to $13 trillion a year.

“The real source of market promise is not the wealthy few in the developing world, or even the emerging middleincome consumers. It is the billions of aspiring poor who are joining the market economy for the first time,” he explains. Too often poor people are patronised, but Prahalad wants them to have real power in the marketplace. His work in this area led to his membership of the United Nations Commission on Poverty and the Private Sector between 2003 and 2004. But to return to The New Age of Innovation. The idea of co-created customer experiences, supported by innovative use of technology, to drive growth and profit, is not some futuristic dream. The book provides concrete examples of where it is happening now (see box). But while many of the best examples to date involve the internet, Prahalad and Krishnan also outline even broader possibilities for co-creation. For example, the health insurance premiums of a customer with diabetes could be reset continually based on monitoring that person’s vital signs and compliance with a regime of diet, exercise and medication. Indeed, an early version is being used by ICICI Prudential in India.

The service and its price are continually co-created by the customer and the company in conjunction with a network of doctors, exercise facilities and pharmaceutical companies that have joined the project. Anything can be customised, claim the authors. For example, car tyres could be priced according to the number of miles they will need to be driven. Car insurers could use GPS tracking devices to calculate premiums based on an individual driver’s location. Or a shoe shop could scan a customer’s feet to produce and deliver a bespoke pair of shoes within days. To successfully win on the battlefields of 21st century business, companies must start thinking now about how to reconfigure themselves to deal with the new empowered technology-savvy customer. “No industry is immune from this trend,” write Prahalad and Krishnan. “Coming to terms with the implications of this change is critical for survival and growth.”

Previously published in the Business Review, Impact Executives

Interim Management

Clive Sexton


8 Comments

  1. Kristen

    How many evolution scientists deferred to the creation theory?There are plenty of evolution scientists who believe in creation—but how many actually abandoned evolution theory for creation theory as the only answer?? And, who are they?

  2. BoogyMan Messiah

    Creationism is not a "theory", at least not in a scientific sense. It’s an explanation (of sorts), but it has none of the elements of science. Saying "God did it" doesn’t explain anything…and the job of science is to explain things.References :

  3. I don’t prefer neither. They all have fallacies. The evolution theory in place right now has been changing and will change with new discoveries. Its really hard to test and observed evolution in the process because we have never tested or observe a specie evolving in to a brand new specie. The only thing we have observed is adaptations of the same type of animal giving rise to capabilities it will not have in other environments. We based evolution on adaptations and we called gradual change because is super slow so our guess that through many generations and adaptation a new specie would become very different than the original specie.

    We have never seen a fish start walking on two legs. Time prevents this. So there are holes in all our data and evidence is always bringing up new problems and theories.

    As for the creation theory. No one was there in the beginning to disprove or approve it. We simply don’t know how inanimate matter came to be animated. We can theorize it and can do experiment to produce such things in a test tube, but if you think, there was a creator (scientist) for the proteins that formed in the test tube.

    So we dont know what outside force in nature set the motion for living organisms to arise from simple proteins.

    So the door really open for both debates and even more debates.References : Anthropologist

  4. Here’s one list …not sure how many were former evolutionists.

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660

    Another link with some former Evolution supporters…..
    http://www.creationists.org/former-evoltionists-who-became-young-earth-creation-scientists.html

    Dr Walt Brown, is a former Evolutionist and has since then become a Creationist and developed the Hydroplate Theory of the Flood……
    http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/

    A list of Christian scientists in history who supported Creationism…
    http://www.rae.org/bits20.htm

    Related link…
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/

    Physicians and surgeons who dissent from Darwinism…
    http://www.pssiinternational.com/References :

  5. Endangered

    I don’t think there is an exact estimate. There’s probably a list but I don’t know of any statistic on it.References :

  6. First ask what specialties these scientists would be. One of the links listed in a previous answer gives such relevant specialties as "Watershed Science", "Agriculturist"," Plant Physiologist" and one "3 Doctorates and a NATO 3-star General" Just how much involved in evolution are they?

    Certainly one have have a "doctorate" and believe in creationism. If the degree was in religion it wouldn’t be a surprise. One could even call themselves a ‘scientist" to boot.

    The claim that evolution is ‘wrong" "because we have never tested or observe a specie evolving in to a brand new specie" either ignores or is unaware of the E coli long term experiment. It’s been running since 1988 and has produced a new species. Likely this wasn’t mentions as it’s science and not something easily dismissed.

    There’s also the slippery definition of what creationism was accepted. One person listed "converted from "theistic" to something else. Problem is "theistic" is a creation belief. There’s no one creation belief (we won’t call any of then theories) Did all these people change to literal creationism? Gap? Young earth? Old earth? or did they weasel with worlds such as "day" and claim Genesis can’t be taken at face value?References : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment
    http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

  7. Skraeling6

    This is a very problematic question.

    "How many evolution scientists deferred to the creation theory?"

    What is "ceation theory"? Do you mean creationism? If so this is not a theory.

    "There are plenty of evolution scientists who believe in creation"

    I would even say all do since it is hard to doubt that there was some sort of a creation for the fact that we are here unless you believe that the world and the universe simply always was here and so never was created. The Big Bang theory suggests that the universe today is very different then the universe billions of years ago.

    "but how many actually abandoned evolution theory for creation theory as the only answer"

    Again if you mean creationism then I would say not many. Those that do are heavily influenced dogma of religion and embrace creationism not because of its strength of evidence but for social comfort from family and community they belong to.

    There is no debate in science about creationism. It has been defeated about hundred years ago. It is a cultural issue of those that accept scientific evidence and those that do not. Evolution has a theory that explains the facts and Creationism is simply unfounded.References :

  8. Lightning From the East

    Yes, Over 600, you can see this in this Video, go 4:21 into this Video to see that

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUC9drrEAVU&feature=related

    Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation
    Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
    Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
    Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
    Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
    Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
    Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
    Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
    Dr. Don Batten, Plant Physiologist
    Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
    Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
    Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
    Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
    Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
    Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
    Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
    Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
    Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biology
    Dr. David Catchpoole, Plant Physiology
    Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
    Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
    Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
    Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
    Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
    Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
    Dr. John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
    Dr. Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
    Timothy C. Coppess, M.S., Environmental Scientist
    Dr. Bob Compton, DVM
    Dr. Ken Cumming, Biologist
    Dr. Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
    Dr. William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics
    Dr. Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
    Dr. Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist
    Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
    Dr. Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
    Dr. Nancy M. Darrall, Botany
    Dr. Bryan Dawson, Mathematics
    Dr. Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
    Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
    Dr. David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
    Dr. Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
    Dr. Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
    Dr. Ted Driggers, Operations research
    Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research
    Dr. André Eggen, Geneticist
    Dr. Dudley Eirich, Molecular Biologist
    Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
    Dr. Andrew J. Fabich, Microbiology
    Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
    Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
    Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry
    Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
    Dr. Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science
    Dr. Paul Giem, Medical Research
    Dr. Maciej Giertych, Geneticist
    Dr. Duane Gish, Biochemist
    Dr. Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
    Dr. Warwick Glover, General Surgeon
    Dr. D.B. Gower, Biochemistry
    Dr. Robin Greer, Chemist, History
    Dr. Stephen Grocott, Chemist
    Dr. Vicki Hagerman, DMV
    Dr. Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
    Dr. Barry Harker, Philosopher
    Dr. Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
    Dr. John Hartnett, Physics
    Dr. Mark Harwood, Engineering (satellite specialist)
    Dr. George Hawke, Environmental Scientist
    Dr. Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Botanist
    Dr. Harold R. Henry, Engineer
    Dr. Jonathan Henry, Astronomy
    Dr. Joseph Henson, Entomologist
    Dr. Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy
    Dr. Andrew Hodge, Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Service
    Dr. Kelly Hollowell, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacologist
    Dr. Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric Science
    Dr. Bob Hosken, Biochemistry
    Dr. George F. Howe, Botany
    Dr. Neil Huber, Physical Anthropologist
    Dr. James A. Huggins, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology
    Dr. Russ Humphreys, Physics
    Evan Jamieson, Hydrometallurgy
    George T. Javor, Biochemistry
    Dr. Pierre Jerlström, Molecular Biology

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/References : TLS

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