Share
Explore BrainMass

balance between discipline and innovation

Propose a model of organizational culture, structure, processes, and controls to best foster a disciplined, bottom-line-focused organization with the balance to assure innovation and discovery. Please suggest a proposed model and reasons why it is believed to be an effective approach to the balance between discipline and innovation/successful.

Please include at least three journal articles related to this topic.

Attachments

Solution Preview

In today's dynamic and extremely competitive business environment, where focus is on attaining total customer satisfaction, organizations need to strike a balance between innovation and discipline and should try to reconcile creativity with increased focus on improving the bottom line of the company.

The first four years of the century have seen some serious setbacks in business innovation. The corporatist-backed Bush administration has introduced legislation to reduce corporate liability to consumers, and has been extremely lax in enforcing social and environmental laws. Organizations like the RIAA and Nike have showed that the courts will allow large corporations great latitude to sue customers (including infringing on their privacy rights) and to lie to customers in their advertising (about sweatshop operations, offshoring etc.) Corporations like Enron have abused public trust and destroyed thousands of families' livelihoods and life savings. And massive defense and security expenditures have siphoned off funds that might have been invested in innovation, and have made corporations and lenders nervous about any investment while governments and corporations are so seriously overextended and exposed to interest rate fluctuations. The result is a climate of great animosity between corporations and customers, and unprecedented risk aversion.

At the same time, recent surveys indicate a growing corporate awareness that "you cannot cut (or offshore) your way to greatness", that the limit to improving profitability by reducing costs and margins has now more or less been reached, and that innovation must again move to the forefront if corporations are to have any hope of sustaining that profitability.

So corporations are looking for low-cost, effective ways to develop new products, new processes, new delivery channels and new technologies that will meet important human needs, provide real value to customers, and be affordable by those customers. This challenge occurs at a time when the distribution of wealth among customers is massively skewed, both within and between nations, towards a tiny elite, when many governments and most corporations and individuals are buried under a crushing debt load, and when the need for innovation to solve critical environmental, social and political problems has never been higher. Simply put, we are living in an age when we cannot afford innovation, and cannot afford to be without it. Perhaps the most critical innovation need therefore is for creative mechanisms to finance, price and pay for the costs of innovation itself. Funding, pricing, and cost management are now inseparable parts of the innovation process.

Now let us see some ideas to achieve such goals:

1) Listen broadly for ideas: Appoint your Innovation Team and have them set up an 'environmental scan' that systematically looks for innovations and connections not only in your industry but also outside it, outside your country, outside of business entirely. Have the Team read about, learn about, and meet with people from the broadest possible spectrum of human enterprise and natural discovery. Subscribe to journals like Innovation, and the RSS feeds of periodicals and websites that report ideas and new technologies from a wide range of disciplines. Reward members of the Team for serendipitous readings and meetings, debrief with them promptly and regularly, filter, refine and inventory their ideas and learnings for consideration at the Understand, Create and Design stages of the innovation process. Inputs: readings, newsfeeds, conferences, interviews, meetings.

2. Listen to 'pathfinder' customers, competitors, and colleagues: Plug yourself in to the 'voice of the customer'. Set a minimum time quota for everyone in your organization to spend face-to-face with business customers, or with customers' customers or end consumers. Identify 'pathfinder' customers -- those who are most attuned to their organization's future direction and its need to change. Employ a 'Think the Customer Ahead' program that engenders effective listening, elicitation skills, story-telling skills, and creative thinking skills.

3. Listen to the front lines: Talk with the people who hear directly from customers and other stakeholders every day -- people in ...

Solution Summary

Propose a model of organizational culture, structure, processes, and controls to best foster a disciplined, bottom-line-focused organization with the balance to assure innovation and discovery. Please suggest a proposed model and reasons why it is believed to be an effective approach to the balance between discipline and innovation/successful.

$2.19