Frugal Innovation clinches CMI Management Book of the Year title, demonstrating how to do more with less

Frugal Innovation clinches CMI Management Book of the Year title, demonstrating how to do more with less

Business writers Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu scoop top award at annual CMI Management Book of the Year Awards

Helping managers innovate with limited resources was a winning approach at the Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) Management Book of the Year Awards 2016 last night [8 February 2016].

Frugal Innovation, by Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu and published by Profile (Economist Books), was awarded the £5,000 top prize by CMI in a hotly contested competition in a year that saw a record 170 entries.

The book first won in the ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ category as the read that will “best inspire innovation, encourage business or product development or support organisational development and adaptability”.


In Frugal Innovation, Prabhu, Professor of Business and Enterprise at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, and Radjou, Fellow at Judge Business School, give an overview of the principles, perspectives and techniques managers can use to consistently perform at the top of their game, with limited resources. It offers a blueprint for leaders and managers in companies of all sizes and across all sectors on how to do more (and better) with less.


Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever who provided the foreword to Frugal Innovation, commented:
“Radjou and Prabhu have set out an essential roadmap for those wishing to navigate a volatile business environment and richly deserve this accolade from CMI. The concept of frugal innovation is a business priority, and should inform the professional development of every manager and leader. It’s not enough for companies to just do more with less, they must learn to do better with less.”


The award, which is run in association with The British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School, is judged by a panel of leading business and management figures. The winning book was selected by Patrick Dunne (Chairman of D3O), Andy Rubin, (Chairman of Pentland Brands plc), Professor Rebecca Taylor (Dean and Director of Studies at the Open University Business School), Valerie Dias (Chief Risk and Compliance Officer of Visa Europe) and Diane Lees (Director General of the Imperial War Museums).


Patrick Dunne, Chair of the Final Panel of Judges, explained why the book impressed the group:
“Chairing the judging panel is an absolute joy given the diversity of the topics and the judges’ perspectives. What made Frugal Innovation stand out this year was its absolute relevance to managers across all sectors and levels and the growing urgency with which we need to use less of the world’s resources.”


Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, which runs the competition, said:
“Frugal Innovation sets out for organisations big and small the blueprint for being more agile to deal with the demands of the digital age. Doing more with less is a mantra that applies equally to how companies must innovate and to redefining values for sustainable living. These are essential lessons for 21st Century managers and leaders.”


Phil Spence, Chief Operating Officer of The British Library, which supports the competition, said:
“The Library is committed to supporting and stimulating all kinds of research, and supporting managers is a key part of that, whether by our Management and Business Studies Portal, which offers free access to up-to-the-minute research, our ‘British Library On Demand’ service or our Business & IP Centre.


“The CMI Management Book of the Year competition celebrates the very best management writing, and we’re thrilled to be involved again this year to support this important area of publishing.”


The winning book identifies six principles that large firms can adopt to innovate faster, better and cheaper. These include:

  • Engaging and iterating to continuously improve
  • Flexing assets to make big companies more agile
  • Developing sustainable solutions to reduce environmental footprints
  • Shaping customer behaviour through apps and big data
  • Co-creating value with prosumers
  • Partnering with other innovative companies.

To embed these effectively, firms must be able to embrace large-scale change that starts and the top and works down.


Launched in 2010, the CMI Management Book of the Year Awards help managers choose between the thousands of management books published every year. The winners are those easily accessible reads that offer practical lessons for managers that can be applied on an everyday basis.

Management Book of the Year Awards 2017 opens for entries on 1 April 2016. Follow the hashtag #managementgold on Twitter for further updates and to get tips, advice and information on the books in this year’s competition.

For the full list of shortlisted books and content, please visit: www.managementbookoftheyear.org.uk


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