Inspiring NEXT Series

by Dr. Ripi Singh

Having known Ripi Singh for more than 20 years, I am very happy to see this set of 4 volumes by him on innovation.  Ripi is well qualified to write this having played the roles of an academician, an industry researcher, an industry research leader, and an innovation coach.  Ripi is a deep thinker and an honest technology voice.  He is strong on his technology fundamentals and has innovatively applied it in startup ecosystems, industry-university partnerships, as well as in conglomerates.

The topic of innovation has been addressed by several leading lights including Clayton Christenson who died, recently, in January 2020.  Ripi’s work is still much needed and timely as it covers the most recent concerns of human health and comfort while being inclusive of our dear planet.  2019-2020 has been a year of COVID-19, de-globalization, post-truth politics, student unrest, #metoo impact, US President’s impeachment, UK political roller-coaster, and visible climate change impact. These broad trends impact technical directions. COVID-19 has placed a demand for fast health screening and testing, de-globalization has resulted in increased regulations for data sovereignty.  Post-truth politics demand technology solutions to detect fake news, images, and videos. Governments have used face-detection technologies to identify persons of interest. Climate change has increased the consciousness of the carbon footprint of the digital age.  Given this context, the thesis of Ripi’s book, Inspiring Next Purposeful Innovation, is timely and relevant. 

Ripi is systematic in covering the topics including the articulation of purpose, connecting it to the markets, using a framework for execution, and leveraging technology for competitiveness.  The correlation across purpose, projects, profile, and people is unique. This holistic model covering strategic and tactical practices accounting for mindset is well-positioned to help organizations bring innovation into their culture.

I also appreciate Ripi tying in ISO 56000 to ensure that current thought processes on innovation management are leveraged while bringing in new thinking.  Ripi serves as an expert on US team developing these standards which gives him a good vantage point.

Ripi also brings into each chapter, the impact of the recent pandemic on innovation and the need for structured innovation to bounce forward from it.  Although the pandemic situation is still evolving and we are all anxious about the next normal, there is useful guidance in here to help leaders prepare for whatever comes next. His book series is practical with the right prompts to capture key take-aways for your work.

I believe that Ripi’s book series will add significant value to both organizations beginning their innovation journey as well as those who are well along their way. 

I wish Ripi the best, and the readers a purposeful innovation journey.

 – Gopichand Katragadda, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO at Myelin Foundry
Former Group CTO, Tata Sons
Former MD, GE Technology Center.

The story of how Gopi inspired me to synthesize various tools and practices into the framework is in Chapter-5.