SPOS #934 – Vijay Govindarajan Gives A Masterclass On Leadership And Management

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Welcome to episode #934 of Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #934. When it comes to management and innovation, Vijay Govindarajan (aka VG) is a true legend. VG is a name synonymous with strategy and innovation. As the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and a key player in Silicon Valley’s Mach49 incubator (prior to joining the faculty at Tuck, VG was on the faculties of Harvard Business School, Insead and the Indian Institute of Management), VG’s insights are pure gold for anyone looking to push their business thinking forward. VG’s journey is impressive. From being the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric to working with top management teams in over 40% of the Fortune 500, VG has seen it all. In our conversation, he breaks down the evolving definition of innovation and why it’s crucial for organizations to aim high and take risks. One of his standout ideas is the fusion strategy — melding physical products with tech to create something truly remarkable (also the name of his latest book, Fusion Strategy – How Real-Time Data and AI Will Power the Industrial Future). It’s not just about having the latest gadgets but about integrating them in ways that make life better. We also tackle the topic of leadership. VG stresses that true leaders are those who can solve customer problems in real-time and build lifelong relationships. He’s a firm believer that smart data and AI are the new electricity – essential and transformative. But it’s not just about having the tools… it’s about how you use them. Innovation isn’t just a buzzword for VG; it’s a necessity, especially in our unpredictable world. We also talked about the impact of black swan events and how these unpredictable challenges require a new way of thinking and an openness to change. He’s all about thinking differently and pushing the boundaries to reach your true potential (see his ten-plus business books or the countless articles he’s published in the top academic journals – work like Reverse Innovation, Stop The Innovation Wars and many more). It’s about being bold, taking risks, and learning from every step along the way. VG’s practical experience and strategic mind make him a treasure trove of insights. He’s worked with industry giants like Boeing, Coca-Cola, FedEx, and Walmart, and spoken at major events like TED and the World Economic Forum at Davos. He’s a big brain with a warm heart and a passion for doing things right in business today. Enjoy the conversation…


  • Embrace true potential and overcome risk aversion to achieve innovation.
  • Integrate physical and tech to create better products through fusion strategy.
  • Leverage digital technologies to transform the industrial sector.
  • Focus on solving customer problems in real time and building lifelong relationships.
  • Smart data and AI are the new electricity, providing immense power and potential for companies.
  • Innovation is crucial in a world of unpredictable change, and conducting low-cost experiments at the edges of the organization can lead to strategic flexibility and adaptability.
  • Black swan events, such as Covid 19, require leaders to think differently and embrace new ways of navigating uncertainty.
  • The marketplace is evolving and improving our lives, with technology enabling greater connectivity and convenience.
  • Thinking differently and continuously striving to reach one’s true potential is key to personal and professional growth.


  • 00:00 – Introduction and Background
  • 02:07 – The Ever-Evolving Definition of Innovation
  • 06:36 – Overcoming Risk Aversion in Organizations
  • 09:31 – The Impact of the Poly Crisis on Innovation
  • 11:28 – The Potential of Digital Technologies in Business
  • 13:20 – The Optimistic Outlook for Innovation
  • 15:27 – Fusion Strategy: The Integration of Physical and Tech
  • 21:21 – Digitizing the Industrial Sector
  • 23:35 – The Role of Leadership in Embracing Innovation
  • 26:09 – The Importance of Understanding Product in Use
  • 28:36 – Augmented Intelligence and the Future of Work
  • 31:24 – The Role of Policymakers in Regulating AI
  • 36:17 – Navigating the Complexities of AI Regulation
  • 39:30 – The Challenge of Meeting Consumer Expectations
  • 46:27 – Solving Customer Problems in Real Time
  • 50:19 – The Importance of Building Lifelong Customer Relationships
  • 51:18 – The Significance and Challenges of Speed in Technology
  • 52:39 – Smart Data and AI as the New Electricity
  • 55:19 – Innovation in the Face of Unpredictable Change
  • 57:35 – The Rise of Black Swan Events
  • 58:12 – The Evolution of the Marketplace
  • 1:00:29 – Thinking Differently and Embracing Potential

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #934.

Before you go… ThinkersOne  is a new way for organizations to buy bite-sized and personalized thought leadership video content (live and recorded) from the best Thinkers in the world. If you’re looking to add excitement  and big smarts to your meetings, corporate events, company off-sites, “lunch & learns” and beyond, check it out.

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