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CRISPR @ Work!

Standing at her kitchen table, Jennifer Doudna, burst into laughter. All of a sudden she realized the potential that a simple bacteria could have on human life, for years to come.

In 20 years of her work in gene editing research, her quest led her to the discovery of CRISPR?—?Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

In English it simply means, natures way of editing out flaws in our DNA & replacing it with new ones. Yes enzymes can do that!

This system can potentially treat ailments like Cancer and HIV. But more importantly it can resequence the DNA for future generations, to ensure that these ailments do not occur.

I could not help but wonder, if a similar system can be designed and embedded into the DNA of a business. Such a system can potentially identify inefficiencies, their root causes, isolate it from related functions, fix it & re-route it into mainstream opearations.

Even better, can we resequence the DNA of a business to be innovative?

When Joe Gebbia spoke about ‘Design for Trust’, it seemed like a moonshot. Today we know that with a good design logic, it is indeed possible.

Similarly, if we can design for innovation as a core driver in business, we would have effectively built a system that can help the organization sustain & succeed for years to come across eras (industrial, digital and anything that comes next). Very few organizations have managed to survive each of these waves and still continue to grow.

So how do we design for innovation?

Designing for innovation should follow a set of core guidelines

Customer Centric

Any product, process, business model, or pricing innovation, should focus on the customer and the benefit it brings to them. An internal looking innovation. If you are changing your internal process, the benefit should directly impact the customer in some shape and form.

Value Driven

Leaders are always in a dilema about short term market gains, against long term benefits of staying invested in the innovation cycle. Staying invested in innovation as a culture and state of mind, provides the organization a platform to build for long term sustainability and success.

The leader has to strike a clear balance between both and manage the expectations of both markets and the longevity of the organization.


The impact of the innovation should have an exponential effect on the organization. It should be able to impact multiple facets of their business and create the ripple effect for higher gains. A siloed change can bring limited and time bound impact, but as soon as external business dynamics change, the siloed innovation renders obsolete


Each innovation should lead to a higher level of innovation by itself. In that sense it is a continous evolutionary process that keeps increasing the success bar every time a new goal is achieved. This needs constant state of research, understanding of the external world, deep knowledge in current constraints and good talent in the organization.

In the last four weeks, we wrote about innovation, reasons of why most innovation programs fail, constructs of a good innovation process and finally the DNA of an innovative culture.

The term innovation while often misused, if done right, can transform your business, team, and customer. Innovation is the core of the DNA of any organization and should continue to be the nucleus.

CRISPR technology has the potential to single-handedly solve world hunger, deforestation, climate change, and critical ailments….even mortality!

Imagine what a system like that can do for your business.


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