Livenovation, the Latin-American Challenge

Article / Change and Organization

Livenovation, the Latin-American Challenge
Edgar Cateriano Castello , Director, Peru

Livenovation is a neoligism, is a individual lifestyle, changing is the essence of Livenovation, is to live innovating; it is the opposite of surviving.

Is innovation necessary for growth? Of course it is, the understanding of what growth means cannot be left-out from a systematic and competitive rising change: innovative.

In the World of Businesses, when we talk about innovating, it’s aimed to develop successful businesses; including the development of new products and/or the conquering of new markets.

Innovation must be pragmatic, commercially efficient. Latin-American countries can take advantage of it as a dynamic catapult to growth. What do we need to achieve it?

Creative Latin-Americans yes, but innovators?

One of the most unison Latin-American characteristics, is that we auto define ourselves as creative. For instance, In Peru, Inca Cola, the emblem of a well-known soda company, has used the creative concept as a standard. One of its publicity campaigns amuses this “Peruvian Creativity” with products that aspire to reach innovative recognitions, like Ojotas – natural rubber sandals – on wheels (*1) fighting against skates.

For those of us who live in Latin-American, creativeness has been, is and will be a daily tool, but will it be sufficient enough to get out of underdevelopment and to set forth to the future?

In an innovative process a creative component is fundamental, but concealed, is insufficient, it requires other components, such as: the patent’s registries, essential for protecting inventions, markets’ research, very useful in order to understand the client’s needs, prototype development, cue when considering a new product, among others . Without these, creativeness can turn into an illusion of colorful rivets, but with little opportunity to generate value.

Going back to the example of Inca Cola, it is possible that taking the idea of the “natural rubber sandal skates” would result attractive. Nevertheless, it would be obvious that its commercial application would be – to say the least – less probable.

In Latin-American, cases such as CEMEX in Mexico, NOVA in Peru, EMBRAER in Brazil, the Salmon Industry in Chile, among others, reveal our capability to innovate, what we still need to do is convert these exceptions into daily routine, how to do it? Overcoming the tendency of imitation dependency and of innovation shortcomings – just creativeness – to catapult focused on an auto-controlled growth. By way of a different manner of approaching life and businesses, that which is “livenovation“.

A new life style and a new vision within companies: Livenovation (*2)

In a livenovator’s individual lifestyle, we find certain ancestral affiliations to Greek philosophy. For Heraclites “the only thing that exists is change” (*3) changing is the essence of Livenovation.

Livenovation is to live innovating; it is the opposite of surviving. When a company’s board of directors administers a structure that allows them to “livenovating”, what they have accomplished is the launching and sustaining of their development in turn to innovating new businesses.

Livenovation is also a management style, where a system of strategic mechanisms, tactics, operatives, convert innovation into a flow this can be seen in a study developed by Wharton Business School (*4), which distinguishes three levels during an innovative technological development. The following are, its deions and examples:

Level 1: During Heatshielding, the desired innovative types are defined, processes are established which assure their own support, creating, guiding, and urging an adequate growing environment. - At Cam we administrate regional businesses and technological development, in context to the five countries in South America where we have presence, this is the area responsible for innovating new company businesses. We even have a new Technological Development Center exclusively dedicated to innovational growing products applied in the energy sector. - At Google’s offices, the focus to the needs for knowledge of each cyber user is congruent with its organizational culture. Samples of it, is that each individual decorates his or her own office as they wish. All within the logic that a personal and distinct environment, is a faithful representative of an innovative spirit focused in each one of us, the users.

Level 2: When Venturing, processes which allow discovering are included, those which find what clients need and how those needs can be adequately fulfilled. - At Cam’s Peruvian Branch, we have a business intelligence system of markets (SIME) with which we administrate the company’s knowledge, feeding it , organizing it, channeling it, which ever may be the case, as for cue organizational personnel, their objective is, that all know what they have to know at any given time. - 3M has a Customer Innovation Center in which more than 50,000 innovational products have been produced up- to- date. One of its members motivates its members by saying: “Be the first in making your own product obsolete”.

Level 3: Championing is considered by “The Economist” as one of the top 100 most important shares of business in the XX century. Searching to assure through defenders or champions, so that new businesses are not put at risk by the way that some people assume innovations, that which is with depreciation and disbelief. - One of the most reputable is Howard Schultz, Starbucks‘s CEO, who knocked on over 200 doors before getting the necessary financial back-up to acquire his current company. Today Starbucks‘s market value is of 3,789 million dollars. His courage and persistence gave him results, after buying it in 1987 for 4 million dollars, just 5 years later, in his first market value appraisal, which reached an estimated value of 273 million dollars. - When Sony began, the Japanese media judge it as a Company that experimented with guinea pigs, but that didn’t intimidate Masuro Ibuka or Akio Morita, their founders, who took it not offensively but rather motivating. When Ibuka directed the Triniton color TV Project, the company was contemplating bankruptcy. Nonetheless, at no given moment did Morita stop supporting him. He defended him until the end. Years later, the Japanese Emperor gave Ibuka a natural size golden guinea pig, as a token of gratitude.

In conclusion, to achieve the great challenge of Livenovation in Latin America, we must: ensure a business focused on innovation, knowledge management, developing high speed to adapt to market changes, and empower our employees with better attitudes and skills to convert their projects into great achievements: useful and profitable.


(*1) The Ojota is fashion footwear made of leather or of filament plant used by the Indians in Peru and Chile, and still used by farmers in some regions of South America, but now with pieces used tire rubber. Adapted from the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spanish Language (
(*2) The neologism “Livenovation” but in its Portuguese version “Innoviver” was first presented by the author of the article, in the Conference “Innovation Management”, held in the Applied Computational Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Engineering Power of the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, October 3, 2008.
(*3) The philosophy based on the recognition of change as a fundamental value in human development, has had supporters and detractors in Classical Greece itself. Aristotle and Heraclites defended it, while Zeno and Parmenides defined it as irrelevant.
(*4) Nine new roles for technology managers: To connect the technology creating profitable markets requires that the manager of today’s technology practice new roles, more comprehensive and integrated, corresponding to the “manager of technology development” (2004).

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