“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs
When Vijay Govindarajan sent me mail about three-box approach with links I felt excited with this concept. I decided to share it with my bloggers who regularly visit my blog. And they have also been asking me to write something different. Hence, I decided to explore this concept briefly for the benefit of my bloggers.
Vijay Govindarajan’s and Chris Trimble’s article titled “The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention” in Harvard Business Review urged forward-looking CEOs to manage reinvention with a “three-box approach”. This approach emphasizes on managing the present (box!1), selectively forgetting the past (box!2), and creating the future (box!3). Leaders need to operate in all three boxes simultaneously to achieve the desired organizational outcomes.
What is Three-Box Approach?
Three-Box Approach is about managing the present, selectively forgetting the past and creating the future. It is an excellent approach coined by VG and Chris Trimble that benefits all of us – be it profitable organizations or non profit institutions. For instance, Brian Goldner, the CEO of Hasbro, Inc., successfully applied three-box approach that helped him turnaround Hasbro in 2000. He focused on leveraging the company’s core brands, reducing costs, and lessening its reliance on its licensed business. And the pastor of United Methodist church who had difficulties brainstormed with his team members and worked on this approach and benefited immensely.
Three-Box Approach vs. Hindu Philosophy
According to Hindu philosophy there are three popular deities, Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva who are called creator, generator and destroyer respectively. However, when we talk about 3 Box approach, the Box 1 represent managing the present (Vishnu), Box 2 represents destroying the past (Shiva) and Box 3 represent creating (Brahma). As all three Gods are important for human cycle all three boxes are important in making organizations stand out. This 3 box approach calls for shedding the bad and wedding the good for organizational excellence and effectiveness.
Due to the rising complexity and uncertainty it is tough to predict the future. In addition, rapid growth in technology compelled companies to explore new ways and means to meet the customer aspirations and expectations. Hence, the Three Box Approach provides solace and solutions to companies to reinvent, reignite and reimage themselves to stay ahead of others.
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