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The Importance of Innovation Architecture

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The Importance of Innovation Architecture
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In the contemporary world of business, every business desires for expansion from the smaller to a bigger firm. The desire has been influenced by companies placing themselves strategically to compete in the market. As competition within the industry becomes stiff, companies develop new strategies not just to remain relevant on the market but also to outshine other competitors. A common strategy that seems to be adopted by business is innovation. The involved companies have created systems that allow creativity as a basic form of innovation to take place. The adopted culture, processes and management systems and styles have also made it possible for the employees with brilliant ideas of innovation to put them into practice (Jafari & Amoozegar, 2017). The establishment of the effective innovation process architecture for the innovation-oriented organization is what has led to these organizations grow.
As a tool for development, most of the top world performing companies have either given innovation the priority or is among the first three priorities. Good examples of the world’s most innovative companies include Apple, Google, and Procter & Gamble company. These companies have each adopted unique innovation culture that has incorporated the employees and makes it easy for them to exhibit their ideas into reality. Also, the processes and the management systems and styles of the mentioned companies are favorable for the innovation as a strategy to emerge to the top.

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Apple is one of the top innovative companies evident in the production of goods such as iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad among other products (Kelley, 2016). It is this innovation that has made it easier to dominate the technology industry to competitors like Samsung and others. For instance, it is because of the organizational culture of Apple Company that has proved its capability to embrace change in their products. The company develops and integrates its employees into the culture so as innovation is easily achieved. Developing of employees makes it possible for Apple to have skilled and expertise employees then integrating them allows them to participate in change and be part of the change. As part of their culture, Apple has developed a policy where only the best employees are selected. The selection is based on the creative abilities, skills and the knowledge of employees (Kelley, 2016). Therefore, when it comes to product design and development, then creativity and excellence of employees are highly observed. Apple has an innovative culture that allows all the employees to be trained and encourages them to become innovative. The work by an individual worker is highly regarded as well as any potentially innovative idea put forth by the employee. In general, being an innovative company by culture, Apple uses the opportunity to equip all its employees with innovation mentality while creating the environment for creativity leading to innovation.
In research and development, Apple applies lean processes which do not just focus on the rate of product development but also on the efficiency, quality and elimination of waste. To make this achievable, Apple has invested highly in the field of Research and Development (Kelley, 2016). By carrying out research, the company can know the best taste for the consumers and develop products that best suit the customers need. For the Apple, the design is at their front line where the designers are given the freedom they need to make sure they are not limited in any way. The same design teams are separated from the large company to avoid any interference. They are these design teams that come up with the information on the products and hands it to the development team. This is how much Apple invested in innovation. The management system and style of Apple are such that they allow the best environment for innovation. The management has established a direct channel of communication such that employees with business ideas can pass information directly to the top leadership. The management as well holds the executive meeting with the employees on a regular basis which allows ideas to be conveyed.
Procter & Gamble company has also dominated on the list of the top innovative company because of how best is has embraced the idea of innovation. P & G has embraced the use of technology in the production of the household and personal care products (Euchner, 2012). P & G has adopted innovation within its culture which it has extended the same to the employees. The company has created a world enterprise social system where the skills, knowledge and the insights of the people within the company are harnessed. Through this effort, all the people are given the focus on the customer, and all their efforts are directed at producing the best for the customers. P & G has invested highly in the innovation, and it does this on a daily basis. When selecting employees, the company focuses much on the skills and the interests of the people. They do train the people who handle their products and encourage them to be as well innovative and teach others on the same.
All the employees working with the P & G full understand their role after the company integrated innovation into their business strategy and redefining its social system. The company has made it mandatory that it has to see new ideas on board and the same done on the market based on the research. Apart from just going for values, leadership, and brains, P& G also go for flexibility and agility during recruitment (Euchner, 2012). The move makes it possible that the culture of innovation continues and that its people are innovative and are part of the innovative change. Like Apple, the management system of P & G is a horizontal one where workers interact freely with the management for sharing new ideas.
Google is one of the top companies in the industry of technology which has been keeping an eye on the pipeline of innovation and incorporates it within its culture. As a way to make the innovation realistic, the same notion has been extended to the employees who work in small groups. The group allows the employees to come together and share the innovative ideas. Google makes this possible through creating various channels for expression. The channels include the Google moderator, Google café and employees being able to directly email any top company leader in case of an idea that can be implemented (Steiber & Alänge, 2013). The management structure of Google is flat such that managers and the subordinate staff interact freely. This management style allows communication of new business idea even from the lower level employees and managers to the top level.
In my personal view, I can relate various reasons behind the capitalization on the innovation and the entrepreneurship by the three companies that are doing very well in the field of innovation. One important reason I can think of is that all the three, Apple, Google and Procter and Gamble have an organizational structure that is flat. A flat organizational structure is where employees work under one roof. Such a structure, therefore, allows employees to share new ideas and give room for coming up with many such ideas that will allow innovation. The other reason is that these companies have already expanded in the sizes and are among the biggest organizations meaning the investors are likely to become conservative. The investors may start feeling comfortable with their past success as they are earning higher profits. The companies, therefore, need to capitalize on innovation to maintain their high achievement level otherwise they risk going out of the business. The third reason I can relate to the innovation and entrepreneurship within the three companies is the fear by the management to go out of the business due to inability to cope with the changing market. Therefore, innovation becomes the only way to keep pace with the market. The fourth reason may be attributed to the fact that technology is fast- changing every day. Moreover, all the three companies exist within the technology industry which makes it necessary that they capitalize on innovation as technology changes.
However, it is important to note that to realize innovation and entrepreneurship within the organization is not just a walk in the park. Some organizations have failed to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship due to several reasons. Among such reasons that may stifle innovation include poorly structured processes and systems (Aranha, Garcia, & Corrêa, 2015) Some organizations may lack best policies for selecting employees with skills, knowledge, and interests. In such cases, an organization may end up hiring people who cannot handle the business. With such type of employees, it is difficult for the organization to realize any form of innovation or entrepreneurship. Sometimes the management may fail either to recognize innovation or even reward the employees who come up with the innovative ideas. Once the employee is not recognized or even rewarded, such employee will lose the motivation of presenting such an idea in future. The conservative culture will be adopted by other employees thus stifling innovation.
Lack of proper communication channels or poor communication channels is a big obstacle to the innovation in the organization (Aranha, Garcia, & Corrêa, 2015). Business ideas come from across within and outside the company which requires a clear channel to reach the needed person. If such channels do not exist, then there is the likelihood that the intended idea for innovation will not sail through. It will as well affect the networking among the workers of the organization. Networking allows people to share and compare ideas to find the best practical approach. Lack of training and education by the employees will as well stifle innovation and entrepreneurship. Education and training are vital in innovation, and they give knowledge to the relevant people who become potential innovators.
If I am an innovation architect, I will first initiate and support a training program for all the employees of the organization. The training is meant to assist the employees to acquire skills and knowledge on innovation. I will also use the training opportunity to encourage employees to be more innovative for the growth of the organization and their personal and professional enhancement. Secondly, I will establish the best mode of communication where all employees find it easy to communicate any innovation idea. The communication channel will as well allow networking and cross-sharing of the ideas within the organization. Another system that will promote innovation is the reward system where the organization will reward best employees with brilliant ideas. The system will motivate more employees to think outside the box of possible ideas. Finally, I will adopt best selection policies that only skilled and knowledgeable employees will be hired to work for the company. The policy will ensure that only excellent employees capable of innovating work for the organization.

References
Aranha, E. A., Garcia, N. P., & Corrêa, G. (2015). Open Innovation and Business Model: A Brazilian Company Case Study. Journal Of Technology Management & Innovation, 10(4), 91-98.
Euchner, J. (2012). Building Open Innovation at P&G. Research Technology Management, 55(4), 14-19. doi:10.5437/08956308X5504003
Jafari, S. M., & Amoozegar, E. (2017). Business Model Innovation: Exploring the Role of Strategic Agility and Organizational Learning. Proceedings Of The International Conference On Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organizational Learning, 104-108.
Kelley, T. R. (2016). Postcards from a road trip to innovation: one professor’s sabbatical. Technology & Engineering Teacher, 76(3), 26-30.
Steiber, A., & Alänge, S. (2013). Do TQM principles need to change? Learning from a comparison to Google Inc. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 24(1/2), 48-61. doi:10.1080/14783363.2012.733256

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