reverse innovation playbook

Here, we summarize the most crucial recommendations of our book.


  1. To capture growth in emerging markets, you must innovate, not simply export.
  2. Leverage opportunities to move emerging market innovations to other parts of the world: to other poor countries, to marginalized markets in rich countries, and, eventually, to mainstream markets in rich countries.
  3. Keep so-called emerging giants on your radar screen. These small but rapidly growing companies, headquartered in the developing world, have global aspirations that could one day threaten your own.

 Global Organization

  1. Move people, power, and money to where the growth is — the developing world.
  2. Create a reverse innovation mindset throughout the corporation. Put the spotlight on emerging markets through the use of expatriate assignments, immersion experiences, corporate events that are held in emerging markets, creative board appointments, and highly visible CEO actions.
  3. Create separate business scorecards for developing nations with full income statements and an emphasis on growth metrics.

Project Organization

  1. Commission Local Growth Teams (LGTs) with full business capabilities for each reverse-innovation opportunity. LGTs should act like brand new companies:

    • They must conduct clean-slate needs assessments

    • They must develop clean-slate solutions

    • They must practice clean-slate organizational design

  2. Enable LGTs to leverage your company’s global resource base through carefully managed partnerships.

  3. Reverse innovation initiatives must be managed as disciplined experiments, with a focus on resolving critical unknowns quickly and inexpensively.

The Reverse Innovation Toolkit has several practical diagnostics and templates to execute reverse innovation projects.

Download the Toolkit