For a company to compete in today’s competitive business world is increasingly a function of how proficient they are at innovation. The goal of a company is to increase profitability, increase growth and innovation and introduce new values/norms/culture into the company. In order for a company to remain competitive, it must have maximum quality, minimum cost and maintain peak performance. The design of the organization is crucial to innovation. In ways a company structure links its personnel in various specialties, such as research and marketing, gages the speed a company can introduce new products into the market. In its reflection, you cannot overlook the fact that the company culture has an impact on the people to be innovative. Culture defined as entrepreneurial norms and values is mostly likely fostering innovation than a culture that embraces conservatism and/or bureaucracy.
In my experience the creation of a structure that fosters innovative behavior, begins with top leadership equipped to provide vision, inspiration, and conviction to demonstrate integrity, provide meaning, develop objectives, generates trust, and communicates values. As a leader, you must do more than just hold the title; as a CEO, you must exercise leadership through setting the example for others to emulate. Leaders must also influence and motivate managers to incorporate vision, strategic planning, and elements of quality management into the full range of the organization’s activities.
Leaders must be knowledgeable of the fact that creativity and innovation is the heart and soul of their organization. New ideas can lead to programs/products that are superior to those already in existence or planned in an organization. Toyota for example has lead the way by targeting the 20 – 30 something and has come with a new line of cars. Other car manufacture’s are lagging behind and are just now starting to target that consumer group. This translates into a new design, outfitting of the 3 models they have brought on the market.
Toyota also brought Hybrid cars to the US. Other car manufacturers are catching on now. Leaders should be continuously searching for new ideas and programs that supersede what the organization is currently committed to and producing. Let’s dub it as progression. According to Jones (2004) in his textbook ” the most critical elements of managers responsibilities is to select the right structure. Thus, flatten the organizational structure hierarchy to accomplish the main objective which is to establish greater control and coordination”.
The selection of an “organic culture coupled with a decentralized line of authority” promotes high input/innovation and output according to the author Jones (2004). But of no system is perfect, even with the best of intention. For example, the adaptation of of organic culture, in some situation may cause management to loose control of personnel supervision and work efficiency. Additionally, informal norms and values develop that emphasize personal competence, expertise, and the ability to act in innovative ways. Status is achieved by the ability to provide creative leadership, not by any formal position in the hierarchy. Most centralized authority systems do not allow you to exhibit your full potential; deviation from the standard due to control factors is being stifled.
The detrimental factor of this system is that it is impossible to create team, creativity, positive norms, values, and beliefs. Because there is such a lack of interaction between us (employees) and them (authority figures),” us against them” thinking can begin to creep in; people become lethargic and creativity and motivation is stifled. According to Jones (2004): the advantage of a decentralization is that it promotes flexibility and responsiveness through delegating authority to the lowest possible level to assist managers to make decisive on the spot decision. Leaders remain accountable for such their action (good judgment is prudent in a manager decision), but this also give a manager the opportunity demonstrate their personal skills and competence and would be more motivated to perform well for the organization.
Leaders must also be able to identify and integrate key issues affecting the company such as political, economics, social, technological, and administrative factors. The kiss of death for most organizations is remaining steadfast on previous accomplishments. Organizations must subscribe to a progressive stance, because technology and productivity decreases the distance between what is up to date now and obsolete tomorrow; outside the box thinkers are a vital part of an organization and they need to have the ears of top managers; top managers also much be innovative thinkers, don’t rest on past accomplishments, and create programs, incentives, where out -of -the box thinking is rewarded. Suggestion boxes and rewards can serve as great incentives. This in turn will allow employees to tap into their creative side, may save dollars to the company, and increase worker’s satisfaction, for it increases a sense of vital contribution to an organization.
Jones,Gareth , R. (2004). Organizational Theory, Design, and Change (4th ed). New Jersey