Business Strategy and Governance Essay Example
Business Strategy and Governance
BUSINESS STRATEGY AND GOVERNANCE REPORT
Innovation is a very important process in any business. Creativity is important in order to ensure that the business remain profitable. International Food Group (IFG) as an organization has finally realized the need to tap on creativity of the executives to ensure relevance and increase in the market share. The reason Josh Novak is invited to the company headquarters is in furthering and nurturing creative stints that have seen his former company Glow-Foods grow in bounds.
Business scholars see the creative process as a four stage process; preparation, incubation, illumination and execution (Schuler 2002). Preparation involves the process where the managers and junior executives brainstorm in a creative environment. This stage prepares the company with a list of viable opportunities and projects. The projects vary in timing and the amount of resources to be used.
The second stage is incubation, the list of ideas at this stage are vetted inorder that the company may come up with the ones that can lead to long-term company profitability. This stage also requires the personnel to synthesize the ideas as they analyse them. The business trends are important in incubation period. This may be the reason behind Tonya James advice to Josh’s team that they ‘need to open the eyes wide and keep the ears to the ground for any innovative technologies.”
The third stage involves illumination which simply means that it is a stage that enhances the creative stage to be discovered. This requires a lot of market research and team effort. The business at this stage should ensure that all the workers involved are engaged effectively to come up with a viable option. Finally all the ideas that have been discovered should be put into action through execution. In a competitive business environment businesses need to actively mobilize the resources to execute the business ideas before other competing organization come up with a similar implementation plan which may hamper the organization efforts (Valentin 2006).
Though Josh Novak has been successful at Glow-Foods, serious obstacles await him and his team at the IFG headquarters at Chicago. There is however some benefits that Josh experiences, the first concerns his remuneration scheme. His salary under the management of IFG is almost doubled as compared to the current earning capability. But just as the old adage says “All that glitters is not gold’ a herculean task awaits him in implementing a marketing strategy through the new arrangement. The following are some of the challenges that confront Josh affecting him personally and his team.
Bureaucracy and accessibility.
It becomes clear that the management of the IFG has a laid down structure that encourages inaccessibility. The laid down authority protocol illustrate the great hurdles Josh’s team is to encounter before any of their ideas is implemented. It all starts with the conversation between him and Tanya James. Tanya James informs him that they can only meet on Friday afternoons at four o’clock. An open door policy is very important for an organization that wishes to be creative and have a niche in the market. As his junior this kind of arrangements means that his hands will be tied in case he wishes to address an urgent matter that relates to his innovation experience. The assurance that she can get back through e-mail within 24 hours is not satisfactory. This is a serious obstacle since such bureaucracy will slow the creativity stage.
This is further compounded by the conversation that the team have with Mr. Rick Visser who is the chief technology officer. He advices Josh and his team that the thick manual of procedures have to observed. This complicates the complaint feedback system. Being in the IT department every party from the seniors to the juniors should maintain a cordial communication relationship. Bearing in mind that Rick is the head of architecture, privacy and risk management more contact is very important inorder to ensure that progress is assessed. This does not mean that a company should not have rules, rules are important; however when they are implemented in a way that limits the creativity then Josh’s effort will be landing on deaf ears.
Finances are very important in avoiding the risks of an organization and this are well known by Sheema Singh who is the IT finance officer. Budgeting goes to the heart of every clear innovative endeavour. The company resources are utilized in coming up with novel ideas that propel the company to new heights of sales. This is well illustrated by the efforts of Glow-Foods, which despite being a small company have adopted diverse marketing strategy to help endear its products to the customers. The company has ventured in social networking, mashups and multimedia in carrying out its marketing strategy. Though the company hasn’t embraced a corporate website, the script shows that its fairing well in its endeavors that notwithstanding.
IFG presents a big obstacle for Josh and his team as relates his implementation of the stage. It is clear that the management is not about to undertake any idea that is skeptical to the companies. Innovation implementation definitely is a risky activity; however the level of caution shown by the company managements is too much. From the very start of the orientation stage, Sheema Singh clearly informs the group that they will not get funded by the company unless they have a business case. This has to be approved by the management. This present a big obstacle since without enough financial resources no creative idea can fly.
This level of bureaucracy in the financial department is echoed during the presentation stage. Sheema in her contribution said that a while back the company had invested in a knowledge management which was a big flop. This was said as an avenue to attack the proposals of Josh and his team. Sheema was among the executives that tried to poke holes on the innovative ways that the team had managed to come up with. Financial soberness is very important especially when the company decisions are accountable to the shareholders. It is important that corporate governance is observed, but to the extent that the management is very cautious in investing in the marketing strategy, raises issue about its future profitability. The financial hurdle is made even more complicated by the finance department that requires Josh and his team to make an inventory of all the costs and benefits the organization is likely to attract in a fiscal year. The dissatisfaction of the financial hurdles is well captured by the emotions of Tom Webster and Veejay Mitra.
Whereas the level of technology exposure at Glow-Foods seems to be medium sized, it is definitely complex with IFG. The company in changing the IT issues even proposes to replace the Glow-Foods Macs with PCs. The presence of ERP system in IFG illustrates the extent the company has gone in ensuring an updated technology in its activities. Blow-Foods are not however not badly off in the internet marketing. They have majored in using the social networking media which has not been embraced by IFG. It is very impressive to note that a small company has managed to capture a very wide market of the under-thirty demographic with technology. This shows the level of teamwork, creativity and innovation that is happening in the organization (Peters 2004).
The main challenge however remains the mentality of the technology department. It is very evident from the conduct of Risk Visser that any change in how the IT department is run is not appreciated at all. Risk Visser is the officer in charge of IFG IT risk management, privacy issues and architecture. He gives guidelines and procedures before any technology is introduced by the company. This definitely does not go well with some of the members of the team. He postulates that the company cannot in any way conduct its activities without formal processes. Formal processes are important, but an exaggeration of the processes leads to hampering teamwork and creativity (Schuler 2002).
This is illustrated when Josh and his team wishes to introduce ‘cloud’ computing. This is used in IT services to bring about integration of networks and applications achieving better computing infrastructure. Cloud computing is essential in realizing better production and economies of scale in an organization. Cloud computing is very important and if the company embraced the technology would easily have benefitted in the following ways? (Wikler 2010);
Cost- cloud computing reduces the expenses incurred in maintaining and procuring computer hand wares. The services of cloud computing are easily procured and sourced from a third party which makes the costs even much less. The operation expenses in hiring staff to maintain an IT program are marginally brought to manageable levels.
Application Programming Interface-(API)- cloud computing utilizes the REST founded API which facilitates a better interface between the humans and computers. The API makes the data infrastructure very accessible (Winkler 2010).
Independence- due to cloud computing there is information mobility. Information does not have to be localized but can be accessed from whatever point provided there is availability of internet. This widens the scope of the market target of the company.
Reliability- the use of cloud computing is very essential in eliminating risks and recovering data. Company data is very important and its availability will eliminate legal disputes as well as boost the confidence of any stakeholder.
Performance Monitoring- through cloud computing data can be monitored consistently. This assists in formulating the plans and policies based on the monitored results.
Security- the use of cloud computing is very important in ensuring localization of company’s data. The use of cloud computing also boosts the efficiency of the services that the company pays. The cloud computing is however criticized for how the host companies can easily access the clients information. This is a great disadvantage to a company that wishes to have clients’ confidentiality as its major objective.
It is clear that Josh Novak worked in a company that doesn’t have a dress code. This shows the liberal state of Glow-Foods Company. The communication channels are however affected in two main ways. The first is that employees rarely meet with their seniors. Tonya James allows Josh to see him only on Fridays. The situation is that the juniors should make appointment for their ideas to be considered. This is a great obstacle for a company.
The secret behind a successful Glow-Food is elaborated in the sense that all workers would engage in a night brainstorming sessions. The gap between the executives and the managements should be narrowed inorder to make remarkable strides. Josh teams start very enthusiastically but the effects of discouragement by the management communication may affect the results.
Communication is also hindered when the management puts control system on Facebook and instant messaging. These are very important avenues which every IT department should tap to ensure better results. Glow-Foods has an efficient communication feedback, though not well reported, it can be presumed that they practice an open door policy. This should be embraced by IFG to ensure profitability and a wider market for its products (Valentin 2006).
Josh’s team comes up with the following three proposals; first the development of a better website and effective response, second the team proposes an evaluation of the communication needs and interests and finally cloud computing technology (Winkler 2010).
It is clear to achieve the above objectives the support of the management is very important. Tonya James is the only one who seems to support the idea leveled by the group. The team has shown a great influence in Sonya’s decision making. From the presentation view the IT department represented by Rick Visser is set in denying the team the opportunity to develop cloud computing since proper procedure was not followed. Sheema Singh on the other hand is determined to withhold any financial resources which would be very instrumental in implementation stage. Without a shadow of doubt if Josh’s team is set to succeed they should convince John Ahern, Rick Visser and Sheema Singh who are key in the decision making. The fact that they have won the confidence of Sonya is very encouraging in their quest to concur the bureaucracy that is heavily entrenched at IFG.
Another important issue to consider is the detractors. Though a lot of energy and innovation is shown by the group, a key detractor in the group is Ben Nokony. His resistance to effective running of the team affairs is shown at the instance he insists that the team members should use him as a contact person. Ben is determined in avoiding a paradigm shift of the company management. His efforts as opposed to Josh are in question. From such a background if the company is to realise harmony and integration he ought to distance himself from the team members. The disappointment and resentment of his actions are ventilated by Candis Chung who is very dissatisfied with his new rules on meetings.
A comparative analysis is very important. Inorder to effectively tackle the issues that are affecting the people Josh proposes an interactive website and better responses. If he can show the management of similar organization that have embraced this two strategies and is perfectly fairing well then his mission and burden can be reduced. It is without doubt that his innovative ideas have worked at Glow-Foods; this should work too at IFG if given an opportunity.
Finally there is element of forecasting and expertise assistance. Cloud computing is definitely a novel idea to the company. There is need that Josh should source an expertise in the area to convince the company on its benefits. There may be obstacles in its implementation stage but the benefits far outweigh the detriments that the company would incur. With a growing number of clientele IFG should be advised on the need to embrace new technological infrastructure to remain relevant and competitive in the market. However as with privately purchased computer hardware, the issues of virus and network cracking affect the implementation of cloud computing (Peters 2004).
Schuler (2002) writes that innovation is very important for a company. To promote excellent business creativity the leaders should follow the following five step process;
Getting the right people: innovation starts with people with the requisite skills, knowledge and qualification. Josh displays these qualities. After proper selection their effort and idea should be supported and not shot down.
Creating incentives for the innovators, a better reward system should be established by the company to promote greater profitability and creativity. If a new idea leads to better marketing strategy the company should give rewards.
Creating a better environment for innovators: it is very clear from the business environment at IFG, the innovators are discouraged rather than encouraged. All communication and authority bureaucracies should be eliminated. An interactive teamwork will ensure better results.
Avoiding immediate results temptation: every organization that wishes to experience the results of innovation should give time for incubation. Creative ideas take time before success and this should be taken into account.
Implementation: every creative idea should be evaluated and finally implemented.
Peters, L 2004 ,The new interactive media: one-to-one but to whom? , Marketing Intelligence
and Planning, vol.16, no.1, pp. 22–30.
Schuler, A.J,,2002, Business Creativity and Innovation, Oxford University Press.
Valentin, E., 2006, ‘The marketing concept and the conceptualisation of marketing strategy’ ,
Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Fall, 16–27
Winkler, Vic, 2010,Securing the Cloud: Cloud Computer Security Techniques and Tactics.
Waltham, MA USA
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