Creative Writing on Management: Organizational Innovation

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Creative writing
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How can an organization develop passionate entrepreneurs that can foster innovation and change?

Development of skills through education can play a significant role in shaping employees abilities for them to become innovators and leaders of change. Innovation entails taking risks, tackling ambiguity, and managing change (Grider & Stowe, 2014). Thus, it requires critical thinking skills for prospective innovators to come up with new ideas and concepts of doing things. Scholars have describe innovation as a process that involves identification of opportunities through research and monitoring of market trends to identify gaps that may be exploited to deliver superior goods and services to customers (Fay, Shipton, West, & Patterson, 2014). To this end, education provides knowledge and skills that help in identifying research gaps and turn such gaps into commercial opportunities (Grider and Stowe, 2014).

Promotion of diversity is another avenue through which business organizations can develop entrapreneurs. Assembling teams of different backgrounds, passions and capabilities is critical for innovative ideas to be identified. Such action provides the potential for a set of ideas and problem-solving approaches to issues to emerge and flourish (Young Entrepreneurial Council, 2012).As Fay, Shipton, West, and Patterson (2014) put it, a majority of innovations are created in an environment where groups of people come together to share ideas on market trends and also on issues affecting customers.

The reward of ideation is also an important platform on which entrapreneurship can be nurtured. Ideas about innovation can be sourced through internal competitions among employees of a given field. For instance, contexts may be staged within an organizations network to select ideas that may be modified to into commercial products. An accompaniment of rewards in these competitions can be used to motivate employees to do further research and come up with better ideas.

Why is it imperative that an organizations vision be so carefully crafted and have employee buy-in?

A vision represents the desired position of an organization over a given period. The vision gives the reasons for the existence of an organization and articulate identity as well as give a rough picture of the projected state of the organization in the future (Tankovic, 2013). Employees are a valuable resource for any organization and offer their knowledge and skills to an organization for such organization to fulfill their mandate as articulated in future terms. The vision of an organization influences workers behaviors and allocation of resources. Further, vision carries value and guidelines that help form employee relationships with management and customers (Tankovic, 2013).For the mentioned reasons, vision should be crafted in such a way that takes into consideration of the interests of employees and recognizes their individual aspirations.

Vision must have employee support due to the role they play in its realization. As indicated in the previous paragraph, employee actions and activities help organizations steer themselves toward their desired destination through the implementation of strategic goals. When employees buy the vision of an organization, a lot of commitment is shown towards achieving such vision (Tankovic, 2013). This is likely to help the organization implement its strategic goals. On the other hand, lack of acceptance of organizational vision among employees may lead to stagnation of the process of implementing strategic goals and failure to institute a culture that embraces change and innovation(Tankovic, 2013).). Such result is likely to put the competitive position of the organization at risk.

How can metaphors be used to spur innovation an organization?

Metaphors ability to create mental images enables individuals minds to wander through many issues that affect people in their daily lives (Casakin, 2007). Metaphors can be instrumental in facilitating the understanding of known situations through the lens of unfamiliar situations. In other words, they enable employees to compare and contrast what is familiar to them with the unusual and come up with ways that bridge the gap that exist between the two mentioned circumstances(Casakin,2007) for the benefit of businesses and society as a whole.

The process of bridging the gap between the usual and unusual fosters creativity. It is a process that exploits perceptions and imaginations to design situations that seek to solve current problems (Casakin, 2007). Metaphors provide a means through which action is stimulated. Imagery that arises from a metaphorical understanding of a situation encourages memorability (Seidel & OMahony, 2014) which is an essential ingredient for innovation and change. For example, the outside appearance of a building is often designed in a way that reflects the internal use of the building and architects visualize all sorts of applications that seek to satisfy the dynamic needs of customers (Casakin, 2007). Additionally, the invention of planes by the Right Brothers is also a classic example of how metaphors foster creativity. While looking for answers to the problems earlier flyers faced, the two brothers observed large gliding birds as they sought solutions to these challenges. The decision monitor birds gave them the idea on how to control a flying aircraft and duly accomplished this task through imagineering in 1903(NASA, 2014).

IBMs use of Epiphany

IBMs epiphany enabled the organization to adopt a customer-centric approach to its business operations. It is imperative for organizations to focus on the needs of the customers in order to achieve long term goals of the organization. Today, customer needs change every day, and this motivates some organizations to design market interventions that put them ahead of the competitors. This approach operates on the notion that it is no longer viable to run a business based on the present needs of customers. Largely these developments have been occasioned by advancement in technology that has provided new and efficient tools for designing products and also offering services (Yaacob, 2014). As a result, players invest in innovation to stimulate customer expectations and also solve customer problems. Here, the focus is mostly on the interests of the customers particularly in regards to tastes and preferences as opposed to profit motives. In particular, it entails timely delivery of goods, effective after-sales services, and reasonably priced goods and services (Yaacob, 2014).

The epiphany IBM has reflected the decision of the company to differentiate itself from other market players. Research has found that this approach has been a positive impact on organizational performance. Such benefits include employee satisfaction and innovation. When customers and employees are satisfied, it is anticipated that such situation can translate into strong financial results (Yaacob, 2014).



Casakin, H. B. (2007). Metaphors in design problem solving: implications for creativity. International Journal of Design, 1(2).

Fay, D., Shipton, H., West, M. A., & Patterson, M. (2014). Teamwork and Organizational Innovation: The Moderating Role of the HRM Context. Creativity and Innovation Management, 24(2), 261-277. doi:10.1111/caim.12100

Grider, D., & Stowe, C. B. (2014). Strategies for advancing organizational innovation. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 15(1), 1-17.

Seidel, V. P., & OMahony, S. (2014). Managing the Repertoire: Stories, Metaphors, Prototypes, and Concept Coherence in Product Innovation. Organization Science, 25(3), 691-712. doi:10.1287/orsc.2013.0879

Yaacob, Z. (2014). The direct and indirect effects of customer focus on performance in public firms. International Journal for Quality Research, 8(2), 265 276.

Young Entrepreneurial Council. (2012). 6 Ideas To Promote Innovation In Your Workplace This Year. Forbes.


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