Innovation and Changes
Innovation and Changes
Companies are currently experiencing significant changes in organizational needs and management policies. To adapt to technological change, and increased competition in markets, organizations have focused their efforts on streamlining their internal operations. Various schools of thought have established differing strategies to meet the aforementioned need. Some have called for less stringent policies in the work environment, to improve the respective companies’ flexibility in operation. However, others have argued that such an approach limits the effectiveness in an organization’s productivity. They, therefore, for a stringent system that ensures employees focus on corporate needs as their primary objective. This essay discusses approaches that may be adopted to ensure a balance between the two ideals. Methods that are useful in changing an organization’s culture towards an innovative one, also receive mention (Franken, Edwards & Lambert, 2009, p.55).
2. Innovation refers to the development and implementation of new ideas, which improve organizational productivity. In consequence, this aspect is not easily measurable in organizations. Innovation is important in businesses due to various reasons. For instance, it ensures adaptation to the dynamic world markets. Similarly, a stringent culture in an organization has its merits. However, if these ideals are implemented separately, an enterprise may fail to meet its organizational goals in developing a corporate culture. In this respect, there are various ways for implementation of both ideals, which take a complementary course (Patel & Patel, 2008, p.234).
Balance between the need for flexibility and the need for stringent order is crucial for any organization as it strives to establish a culture of innovation. To find this balance, organizations first need to identify their purpose. The managers may hold a session to determine this. Proposals from lower level employees may also be consulted. Such consultations enhance the culture of employee freedom within the organization. This will ensure that strategies developed do not interfere with the organization’s goals. Secondly the proposed strategy should ensure a competitive advantage within the company. The proposed strategies should then be reviewed and discussed with the organization’s leaders and its employees. Through this process, any limiting issues may be raised, from the employees’ perspective (Patel & Patel, 2008, p.241).
Issues raised need consideration by the organization’s leaders as they may directly impact on employee productivity, and organizational productivity as a whole. During consideration of the constraints raised, managers should consult the company’s set objectives. If they explicitly inhibit innovation and productivity in the organization, they should be completely eradicated. If they are not that inhibiting, they may be adapted to the employees’ needs. Finally, the organization should communicate the revised policies clearly, with reference to each employee’s duty. During such communication, the Human Resource managers should encourage employee freedom.
Human Resource managers need to identify the organizational goals. This is beneficial in several respects. First, it enables all workers to maintain a single unifying goal. However, such goals should not be static. Managers should set the goals in such a way that they can be altered in the future, without much consequence. After all, organizational needs vary from time to time. The set goals need articulation in a manner that is easily understood by all workers. Human resource managers may issue memos to all employees or simply offer word of mouth explanations. The explanations need to be altered to meet each culture’s way of understanding. Re-examination of company goals will allow employees to innovate, along the company’s set rules and market requirements.
A flexibility test is a measure of how rigid an organization’s strategies are. This tool is extremely crucial to managers. Flexibility testing enables human resource managers to identify situations where the organizational strategies interfere with the set company goals (Shehabuddeen, 2007, p.103). Flexibility tests also assist managers in evaluating whether the organizational innovation targets are being met by employees. Thirdly, managers need to communicate to their employees clearly. For instance, a meeting may be held by the Human Resource manager. Such a forum will allow employees and colleagues to discuss problematic policies in the organization. Managers need to compare such issues with the organization’s current mission. If the problematic rules are too stringent on the employees, and do not change the organization’s focus, they need to be removed. Such forums will enable the company to achieve innovation in its employees while not compromising on its efficiency (Shehabuddeen, 2007, p.127).
Usually, organizational managers have reflex solutions to challenges. In this respect, the managers attempt to solve a scenario by the addition of new rules to the organization. This results in an organization’s atmosphere becoming more and more stringent by the day. In consequence, organizations should train their managers in developing alternate responses. For instance, when a situation arises, managers should not simply dictate some rules to their workers. They need to talk to the individual employee and provide him/her with sufficient information on the problem. At the end of such an interaction, managers should emphasize the employee’s duty to make the correct judgments, without supervision.
As stated earlier, it is crucial for an organization to maintain a state of balance between its need for stringent rules, and innovation. Such a balance enables the organization to achieve a competitive nature in its respective market. This attribute emerges right from its internal operations. By switching to innovation focused strategies, organizations are able to maintain their relevance in the ever-changing markets for their products.
Franken A., Edwards C., & Lambert R, 2009, Executing strategic change: Understanding the critical management elements that lead to success, California Management Review. 51, 49-73+3.
Patel, T., & Patel, C, 2008, Learning cultures for sustained innovation success, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 21, 233-251.
Shehabuddeen, N, 2007, Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation, Open Innovation, Great Britain