[BOOK REVIEW] Finding small, innovative ways to solve the big problems

Every week The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews the author or reviewer of a new or trending business book.

Standing in this week for Whitfield, Ray White interviewed Xhanti Payi, Economist at Nascence Advisory.

Payi reviewed "The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty" by Clayton M. Christensen and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon.

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It says that if you can think about some of the ways in which some of the biggest brands have been created... the biggest innovations have been created... the big problems that they've solved in small and limited ways... It gives us a perspective on how we should actually approach the problems.

Xhanti Payi, Economist - Nascence Advisory

We need to think very innovatively about how we approach the big problems, and some have been solved by ordinary people in very ordinary ways.

Xhanti Payi, Economist - Nascence Advisory

The question of foreign aid... it turns this issue on its head... asking whether you could actually empower people to do things for themselves...

Xhanti Payi, Economist - Nascence Advisory

Look at the Eastern Cape for example... There is a lot of land, it is a rich province but with a lot of poverty and hunger... We have to think about what are the innovations that can come from ordinary people...

Xhanti Payi, Economist - Nascence Advisory

The book also deals with corruption... it's controversial... It suggests that people who are corrupt are trying to solve a problem. A police officer might be taking bribes, but what they are trying to do is to supplement their income, and one of our problems is that we are asking the wrong questions around corruption.

Xhanti Payi, Economist - Nascence Advisory

Description on Amazon:

Clayton M. Christensen, the author of such business classics as The Innovator’s Dilemma and the New York Times bestseller How Will You Measure Your Life, and co-authors Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon reveal why so many investments in economic development fail to generate sustainable prosperity, and offers a groundbreaking solution for true and lasting change.

Global poverty is one of the world’s most vexing problems.

For decades, we’ve assumed smart, well-intentioned people will eventually be able to change the economic trajectory of poor countries. From education to healthcare, infrastructure to eradicating corruption, too many solutions rely on trial and error. Essentially, the plan is often to identify areas that need help, flood them with resources, and hope to see change over time.

But hope is not an effective strategy.

Clayton M. Christensen and his co-authors reveal a paradox at the heart of our approach to solving poverty. While noble, our current solutions are not producing consistent results, and in some cases, have exacerbated the problem. At least twenty countries that have received billions of dollars’ worth of aid are poorer now.

Applying the rigorous and theory-driven analysis he is known for, Christensen suggests a better way.

The right kind of innovation not only builds companies—but also builds countries. The Prosperity Paradox identifies the limits of common economic development models, which tend to be top-down efforts, and offers a new framework for economic growth based on entrepreneurship and market-creating innovation.

Christensen, Ojomo, and Dillon use successful examples from America’s own economic development, including Ford, Eastman Kodak, and Singer Sewing Machines, and shows how similar models have worked in other regions such as Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Rwanda, India, Argentina, and Mexico.

Listen to the review on The Money Show:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [BOOK REVIEW] Finding small, innovative ways to solve the big problems