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Posted at: Mar 19, 2017, 12:57 AM; last updated: Mar 19, 2017, 12:57 AM (IST)BOOK REVIEW: CROOKED MINDS BY KIRAN KARNIK

Innovation: From A to Z and beyond

Aditi Garg

As far as buzz words go, innovation has had a shelf life longer than most and still refuses to step away from the limelight. It is one of those concepts that have become the driving force behind everything — from startups and industries to military and countries.

Be it the MLM (more from less for more), the concept of disruptive technology, setting up of the National Innovation Council, Innovation Norway or OfficeTiger, each of these not just helps establish the new concept, but establishes that innovation is imperative for success and sustenance. To establish the importance of innovation as an all-pervasive concept that has permeated every sphere of life, Crooked Minds offers an unmatched insight.

Kiran Karnik is the perfect person to write about innovation and his book Crooked Minds eggs you on to disrupt your orderly thoughts and make room for innovation. It is a simply written book with a powerful message — that of creating not individuals or enterprises, but societies that are innovative. Having been president of NASSCOM, his understanding of the working of India’s IT industry is deep. With a wide purview of experience ranging from a dedicated two decades in India’s space program, a decade in TV, having served on many important high level government committees and as writer, editor and contributor to various books and magazines, his views are rooted in fact and viability.

Taking the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant to base his observations on, he explains in a very easy way the application, utility, need and basis of innovation. The examples are drawn from around the world and from scenarios as varied as individual and government. The book highlights the need for more disruptive business models as the ones used by Uber and Airbnb, which have put them on the list of the most valued brands internationally.

Not just businessmen looking for making honest money, but also crooks looking to make a quick buck illegally have devised innovative ways that earn them profits. It is this varied application that makes innovation such an integral part of growth and success. Innovation, he elucidates, is not restricted to businesses, but extends to writing, visual fields, art and science as well.

However, one must bear in mind that all innovation is not road ready. It needs to be thoroughly tested, improved, edited or even reimagined to be able to cover the distance between plan and action. There are more elements to innovation than meet the eye and the book puts the spotlight on each of these, making it something you can work towards and achieve. He pegs India as one of the most innovative countries where limited awareness restricts attribution of innovation and points out the ample scope and the way to take it forward. Read on to know more about the one word that controls growth and success around the world.

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