December 5, 2014

Innovation and Business Transformation, With Dr. Sunil Mithas

How does a company go about tackling the subject of innovation amidst a business transformation phase? That’s the question we tackle on this week’s episode of “The Innovation Engine.” To help us get to the what, why, and how of “Innovation & Business Transformation” is Dr. Sunil Mithas, professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Mithas is author of the recently-published book Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars: How to Excel, Innovate and Transform Your Business the Tata Way. The book examines the success of the global behemoth the Tata Group and the role innovation has played in its success. Dr. Mithas also wrote “Digital Intelligence: What Every Smart Manager Must Have for Success in an Information Age,” a book in which he talks about why “digital IQ” is a must have attribute in today’s business leaders.

Besides his research and teaching at the University of Maryland, Dr. Mithas has worked on research and consulting assignments with organizations including A.T. Kearney, Johnson & Johnson, and the Tata Group.  Dr. Mithas is a frequent speaker at industry events for senior corporate leaders and his work has been featured in prominent publications like Bloomberg, Computerworld, CIO, InformationWeek, and MIT Sloan Management Review.

What are some of the processes you can put in place to ensure innovation flourishes within your company? Why does innovation requires long-term commitment rather than a get rich quick mindset? The podcast will reveal answers to this and more!

Here are some highlights from the podcast episode:

  • We begin by getting some background from Dr. Mithas on the Tata Group and some of the companies like Jaguar and Land Rover that fall under the Tata umbrella
  • Dr. Mithas explains the rapid ascent of the Tata Group, where today it is responsible for more than 8% of the total market cap of the Bombay Stock Exchange and how sometimes it is referred to as “the GE of India”
  • Dr. Mithas sheds light on some of the best practices at the Tata Group, like the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) and the Tata InnoVista program
  • We talk about his new book, in which he talks about innovation as the 4th wave in the transformation journey, following on the heels of Commitment, Assimilation, and Globalization
  • One portion of Dr. Mithas’ book focuses on Jaguar Land Rover and the renaissance they experienced once they were acquired from Tata. He tells us about the numbers around Tata’s investment in R&D and their revenue growth compared to competitors
  • And finally, we talk about the Product Development Success Index (PDSI), which is a forthcoming joint research study between the Center of Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, 3Pillar, and Rockbridge Associates.


Interested in hearing more? Tune in to the full episode of “The Innovation Engine” podcast below.

About The Innovation Engine

Since 2014, 3Pillar has published The Innovation Engine, a podcast that sees a wide range of innovation experts come on to discuss topics that include technology, leadership, and company culture. You can download and subscribe to The Innovation Engine on Apple Podcasts. You can also tune in via the podcast’s home on Spotify to listen online, via Android or iOS, or on any device supporting a mobile browser.