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IITSINE Changes Guards

Anil Saigal

At the recently held elections for IITSINE, Vishwa Shukla was elected its President for the 2005-2007 term. Other members of the Executive Committee include Sunil Singhal – Vice President, Rajit Kamal – Secretary, Anil Saigal – Treasurer, Ravi Rastogi – VP Delhi, Rakesh Pandey – VP Kanpur, P.A. Balasubramanian – VP Kharagpur and Manju Aggarwal – VP Roorkee.

The highlight of the afternoon was the talk by Prof. Robinson of Sloan School of Management, MIT. Robinson’s latest book titled “IDEAS ARE FREE” focuses on serious performance improvements through employee ideas. He talked about a number of companies from Boardroom (104 ideas/year) to Wainwright (65 ideas/year) to Dana Corp., Richer Sounds, ST Microelectronics, Milliken and Toyota where the growth can be attributed to the implementation of ideas generated by its employees. Quoting John Micklethwart and Adrian Wooldridge, Business Editors of the Economist, “The greatest source of competitive advantage is not really cost or quality, but creativity.” said Robinson.

Prof. Robinson gave three good reasons on how one can expect to see significant improvements based on implantation of employee-generated ideas. These include: big ideas can be copied, small ideas stay proprietary and create a sustainable competitive advantage; small ideas pay attention to details and unless one can implement those big ideas will not work; and make ideas part of everyone’s job as no idea is a bad idea and even a bad idea can be used as a learning opportunity. Ina addition, “Paying for ideas generated is a bad idea as this involves assessing the financial impact of an idea, which is a function of assumptions made,” said Robinson.

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