The good organizations become best by adopting innovation. It is more than an invention as it also includes an attitude that encourage new concepts and risk attach with that new concepts. Excessive investments are not needed if a company has awareness about innovation and can use it to create products with unique features. So they create a friendly behaviour for new concepts, ideas, risk, change and even failure (Fortune, March 3, 1997).
Managerial innovations are those adjustments in the process of management that gives ideas of products and services and than help in their production and delivery to the customers. It is not essential that effectiveness and efficiencies of product or services get effects from innovations by management (http://tumipc.info).
Product versus Process Innovations: Innovations in processes and products are very significant classifications of technical innovations.
Product innovations either generate entirely new products with distinct features or may help in increasing the performance and physical features of old products and services.
Process innovations are changes in the way products or services are manufactured, created, or distributed. Whereas managerial innovations generally affect the broader context of development, process innovations directly affect manufacturing (http://tumipc.info), the implementation of robotics.
Thus product innovations are particularly important during these beginning phases. Later, as an innovation enters the phases of growth, maturity, and decline, Vodafone’s ability to develop process innovations, such as fine-tuning manufacturing, increasing product quality, and improving product distribution, becomes important to maintaining economic return (http://tumipc.info).
Explain how management in your selected organization would lead staff to accept and implement innovation
The Human Energy of Innovation
Innovation is difficult. It’s hard not to be constrained by organisational history, politics and budgets. It’s even harder to think of innovation as a human energy and not a process (www.10again.co.uk).
Lead the Way to Successful Innovation in Vodafone
The collaboration necessary, general cultural differences that can influence the process and the importance that organizational culture has on creating an environment that supports innovation, after these presentation keynotes, I often get a few people who approach me with their stories about innovation in their organizations. They tell me how great the information was and wished they could apply it into their own organizations, but they know that it would never be supported (www.bia.ca).
It seems that while individuals are given the necessary time in their jobs to generate ideas, they are not given the time that is really required to explore them through a proper process for innovation. This therefore makes it difficult, if not impossible, for true innovation to happen.
Now I realize that those who asked me the question may not necessarily be in positions to change their organization’s cultures but maybe they could start to create change within their own spheres of influence, such as a department, plant, location, store, etc. Sometimes Vodafone need to think on a smaller scale and then demonstrate to the organization the value of what they are doing, demonstrated success will help greatly to sell the idea.
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Implementing innovative cultures and processes into organizations they have found that executives often ask themselves, “Why are not they better at innovation?” There are lots of examples out there and lots of advice. But in reality innovation challenges differ from one organization to another. Just as each innovation is unique, so is Vodafone’s culture. The process of innovation that works in one place will not necessarily work in another. They must consider the culture (www.bia.ca).
Vodafone India further demonstrates their commitment to innovation when they build innovation into performance management. They measure management’s performance on the basis of their ability to create new value-added products, services and ideas. As well, they assess the extent to which managers undertake this jointly with staff, rather than independent of their staff, because this demonstrates a clearer understanding of the use of an innovation process versus simply the result of management directive.
Vodafone managers can demonstrate this in their regular department meetings by focussing on the exploration of new ideas. They can train employees in the innovation process. They can allow time for employees to explore their ideas. They apply an aggressive effort to build new opportunities based on the development of new services and products (www.bia.ca).
Evaluate the influence of the organization’s vision and mission on supporting innovation.
In today’s fast moving economic situation, mostly category breaking business environments meet their mission, vision and objectives. Only such companies meet their estimate growth, gain profit, out run their competitors and show excellence in execution. They achieve by the culture of innovation. In every industry, the leading companies are the innovators. However the cadre of innovators keeps changing (www.scribd.com).
Companies may seize upon a good idea that gives them an advantage for a while, but sooner or later, they cede this advantage to a competitor who has found an even better idea. As Nicholas Stein (2000) correctly mentioned, Innovation is at the heart of sustaining Vodafone’s competitive advantage. This holds very true as long as they wants to stay on top of their competitors and win the innovation game.
Innovation is very important criterion for success in the future, (Horibe, Frances Dale Emy, 2001) an important study done on the rate of return of 17 successful innovations shows a mean return of 56% in comparison with an average Return on Investment (ROl) of 16%. It is clear that organizations need to innovate to survive and achieve good profit figures.
What to innovate?
Now we understood the importance of the role that innovation plays in Vodafone. The next important question now arise is where and which things to apply innovative ideas in Vodafone India. Suggestion and recommendation for where to apply innovations are as follows (www.scribd.com):
Innovation can be applied to products, services, design, invention, development, process, and systems.
To make a product or service compete with the new economy. This is essentially to educate organizations to move out of their traditional old habits1 to the new innovation culture.
To avoid high risks: Avoiding high risks involving money, staying ahead of competition and high pay off opportunities are the essence of the innovation
To gain long term market focus, as a result the Vodafone can save money.
Use appropriate tools and techniques to identify at least two potential creative and innovative ideas
Creative and Innovative Culture, Change Management: Three Easy Tests
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation and innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation. From this simple definition, it is clear that certain cultural characteristics ought to be prevalent if creativity and innovation are to be maximised. And maximisation of these ought to be a priority for senior leaders, as those organisations that take them seriously, tend to be leaders in their field, tend to maintain their leadership position longer and are quicker to bounce back when competitors leap frog (http://ezinearticles.com).
There are many blocks that prevent expression of problems and hinder idea generation. Some solutions include (http://ezinearticles.com):
An environment of psychological safety and freedom – accepting an individual as unconditioned worth; recognising that the individual is capable of producing but that their value is not based on producing; understanding empathetically; understanding the individual from their point of feeling and view (Vernon, 1970).
Tolerance of failure – Accepting that many ideas will fail before one worthwhile one will surface and reach commercialisation; recognising that there are benefits to failure, such as competency expansion – Blade Runner was initially a commercial failure yet Ridley Scott went on to make some very successful movies.
Though senior leaders pay lip service to the above, the reality is often much different. Below are some easy and simple tests to gauge how well Vodafone is performing in practice.
Employee interviews. Are interviewees expected to conform to the prevalent norm of not contradicting the interviewer? If they do so, are they less likely to be selected? Interviewees who throw up many ideas and challenge existing methodologies at this stage are more likely to be expressive when they find problems in Vodafone and more likely to bring them to the attention of decision makers. They are also more likely to persuade others to do the same. Thought leaders are good drivers of change and prevent complacency – though as a result it is not unusual to find that they cause friction with senior leaders who for some reason or other may be resistant to change. Remember, today’s thought leaders can easily become tomorrow’s established bureaucracy (http://ezinearticles.com).
Are senior leaders confident enough to leave themselves open to evaluation from all others in Vodafone? Status deference has many negatives including (http://ezinearticles.com):
Higher status individuals tend to dominate the session and reduce the participation of others,
People allow higher status individuals to do all the idea generation
People place higher value on ideas produced by higher status individuals and
People have a greater tendency to allow higher status individuals to get away with bad ideas.
Assess at least three risks and three benefits of the ideas identified above
There are a number of reasons why creative ideas fail to become innovations. Sometimes it is because the idea, which seems brilliant in concept, is flawed in application. More often, the problem is that organisations invest in creative ideation initiatives (often called “innovation initiatives”), such as brainstorming events, idea management, ideas campaigns and the like, but fail to invest in implementing the most creative ideas that come from those initiatives.
Indeed, they have probably experienced this typical scenario: Vodafone invests in generating ideas via brainstorming events that involve a lot of highly paid managers and researchers. A number of promising creative ideas are generated. Sometimes business plans are developed. Sometimes prototypes are built, sometimes not, but, at some point between the identification of a promising idea and beginning to implement that idea, the idea is killed (www.jpb.com).
There are many reasons why creative ideas are killed however almost all of them have to do with risk. Implementing a new idea is perceived as risky and people in the Vodafone do not wish to undertake that risk. So, the idea is killed. Needless-to-say, investing in a creative idea generation initiative in order to generate creative ideas they will never implement is an expensive method of accomplishing absolutely nothing (www.jpb.com).
Unwillingness to implement creative ideas is not only a weakness with companies, individuals have the same problem. Imagine a young person applying for a job with Levi Strauss & Co and having the idea to write her CV on a pair of Levis jeans and sending it to her perspective employer. Such a creative approach to applying for a job would almost certainly stand out and grab the attention of the hiring person. It could very well result in an interview particularly if the Vodafone values creativity as Levi Strauss does. Or it could result in the CV imprinted jeans being promptly rubbished as ridiculous. In my experience, most people who had such a creative idea would be unwilling to risk carrying it out (www.jpb.com).
Such a waste of creative time, energy and money does no one any good and makes the world a more boring place than it could be.
Before Vodafone implement their idea, they need to describe it in detail. Separately, they should describe what makes the idea special, that is: what is the unique selling point (USP)? Once Vodafone have done this, ask their self how they might push the USP even further in order to make their idea even more special.
Benefits and Risks
The next step is to do a simple risk versus benefits analysis. That may sound complex, but might simply be a matter of drawing up a table with a column labelled “benefits” and one called “risks”. Then simply lists the benefits and risks in their appropriate columns. If the risks are greater than the benefits, they need to rethink their idea and focus on greater benefits (www.jpb.com).
Describe at least two appropriate change models to support the implementation of the creative and innovative ideas identified above in the organization
Integrated Innovation Process Management
Vodafone as an innovative organization, however, should not have a single innovation process cycle in operation. Rather it should have many of them! Large cycles are suitable for enterprise-wide innovation. Meanwhile, business units can run somewhat smaller innovation process cycles in order to manage their own ideas (although it should be noted, collaborative groups need not be limited to employees of that business unit). Teams, departments and any other group can also run their own innovation process cycles (www.jpb.com).
However, these innovation process cycles should not be in isolation. Rather they should inspire and feed other cycles elsewhere in the organisation. For instance, the implementation of a new product idea should inspire innovation cycles in the marketing, sales and customer service divisions as well as at the enterprise level (www.jpb.com). Managers should watch their colleagues’ innovation process cycles and ruthlessly copy ideas as inspirations for their own cycles.
Task 2: Influencing change
Identified and describe the characteristics of the main groups of stakeholders. Produce a rationale to persuade stakeholders of the benefits of a creative and innovative idea
Thomas Edison had all the characteristics of a risk taker innovator. He was a divergent thinker, making observations about the natural world. He was not afraid of failure. The lessons learned in one of his failures led to success in another project. In addition to the light bulb, his 1,093 patents included familiar ones such as the microphone & batteries (The Creativity Handbook, 1994).
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Creative leadership must facilitate positive relationships in organizations to produce profitable growth through innovation. They now know that creativity is not a personality trait that is available for geniuses. Everyone has unique knowledge and experiences that can be tapped, given the proper environment. This environment must be freed flowing and non-judging to take people through the mental block they learned in early childhood. These blocks are associated with the risk of being wrong (www.aiu.edu).
The motivation for innovating comes largely from the joy of doing something that has never been done before. It is like going on an expedition and risking everything to be the first person to climb a mountain or sail around the world. It taps the same drive that exists within a composer or an artist who wishes to create something forever.
Create a plan to communicate a creative and innovative management idea to the stakeholders identified above, persuade them of its benefits for the organization, and generate stakeholder feedback.
Open Innovation or expanding the pool of brains thinking about their business problems outside of Vodafone is a concept that has gained significant and recent traction. The concept is very sound (http://blog.thinkforachange.com):
Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”. The boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable; innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (e.g. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm’s business should be taken outside the company (e.g., through licensing, joint ventures, spin-offs)
It used to be that innovation was something that happened deep in the bowels of corporate R&D departments. Secretive folks lurked there and lived by the code of NIH or “Not Invented Here”. A motto that held that if R&D didn’t think of it, then it didn’t exist or wouldn’t work or should be ignored. Except a funny thing happened…the ideas started drying up. Game changing ideas became few and far between. More of the same survived and less of the unexpected was developed.
Then one day, some very smart innovation management consultants showed these organizations that there is no such thing as an “all or nothing” approach to innovation. Open innovation is but one branch of a well-rounded and comprehensive innovation management program. And for open innovation to truly work, they need to have their internal house in order first as it relates to idea and innovation management. Vodafone must have a solid and well managed internal innovation capability before seeking ideas from the outside world (http://blog.thinkforachange.com). That means:
Having a strong executive sponsor engaged in the innovation strategy of the organization
Having a proven set of processes, tools, techniques and training for moving ideas into prototypes and, eventually, products
Having enough resources (human, financial, time, space and capability) to adequately support the idea and innovation management system Vodafone are putting into place
Treating innovation and idea management, not as some singular event, but as a true business discipline and strategy for growth
Developing a list of problems and/or opportunities that the organization wants to invest money and effort into finding solutions
Developing a strategy for seeking ideas from inside and outside of the organization
Developing a clear and communicated set of selection and filtering criteria for idea submission and consideration to ensure the idea pool is manageable
Determining the utilization of the closed innovation system for the research, development, prototyping, portfolio management and launch planning that Vodafone don’t want their competitors finding out about
Developing a workable system for protecting the intellectual property rights of all parties in the process
Show how you would use feedback from stakeholders to identify key goals and priorities for the innovation.
Focusing on Customers
Executives acknowledged that business has had to learn these lessons many times, and the need to create a culture where innovation can thrive is not new. A big part of the leader’s role is to “distract the organization away from itself” and its own inner workings and dynamics, and shift the focus to customers, creating the openings where innovative ideas become possible (www.poststone.com).
Allow enough time
The rapid pace of business tends to create an overload of initiatives and a rush to complete projects as quickly as possible, and creates a significant barrier to sustainable progress.
“Business moves too fast; you need tenacity to innovate”
One approach recommended is for leaders to lengthen the time for goal achievement, and encourage staff to spend the necessary time thinking deeply about a problem, gathering data, and moving forward in a thoughtful way (www.poststone.com):
“People tend to give up when they can’t get results quickly. You need to give longer goals, give people time, and ask them to do it slowly and thoughtfully.”
Generating good ideas is not always the issue: prioritization and resourcing of a few key initiatives is often more important in making significant progress.
Task 3: Over coming barriers
Identify at least four possible barriers to the implementation of change in an organization
De-bunking the Myths of Innovation
The executive panel saw little merit in much of the conventional wisdom about innovation, and de-bunked the myths for Vodafone India:
The new product myth
There is a strong tendency to focus on product innovations, however executives generally see this type of innovation as highly visible, but not necessarily critical to business success (Levitt, et. al. 2005).
The breakthrough idea myth
While creating the environment where “Vodafone staff will speak and tell them their ideas” received considerable emphasis, the idea itself is rarely sufficient. Canada was noted as the home of many good ideas that have not had enough sustained effort, persistence and resources to achieve results (Soto, Hernando de, 2000).
The creative chaos myth
Many business processes support innovation better when they are consistent and measurable. With a consistent and known process, ideas for change can be implemented in a way that employees can understand and execute successfully. The new process can then be integrated into routine and evaluated (Collins, Jim, 2001).
Without a consistent baseline to build on, it’s difficult to see if a new idea would work, and just as difficult to implement successfully.
The creative individual myth
The power of creative individuals with insight is rarely enough to move the organization, regardless of the level of seniority. High-potential young managers cannot sally forth as ambassadors for a new order and meet with success. The whole organization needs to be mobilized, through accountability at all levels (www.poststone.com).
Plan a strategy to overcome these identified barriers.
Most approaches to strategic planning put an emphasis in answering the question “What should the organization do?” The answer to this question is very important for Vodafone. However it does not ensure that the organization is enabled to create value and to make the right strategic decisions. Strategy execution and monitoring of success have been identified as characteristic problem areas in organizational practice (Avila, et. al., 1995).
Putting the proposals into practice, the Vodafone can address a more comprehensive set of issues related to fundament, execution and funding (Deloitte, 2005):
Fundament. Why should the organization choose this way? What are the underlying assumptions, the tradeoffs, and the risks? How should the organization respond if one of these assumptions turns out to be flawed or changes?
Execution. How does the organization do it? What are steps for implementation? Who is accountable for this process? How does the organization keep track of execution and success?
Commitment. How can the organization achieve commitment among the management team and all employees? How can the organization inform employees?
Funding. What will the outcome of the strategic planning cost in total? How will the organization fund the planning results? What is the expected return and will it meet the internal hurdle rates for return?
Taking into account the broad perspective for strategic planning and considering execution, monitoring and funding issues, the organization and its managers can gain a clear view of where they are going and why. They will also know how to monitor the progress and can assess the payoff. Monitoring of both market data and operational data against planning assumptions as well as sustaining organizational flexibility represents another field of strategic planning improvements (www.themanager.org). Due to consideration of capital allocation and funding issues it is also clear, which other critical corporate processes will be influenced from the strategic planning outcome. Summarizing and bundling this outcome in so called “strategic campaigns” or “strategic initiatives” helps the organization to focus and improves intra-organizational communication (Dye et. al., 2007).
Explain how the strategy plan will help overcome resistance.
Hitchhiking creates ideas that combine the best ideas of everyone on the team. It can also help during implementation if all members see a piece of their idea in the final solution (www.aiu.edu).
Creating an environment that is tolerant of mistakes is difficult. It must be made clear that mistakes are acceptable if they are based on solid thinking, enhance learning of what will not work, and are caught early before damage is severe. There must be support for the people who were on the team of the project that failed.
The Kirton Adapter: Innovator (KAI) inventory measures preferred styles for problem- solving. The adaptor prefers to be creative within the present system. The innovator wants to create new definitions of the problem and new systems. Thus, both types are creative, but their styles are different. Adapters include bank managers, accountants, production managers, and programmers. Innovators include persons in marketing, finance, and fashion buyers (www.aiu.edu).
Create a PowerPoint presentation to communicate the strategy plan to at least five groups of stakeholders
See attached PowerPoint File.
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