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#65—Vijay Govindarajan: Closing Possibility Gaps While Creating the Future

#65—Vijay Govindarajan: Closing Possibility Gaps While Creating the Future

Vijay Govindarajan is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and is a Faculty Partner in the Silicon Valley incubator Mach 49. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation.

He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. His most recent best seller is Three Box Solution.

His Harvard Business Review articles “Engineering Reverse Innovations” and “Stop the Innovation Wars” won McKinsey Awards for best article published in HBR. His HBR articles “How GE Is Disrupting Itself” and “The CEO’s Role in Business Model Reinvention” are HBR all-time top-50 bestsellers.

Vijay was named by Thinkers50 as a Top 3 Management Thinker in the world and received the Breakthrough Innovation Award in 2011. Vijay was inducted into Thinkers50 Management Thinkers Hall of Fame and was given the Distinguished Achievement Award for most contributions to the understanding of innovation in 2019. Vijay is the only recipient of Distinguished Achievement Awards in two different categories from Thinkers50.

Vijay has worked with CEOs and top management teams in over 40% of the Fortune 500 companies to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy. He has been a keynote speaker in the BusinessWeek CEO Forum, HSM World Business Forum, TED, and World Economic Forum at Davos.

Vijay received his doctorate from the Harvard Business School and was awarded the Robert Bowne Prize for the best thesis proposal. He received his MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. Vijay received his Chartered Accountancy degree in India where he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal for obtaining the first rank nationwide.

In this podcast, he shares:

  • Three rules companies should follow if they want to both protect their core businesses and build for the future

  • Why it is so critical to erase institutional memo

  • What the biggest possibility gap in the world today is—the metaverse—and why

  • Why the metaverse will fundamentally change corporations and everything else


"And this why my framework is easy to say, but not easy to do. It is nothing but common sense. But common sense is never common practice because my common sense message is: If you want to achieve your true potential in the year 2030, it's not about what you have to do in the year 2030. Future is now and, therefore, you have a conflicting situation that you have to manage."

-Vijay Govindarajan


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Introducing Vijay + The topic of today’s episode

2:37—If you really know me, you know that...

4:55—What is your definition of strategy?

5:28—Could you explain the "three-box solution"?

10:25—Can an organization have both sides of the equation (possibility vs. performance gap) in an organization? How do you balance that?

18:24—What role does box two—"stopping"—play?

19:33—Could you talk to us on the background and implications of your books The Other Side of Innovation and Beyond the Idea?

20:18—You seem to really have your pulse on what enterprises should be concerned with. What are topics we should be thinking about now?

21:57—How can people connect with you and follow your work?


Additional Resources:




The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.