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Instructions for Task A: In the Response row, write out the problem/opportunity statements for the scenario for each of the team members. | Response to Task A: Teresa: Best Snacks, Inc. is hesitant to move away from their standard research, development and marketing activities, though their market share in the snack market is slipping. Over two years the company’s sales, market share and stocks have decreased and without innovation of their products and services they could lose their standing as a major player in the industry. John: Best Snacks seems to have a disconnect between the employees and their managers.

The employees have ideas that could be beneficial to the organization that management is brushing aside, as is shown in the surveys. If a new innovative approach to how business is done internal is not provided, then there could be bigger issues down the road. Kicia: In the past two years, sales have dropped drastically, the market shares have decreased and stock market prices are spiraling down. The vice president of organizational development, Sabrina McKay is a valuable asset with exceptional expertise that involves several organizational development initiatives.

However, because of the severity of Best Snacks issues, the company is forced to evaluate what the employees like and dislike competing with success. Ed: Best Snacks, Inc. is in danger of losing its long-held premier market share along with a reduction in sales and stock prices. Best Snacks will need to address management practices and organizational culture because they have not had any product or service innovations in five years. | Generic Benchmarking—The purpose of generic benchmarking is to identify potential solutions to the problem statements defined in Task A.

You will do this by looking at how companies in other industries have dealt with similar issues. | Task B1: Generic Benchmarking: Topics| Instructions for Task B1: In the Response row, identify the topics for which you need information in order to identify potential solutions to the problems identified in Task A. * In the Response row, list three to five topics that you will research in peer-reviewed journals, on Web sites, and in popular publications such as magazines and newspapers. In the Response row, provide a justification for each topic. | Response to Task B1: Business Model Change – Supply Chain: Supply chain is the second element of innovation business model change and is how the value is created and delivered to the market. This type of business model change is generally behind the scenes, not noticeable by the customer and affects the value chain, including the way an organization organizes, partners, and operates to produce and deliver their products and services (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p. 3). This topic is relevant to Best Snacks has to develop innovation in their products and services and a crucial part of new innovation is how the organization will deliver their product or service to the customer. Technology Innovation: Sometimes new technologies are a major part of an innovation, and they stand out and garner significant attention. Other times, the new technologies are hidden out of sight and can only be seen by the technical people servicing them.

Either way, technology change can fuel innovations in three distinct ways; Product and service offerings, Process technologies, and Enabling technologies (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p. 35). This topic is relevant to Best Snacks because with Technology Innovation, one of the three distinct ways; product and service offerings, is one of several goals CEO Elizabeth Fairchild is trying to accomplish. A change to a product or service that a company offers in the marketplace or the introduction of an entirely new product or service will pull Best Snacks out of their five year stagnation.

Semi-Radical Innovation: A semi-radical innovation can provide crucial changes to the competitive environment that an incremental innovation cannot (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p. 47). Any semi-radical change in either the business model or technology always requires some degree of change in the other; however, the change in one element is much larger and more important to the success of the innovation than the other (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p. 49). This is a relevant topic because Best Snacks needs to make crucial changes to how it is operating compared to its competitors.

By making changes to the already existing formula and improving upon it, they can exploit what works and change what does not. Rewarding Innovation: Incentives and rewards are some of the most powerful management tools available to organizations. Rewards are a way to motivate innovation within an organization (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p. 179). Formal reward systems are well-suited for incremental innovation, such as increasing the efficiency of a manufacturing plant or improving quality through quality circles (Davila, Epstien, Shelton, p. 182 2006).

This topic is applicatory to Best Snacks because in the organizational innovation survey depicts a high percentage of employees believe that they can contribute to the innovation at Best Snacks, but motivation from management would be required. The survey also shows that employees are dissatisfied with the organizations lack of abiding by their own Performance Management Policies and Practices. | Task B2: Generic Benchmarking: Companies| Instructions for Task B2: In the Response row, identify companies that have faced and addressed similar situations (successfully and unsuccessfully). In the Response row, list two to three companies for each topic identified in Task B1. * In the Response row, identify those that have been successful and those that have been unsuccessful. * In the Response row, summarize your key findings for each company as they relate to the scenario. | Response to Task B2: Business Model Change Supply Chain:Facebook – by John Dunbar: SuccessfulBest Snacks can take away that fact that by changing the supply for the demand can pay off in the end, if done in a creative and new way.

Facebook started as an exclusive site, and then slowly opened up to non-college students over the course of many years. Best Snacks could take a similar approach to gain the “awe” factor with the release of new products, starting with exclusive products and then making them more open to the public as time goes by. This will draw a sense of want from those who cannot have. The same type of thing could be done to help improve the manager’s take on employee ideas. If a system is created where managers have to be accepted into a “club” to receive some kind of reward, then they may be more apt to listen to student ideas.

In this case perhaps only one manager with the best employee idea is chosen the first year. Then perhaps two managers are chosen the next year. Dell, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: SuccessfulBest Snacks, Inc. can learn from Dell’s change in supply chain direction for the better of the organization. When Dell began their build-to-order model no one believed it would work for the organization, but they were successful for years with the model. When Dell realized that their current model was no longer working, they had to develop a new creative way to deliver a cost-effective product that their customers wanted.

To develop new innovative ideas for their product and services Best Snacks can evaluate their current supply chain model and make changes that best suit their organization. Nokia – by Kicia Robinson: SuccessfulBest Snacks sales have been slipping, market share has decreased and in the past two years, stock prices have taken a dive. Best Snacks CEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to initiate a corporate cultural change program designed to increase employees’ creative thinking skills (University of Phoenix, 2010).

If Elizabeth Fairchild can develop this same concept of connecting employees to what matters as one of the several goals for the program she is trying to implement and include clear definitions about what organizational strategies would best fit Best Snacks, the company may be well on their way to success once again. Wal-Mart – by Ed Thaxton: SuccessfulBest Snacks should emulate Wal-Mart’s relationship with their vendors and live up to their own mission of developing strong partnerships with retailers and distributors, and provide competitively priced products (University of Phoenix, 2010).

Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailing companies in the world. Wal-Mart operated more than 3,500 discount stores, Sam’s Clubs and Supercenters in the United States and more than 1,170 stores in all major countries across the world. Wal-Mart achieved leadership status in the retail industry because of its efficient supply chain management practices. Supply chain management is moving the right items to the right customer at the right time by the most efficient means. No one does that well than Wal-Mart (ICMR, 2010).

Just like Wal-Mart, Best Snacks fully understands that customers are more likely to buy a product based on price than brand loyalty, and with so many options, differentiation between competitors is eroding (University of Phoenix, 2010). Technology Innovation:Hasbro – by John Dunbar: SuccessfulBest Snacks has the opportunity to learn that doing something no other company in the same industry has can put you over the top. Hasbro chose to find a way to promote itself and its products 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Best Snacks is slipping in the standings of the public and needs to find away to promote itself in positive manner.

By taking an approach similar to Hasbro, perhaps they could partner with a TV station that is geared toward their products and promotes their products in a new light. Apple, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: SuccessfulBest Snacks, Inc. can learn from Apple’s successful technology innovation in not only their product development, but also how they approach innovation as a company. Technology innovation is not just about developing a technology to sell to consumers but can be internally developed technologies to make the organizational operations more efficient and effective.

Technology innovation in operating systems or manufacturing processes could assist Best Snacks in developing innovative and creative products and services for their customers helping them regain their market share. Barnes & Nobel – by Kicia Robinson: SuccessfulJust as Barnes & Noble introduced new technology and gained substantial market share in more than one-year by leveraging technology, this benchmarking strategy could prove to be a good move for Best Snacks because CEO Elizabeth Fairchild also wants to see initial results within 12 months.

Sometimes new technologies are a major part of an innovation. Technology change can fuel innovations in three distinct ways: Product and services offerings, process technologies, enabling technologies (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006), because Best Snacks has not had any new product or service innovations in the past five years, this would be a positive move for Best Snacks. Bloom Energy – by Ed Thaxton: SuccessfulElizabeth Fairchild, CEO of Best Snacks states, “innovation was our lifeblood, and it involved everyone in the company.

From what I’ve seen here, not many people seem to understand the importance of innovation. Worse, they seem to have forgotten how to develop and implement creative ideas” (University of Phoenix, 2010, p. 3). Best Snacks can imitate Bloom Energy by using technology to improve the delivery system of products from around the world the same way Bloom Energy is creating a paradigm shift in the way energy is used. That type of technological innovation can assist Best Snacks to maintain their market share percentage. Semi-Radical Innovation:Microsoft, Inc. by John Dunbar: SuccessfulBest Snacks has the opportunity to learn that substantial changes can lead to success. Microsoft chose to make a substantial change to how a player plays a video game, by eliminating the controller altogether and making the user the controller. If Best Snacks wants to make an impact with how its managers view employee ideas, then a substantial change to the management culture will need to be made. If Best Snacks wants to get out of its slump and become number one again in the eyes of the consumer, it will need to make a substantial change to its product line.

Technicolor, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: SuccessfulBest Snacks can learn from Technicolor’s semi-radical innovation of the mp3HD format. Technicolor’s part of the MP3 player development consortium provided them with an opportunity to modify their business model and technologies. Like Technicolor, Best Snacks can use semi-radical innovation in modifying their business model to develop an innovative model to help them in regaining market share. More than a decade after development of the MP3 player Technicolor is still using the semi-radical technology to innovate their technologies and business model.

Toyota – by Kicia Robinson: SuccessfulBecause CEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to see initial results within 12 months, taking the semi-radical approach can provide crucial changes to the competitive environment that an incremental approach cannot. Best Snacks has traditionally held the number one or two positions in the snack market. Due to sales slipping, and decreasing shares the company will finish a very weak second, and with several smaller competitors emerging as major players in the snack industry, Best Snacks should take a semi-radical approach just as Toyota did with the innovation of environmental vehicles.

Sony – by Ed Thaxton: SuccessfulBest Snacks must improve the culture of the organization and encourage the free flowing creativity and innovation. “Sony, and others have shown making important changes to key parts of the dominant business model or the essential technology can redirect the competitive vectors of an entire industry (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). Innovation projects that range between incremental and radical innovation are more likely to succeed, making such projects more acceptable to risk-adverse executives and managers.

With Best Snacks having an issue with introducing new products, and expecting improvement within 12 months. Best Snacks should implement Sony’s policy of “self-promotion” allows Sony engineers, without notifying their supervisors, to seek out projects anywhere in the company where they feel they can make a contribution. Rewarding Innovation:Samsung – by John Dunbar: SuccessfulBest Snacks has the opportunity to learn that money is not always the way to more creativity and innovation, sometimes recognition and a sense of pride work just fine.

By creating a research and development lab for employees to flesh out worthy ideas and innovations, the company will be providing a culture of creativity. These employees would have a place to go and see their ideas realized and gain the opportunity to showcase their strengths, making a solid impression on management and corporate. Boeing – by Teresa Hollmann: SuccessfulIn the organization innovation survey conducted at Best Snacks shows that employees believe an incentive program within the organization would help boost creativity and innovation.

Boeing chose monetary incentives for their employee rewards program, but money is not the only option available to Best Snacks to reward their employees for creative or innovative ideas. Best Snacks could offer paid time off, extra monetary rewards, or employee recognition. Whatever Best Snacks chooses as incentives for their employees this method could provide valuable input from employees who could create the next innovative idea for the organization that help them regain their market share.

Starbucks Coffee– by Kicia Robinson: SuccessfulCEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to initiate a corporate cultural change program designed to increase employees’ creative thinking skills, which is not a bad idea. Best Snacks organization innovation survey shows that employees have strayed away from tried-and-true research, development, and marketing activities. If Best Snacks can incorporate some of the ideas Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has outlined “Employee First Philosophy” then this may prove to be a win-win situation for the company while relaxing the employee climate about risk-taking.

Google – by Ed Thaxton: SuccessfulBest Snacks should imitate the philosophy of Google by instilling the principle to put employees first by providing a unique environment to work around. Google, Inc. allows employees to spend 20% of their time to work on their own project, independent of their workgroup. Google, Inc. believes that no one should leave to pursue their personal passions. Letting employees do this results in over 20% of product launches stemming from these personal projects.

Based upon the Best Snacks organizational survey, the employees do not believe that they are being rewarded for making suggestions or changes; they do not believe there is time to work on new ideas and do not believe supervisors are interested in new ideas. If Best Snacks address those issues and can emulate the environment of Google they can also achieve the goal of becoming Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For. ” | Task B3: Generic Benchmarking: References| Instructions for Task B3: In the Response column, list each reference using APA format. Response to Task B3: Refer to pg. 32| Individual Contributions Facebook – by John Dunbar: Successful Facebook found that its original formula of only allowing college students the exclusive use of its social networking site was not allowing much change. In 2005, the company made the decided to expand who could join; this meant high school students have access to the site (Charlie, 2010). Facebook disregarded initial uproar from those who wanted the site to stay exclusive, but their disregard did not many to leave.

Facebook realized that to keep up with demand, then supply in terms of access to the site would need to increase. Rather doing everything at once, the innovative part was that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, decided to make the site more accessible over the course of a few years. This caused a sense of entitlement for those who joined the site as they were allowed to at different times. It also caused an excitement that was not seen before from a social networking site, as past sites had allowed anyone and everyone to join.

Best Snacks can take away that fact that by changing the supply for the demand can pay off in the end, if done in a creative and new way. Facebook started as an exclusive site, and then slowly opened up to non-college students over the course of many years. Best Snacks could take a similar approach to gain the “awe” factor with the release of new products, starting with exclusive products and then making them more open to the public as time goes by. This will draw a sense of want from those who cannot have.

The same type of thing could be done to help improve the manager’s take on employee ideas. If a system is created where managers have to be accepted into a “club” to receive some kind of reward, then they may be more apt to listen to student ideas. In this case perhaps only one manager with the best employee idea is chosen the first year and perhaps two managers are chosen the next year. Hasbro – by John Dunbar: Successful What better way to promote your own toy company then by joining forces with a TV company and creating a TV channel that promotes the toys nd games your company makes. In 2010 Hasbro launched the HUB, the Hasbro and Discovery Channel joint venture that introduces families and their children to cartoons and puppet shows of the past, popular boards games by way of life, game shows, and to new cartoons with familiar characters (“The Hub to Host Original Mini-Series Event Showcasing ‘Transformers: Prime’. “, 2010). Hasbro took technology innovation to a different level by joining with Discover to create the HUB.

The HUB allows for the company to touch the market as a more family friendly toy company during the day, a more collector-oriented toy company in the late hours, and an all around company at primetime (“The Hub to Host Original Mini-Series Event Showcasing ‘Transformers: Prime’. “, 2010). They also get to reintroduce characters through old shows, and reinterpret them in new ones with the same title. They have a found way, through TV that allows them to promote their company and products in a way no other toy company has before.

Best Snacks has the opportunity to learn that doing something no other company in your industry has can put you over the top. Hasbro chose to find a way to promote itself and its products 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Best Snacks is slipping in the standings of the public and needs to find away to promote itself in positive manner. By taking an approach similar to Hasbro, perhaps they could partner with a TV station that is geared toward their products and promotes their products in a new light. Microsoft, Inc. – by John Dunbar: Successful Microsoft has recently-released it’s more impressive innovation in years, the Kinect.

The Kinect is a semi-radical innovation of a controller, in that it allows one to play games without a controller as you are the controller. The sensor converts your movements into game movements and allows you to do something in real life then put that into the game, like drawing a picture and seeing that exact picture in the game (Microsoft, 2010). Where the Wii and PS3 have taken the route of using motion controllers, Microsoft saw the controller as a hindrance to many and eliminated it completely, allowing the user to play the games without restriction if he or she chooses.

By thinking outside the box, Microsoft surely has a hit on its hands, as this is something consumers and gamers have never experienced before. Best Snacks has the opportunity to learn that substantial changes can lead to success. Microsoft chose to make a substantial change to how a player plays a video game, by eliminating the controller altogether and making the user the controller. If Best Snacks wants to make an impact with how its managers view employee ideas, then a substantial change to the management culture will need to be made.

If Best Snacks wants to get out of its slump and become number one again in the eyes of the consumer, it will need to make a substantial change to its product line. Samsung – by John Dunbar: Successful Samsung takes an innovative and interesting approach for rewarding for innovation. Those employees who are creative and innovative get the opportunity to assemble a group and flesh out their ideas into solid prototypes and even finished products in what is called the Value Innovation Program, or VIP (Bloomberg, 2006).

This VIP is a place for employees to go and spend as much time as they need to get the idea to a finished point, by doing research, testing prototypes, and more. The facility contains 20 project rooms, 38 bedrooms, a gym, a kitchen, a recreation center, and 24hr access (Bloomberg, 2006). Employees who are the most innovative will be granted the time to go to these facilities, and it is seen as an honor to do so. It does not seem to be a case of increased pay as much as it is a sense pride and accomplishment to give the company continued success as well as gaining personal recognition.

Best Snacks has the opportunity to learn that money is not always the way to more creativity and innovation, sometimes recognition and a sense of pride work just fine. By creating a research and development lab for employees to flesh out worthy ideas and innovations, the company will be providing a culture of creativity. These employees would have a place to go and see their ideas realized and gain the opportunity to showcase their strengths, making a solid impression on management and corporate. Dell, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: Successful For over a decade Dell, Inc. uccessfully used the build-to-order supply chain model for manufacturing of their computers. Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Inc. believed that the direct-to-customer, build-to-order process would ultimately be more appealing to customers than just a generic computer system that may or may not meet their needs (Accenture, 2010). The build-to-order model and direct-to-customer business model allowed Dell to maintain low inventory levels in their manufacturing facility, more vendor managed inventories, and low capital investments for the company.

In 2010 Dell, Inc. announced that their build-to-order process was no longer working; the operations and supply chain model had become too complex and pricey. Dell’s director of investor relations, Robert Williams stated that in the past the configure-to-order model had worked for the organization and was still a good model for custom configurations. But the model had become too costly and complex for significant portions of Dell’s consumer, and some portions of their commercial businesses (Chiappinelli, 2010).

To replace the build-to-order model Dell has created a new strategy called Client Reinvention; a model in which the company will be ordering larger bulk shipments from their contract manufacturers, conducting strategic component buys, and use lower-cost shipping options (Chiappinelli, 2010). Best Snacks, Inc. can learn from Dell’s change in supply chain direction for the better of the organization. When Dell began their build-to-order model no one believed it would work for the organization, but they were successful for years with the model.

When Dell realized that their current model was no longer working, they had to develop a new creative way to deliver a cost-effective product that their customers wanted. To develop new innovative ideas for their product and services Best Snacks can evaluate their current supply chain model and make changes that best suit their organization. Apple, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: Successful Apple, Inc. launched the iPad in 2010 their tablet computer specifically marketed as a platform for audio and visual media.

The iPad is a multi-touch interface with interactive apps, in which Apple targeted a new group of users. The individual elements of iPad were not a superior innovation, but the combination won iPad an innovation of the year award in 2010. Unique features of the iPad include: * A touch screen with IPS technology (in-plane switching) and fingerprint-resistant oleo phobic coating * Apple A4 system-on-a-chip (powerful main IC) * Built-in apps that include mail, contacts, calendar, iPod, and notes * Bluetooth 2. 1 plus EDR technology and Wi-Fi connectivity * Safari web browser iBooks – a new app that allows the end user to buy and read a book on the iPad * Offered in three variants of flash memory capacity; 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB (My Digital Life, 2010). Apple, Inc. is continuously a leader in the innovation market, over the past decade the company has developed six product and service platforms that quadrupled their stock and developed a loyal following in niche markets (Anthony, 2010). With a niche market, a loyal following and revenues in the billions Apple continuously tops their last innovation with a new product that consumers just have to have.

Steven Jobs, CEO focuses innovation on competitive pressures and value propositions; his management style focuses organizational energy on customer centered innovation and the customer experience (R3 Now, 2009). Best Snacks, Inc. can learn from Apple’s successful technology innovation in not only their product development, but also how they approach innovation as a company. Technology innovation is not just about developing a technology to sell to consumers but can be internally developed technologies to make the organizational operations more efficient and effective.

Technology innovation in operating systems or manufacturing processes could assist Best Snacks in developing innovative and creative products and services for their customers helping them regain their market share. Technicolor, Inc. – by Teresa Hollmann: Successful The invention of MP3 audio files the consumer market needed a device in which to playback the files and in the late 1990s three organizations and a German university came together to develop the MP3 player. Thomson-Brandt now Technicolor, Inc. as part of the development consortium for the new device. In the co-development of the MP3 player Technicolor re-evaluated their business and technology models to determine in what direction they could take the business based on the new product. Because there was a consortium involved in the development of the player the organization made the business decision to license the MP3 player for new products and manufacturing companies worldwide. The development represented both new technology and a new business model for the organization.

In 2009 Technicolor announced the latest addition to their MP3 family the mp3HD format that allows mathematically lossless compression of audio material while preserving backward compatibility to the mp3 standard. With the new development Technicolor can add more patents to their portfolio, which equates to additional licensing revenues for the organization. Content creators, the music industry and end users are now able to enjoy the ultimate audio quality experience with the same ease of use as the mp3 format.

With the mp3HD format, the music industry can engage in user-friendly distribution of lossless music and audio files (Technicolor, 2009). Best Snacks can learn from Technicolor’s semi-radical innovation of the mp3HD format. Technicolor’s part of the MP3 player development consortium provided them with an opportunity to modify their business model and technologies. Like Technicolor, Best Snacks can use semi-radical innovation in modifying their business model to develop an innovative model to help them in regaining market share.

Boeing – by Teresa Hollmann: Successful Employee rewards are control mechanisms that directly impact the management function of leading. These methods offer a way for managers to increase productivity, encourage innovation, and instill shared beliefs and values for the company and its employees (Associated Content, 2010). Boeing offers several forms of rewards for their employees; EIP program that provides cash bonuses of between 1 and 20 days of additional pay to eligible employees if the company achieves their financial objectives (Boeing, 2010).

Meeting annual operating plan target results in two weeks of extra pay, exceeding the target can earn up to four weeks of extra pay. In 2009 Boeing announced an incentive plan that would provide annual cash rewards to non-union employees upon the company’s achievement of annual financial performance objectives. A high-performance culture is critical to the future of Boeing and Boeing’s chairman and CEO, Phil Condit wants to create a company off innovators actively engaged in seeking customer-focused solutions to grow the business and boost economic profit (Market Wire, 2010).

Boeing’s long-term success has been built on fully-engaged employees, enthusiastic customers and long-term shareholders. Offering monetary rewards for innovative ideas that help the organization grow is vital to Boeing’s continued success. In the organization innovation survey conducted at Best Snacks shows that employees believe an incentive program within the organization would help boost creativity and innovation. Boeing chose monetary incentives for their employee rewards program, but money is not the only option available to Best Snacks to reward their employees for creative or innovative ideas.

Best Snacks could offer paid time off, extra monetary rewards, or employee recognition. Whatever Best Snacks chooses as incentives for their employees this method could provide valuable input from employees that could create the next innovative idea for the organization that help them regain their market share. Nokia– by Kicia Robinson: Successful Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries.

The newly formed Nokia Corporation was ideally positioned for a pioneering role in the early evolution of mobile communications. As European telecommunications markets were deregulated and mobile networks became global, Nokia led the way with some iconic products (Nokia, 2010). Recently, Nokia has “fundamentally” changed its business model as it encounters competition from PC makers and Internet software companies. Nokia, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, estimates its customer retention rate is about 55 percent, almost twice the rate of its global competitors (Bloomberg, 2010).

Nokia’s CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said “The Company’s profitability and U. S. market share need improvement and he repeated guidance given last week that it is too early to say whether the market decline has hit bottom. ” However, Nokia has introduced an Investment to integrate services with devices, which helped Nokia retain customers. The customer retention rate has “consistently increased” every quarter since the beginning of 2007, Kallasvuo said. The Nokia 5800 device has about 20 % of the global market for touch-screen smart phones, he said (Bloomberg, 2010).

The company plans to extend its Smartphone line toward the middle of its price range to capture “trade-down” sales from customers looking to save money. Apple, Inc. has challenged Nokia in high-end smart phones and Google Inc. ’s Android software platform will compete with Symbian, which is supported by Nokia (Bloomberg, 2010). Nokia’s success has come from “Connecting people” to what matters – whatever that means for each person – giving them the power to make the most of every moment, everywhere, anytime. Connecting the “we” is more powerful than just the individual (Nokia, 2010).

Best Snacks sales have been slipping, market share has decreased and in the past two years, stock prices have taken a dive. Best Snacks CEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to initiate a corporate cultural change program designed to increase employees’ creative thinking skills (University of Phoenix, 2010). If Elizabeth Fairchild can develop this same concept of connecting employees to what matters as one of the several goals for the program she is trying to implement and include clear definitions of what organizational strategies would best fit Best Snacks, the company may be well on their way to success once again.

Barnes & Nobel – by Kicia Robinson: Successful Barnes & Noble, Inc. , a Fortune 500 company, is the world’s largest bookseller and the nation’s highest rated bookselling brand. The company is a leading content, commerce and technology company that provides customers easy and convenient access to books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multi-channel distribution platform.

As of July 31, 2010, the company operates 717 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, major strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states, and 633 college bookstores serving nearly four million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States (Barnes & Noble, Inc. 2010). The company announced NOOKdeveloper, is a program that enables content providers and the developer community to deliver new and innovative reading experiences using Barnes & Noble’s open eReading platform.

With the new program, Barnes & Noble is inviting content providers and developers to create, market and sell content and applications that enrich, extend and expand reading for millions of Barnes & Noble customers, beginning with the newly announced NOOKcolor, the first full-color touch Reader’s Tablet (Market Watch, 2010). Barnes & Noble has quickly become a leader with its rapidly growing eBooks and eReading products, gaining substantial market share in more than one-year by leveraging technology and digital expertise combined with its nearly 40 years of bookselling experience.

With the launch of NOOKdeveloper, Barnes & Noble will offer content providers and application developers unprecedented access to unique merchandising opportunities to drive discovery and demand on Barnes & Noble’s leading eReading devices, on BN. com, one of the world’s largest e-commerce Websites, and in store at more than 1,300 of the company’s Barnes & Noble and Barnes & Noble College bookstores across the country (Market Watch, Inc. 2010). Best Snacks has not had any new product or service innovations in the past five years.

Previously successful marketing methods have been improved or extended and CEO, Elizabeth Fairchild is very much aware that Best Snacks is in danger of losing its long-held premier standing in the snack market (University of Phoenix, 2010). Just as Barnes & Noble introduced new technology and gained substantial market share in just more than one-year by leveraging technology, this benchmarking strategy could prove to be a good move for Best Snacks because CEO Elizabeth Fairchild also wants to see initial results within 12 months. Sometimes new technologies are a major part of an innovation.

Technology change can fuel innovations in three distinct ways: Product and services offerings, process technologies, enabling technologies (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006), because Best Snacks has not had any new product or service innovations in the past five years, this would be a positive move for Best Snacks. Toyota – by Kicia Robinson: Successful Toyota is the seventh largest company in the world and the second largest manufacturer of automobiles with production facilities in 28 nations around the world — and the highest production facility of any non-domestic automaker in the United States (Toyota North America, Inc. 010). At the core of the company’s success is the Toyota Production System, which took shape in the years after the Second World War, when Japan was literally rebuilding itself, and capital equipment were hard to come by. A Toyota engineer named Taiichi Ohno turned necessity into virtue, coming up with a system to get as much as possible out of every part, every machine, and every worker. The principles were simple, even obvious—do away with waste, have parts arrive precisely when workers need them, fix problems as soon as they arise (Toyota North America, Inc. 010). Toyota has made some successful innovation marks in the automobile industry. Since its launch in 1997, the Prius has earned the love of millions of forward-thinking drivers and is paving the way for the next generation of environmental vehicles such as cars that will run solely on electricity, or consume hydrogen, and emit only water (Toyota North America, Inc. 2010). Toyota continues the use of a distinctive element approach defining innovation as a semi-radical process.

Toyota also spends an average of nearly one million dollars an hour on R&D to develop the cars and technologies of the future – cars that deliver higher fuel economy with lower vehicle emissions. We will continue to invest in R&D, moving even closer to our vision of the ultimate eco-car (Toyota North America, Inc. 2010). Because CEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to see initial results within 12 months, taking the semi-radical approach can provide crucial changes to the competitive environment that an incremental approach cannot.

Best Snacks has traditionally held the number one or two positions in the snack market. However, due to sales slipping, and decreasing shares the company will finish a very weak second, and with several smaller competitors emerging as major players in the snack industry, Best Snacks should take a semi-radical approach just as Toyota did with the innovation of environmental vehicles. Starbucks Coffee– by Kicia Robinson: Successful Starbucks Coffee began in 1971with a single store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Starbucks has always believed-in serving the best coffee possible. It is their goal for all of their coffee to be grown under the highest standards of quality, using ethical trading, and responsible growing practices. The company’s coffee buyers personally travel to coffee farms in Latin America, Africa and Asia to select the highest quality Arabica Beans. Once these quality beans arrive at their roasting plants, Starbucks experts bring out the balance and rich flavor of the beans through the signature Starbucks Roast.

Today Starbucks is privileged to welcome millions of customers through their doors every day, in more than 16,000 locations in more than 50 countries (Starbucks Corporation, 2010). Starbucks Chairman and Visionary Howard Schultz believe in rewarding employees for innovation. In fact, he clearly says “We built the Starbucks brand first with our people, not with consumers. Because we believed the best way to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers was to hire and train great people, we invested in our employees.

Innovation starts with employees and it is important that we understand that. Why not reward your employees for innovation” (Starbucks Corporation, 2010). Starbucks believes in hiring exceptional people willing to work for excellent results. In exchange, the company is committed to the development of good people by identifying, cultivating, training, rewarding and promoting those individuals committed to moving the company forward through innovation” (Starbucks Corporation, 2010).

CEO Elizabeth Fairchild wants to initiate a corporate cultural change program designed to increase employees’ creative thinking skills, which is not a bad idea. Best Snacks organization innovation survey shows that employees have strayed away from tried-and-true research, development, and marketing activities. If Best Snacks can incorporate some of the ideas Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has outlined “Employee First Philosophy” then this may prove to be a win-win situation for the company while relaxing the employee climate about risk-taking.

Wal-Mart – by Ed Thaxton: Successful Wal-Mart is one of the largest retailing companies in the world. Wal-Mart operated more than 3,500 discount stores, Sam’s Clubs and Supercenters in the United States and more than 1,170 stores in all major countries across the world. The company also sold products on the Internet through its website, Walmart. com. The company’s founder Sam Walton had always focused on improving sales, constantly reducing costs, adopting efficient distribution and logistics management systems and using innovative information technology tools.

Wal-Mart achieved a leadership status in the retail industry because of its efficient supply chain management practices. Supply chain management is moving the right items to the right customer at the right time by the most efficient means. No one does that better than Wal-Mart (ICMR, 2010). Just like Wal-Mart, Best Snacks fully understands that customers are more likely to buy a product based on price than brand loyalty, and with so many options, differentiation between competitors is eroding (University of Phoenix, 2010).

Wal-Mart always emphasized the need to reduce its purchasing costs and offer the best price to its customers. The company procured goods directly from manufacturers, bypassing all intermediaries (ICMR, 2010). Wal-Mart has made important changes to its enabling information management technologies, with significant improvement in its ability to track and manage its partners, the supply chain, and finances (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). The second element of innovative business model change is the supply chain—how value is created and delivered to the market.

This type of business model change affects steps along the value chain, including the way an entity organizes, partners, and operates to produce and deliver its products and services (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). As stated by Bruce Richmond of Andersen Consulting “This type of business model change affects steps along the value chain, including the way an entity organizes, partners, and operates to produce and deliver its products and services. ” Wal-Mart spent a significant amount of time meeting vendors and understanding their cost structure.

By making the process transparent, the retailer could be certain that the manufacturers were doing their best to cut down costs. Best Snacks should emulate Wal-Mart’s relationship with their vendors and live up to their own mission of developing strong partnerships with retailers and distributors, and provide competitively priced products (University of Phoenix, 2010). Bloom Energy – by Ed Thaxton: Successful Bloom Energy is changing the way the world generates and consumes energy.

The company’s unique on-site power generation systems make good use of an innovative new fuel cell technology with roots in NASA’s Mars program. Derived from a common sand-like powder, and leveraging breakthrough advances in materials science, Bloom Energy’s technology can produce clean, reliable, affordable power, practically anywhere, from a wide range of renewable or traditional fuel sources, including natural gas, wind, solar, and biomass. Bloom Energy Servers™ are among the most efficient energy generators available, providing for significantly reduced electricity costs and dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions.

By generating power on-site where it is consumed, Bloom Energy offers increased electrical reliability and improved energy security, providing a clear path to energy independence. Founded in 2001, Bloom Energy is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The technology stage is early in the lifecycle of an industry; technology innovation often dominates and is typically populated by startups (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). Bloom Energy can trace its roots to work performed at the University of Arizona as part of the NASA Mars space program. Dr. KR Sridhar and his team were charged with creating a technology that could sustain life on Mars.

They built a device capable of producing air and fuel from electricity, and electricity from air and fuel. They soon realized that their technology could have an even greater impact here on Earth. Originally called Ion America, Bloom Energy, was founded with the mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone on earth. Over the next few years, the technology quickly developed from concept, to prototype, to product, as the major technological challenges were solved and the systems became more powerful, more efficient, more reliable, and more economical.

In early 2006 Bloom shipped its first 5kW field trial unit to the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. After two years of successful field trials in Tennessee, California, and Alaska, to validate the technology, the first commercial (100kW) products were shipped to Google in July 2008. Since that time Bloom’s Energy Servers have helped our customers generate millions of kWhs of electricity and eliminate millions of pounds of CO2 from the environment. From humble beginnings on Mars, Bloom Energy is now changing the Earth for the better.

Fuel cells are devices that convert fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process rather than dirty combustion. They are similar to batteries except that they never lose power. Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts of power, enough to meet the base load needs of 100 average homes or a small office building — day and night, in roughly the footprint of a standard parking space. In addition, the modular system allows customers needing more power to add more energy servers.

Customers generate their own electricity at a cost savings that typically translates to a three to five year payback on their investment. Because the company’s initial commercial installation in 2008, Bloom Energy has produced more than 11 million kilowatt hours for its customers and reduced their carbon footprints by more than 14 million pounds. That represents the equivalent of powering ~1,000 average United States homes for a year and planting ~1 million trees (Bloomenergy, 2010). As Elizabeth Fairchild states, “…innovation was our lifeblood, and it involved everyone in the company.

From what I’ve seen here, not many people seem to understand the importance of innovation. Worse, they seem to have forgotten how to develop and implement creative ideas” (University of Phoenix, 2010, p. 3). Sony – by Ed Thaxton: Successful Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its motion picture, television, computer entertainment, music and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment and technology companies in the world.

The co-developer of the CD, DVD, Super Audio CD and Blu-ray Disc, A leading recorded music company in the United States and worldwide, The developer, manufacturer, and marketer of PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system and the PlayStation®Move motion controller. The inventor of a wide range of consumer audio-visual products, such as the BRAVIA®TV, BRAVIA® LCD TV, Cyber-shot® digital camera, Handycam® camcorder, Walkman® digital music player, Reader Digital Book, and Memory Stick® flash media.

Also an innovator in IT products, including VAIO® personal computers, and professional products, highlighted by the XDCAM® HD System, HDCAM® 24-P, Digital Betacam® and DVCAM® VTR and camera formats (Sony, 2010). Achieving radical or semi-radical innovation requires a different mix of business model and technology change than incremental innovation (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). Product engineers at Sony turn out an average of four ideas for new products every day.

Despite the fact that Sony is now a huge, diversified organization employing more than 115,000 employees worldwide, the company continues to lead the way in innovation in the consumer electronics industry. First, a policy of “self-promotion” allows Sony engineers, without notifying their supervisors, to seek out projects anywhere in the company where they believe they can make a contribution. Like many other large Japanese companies, Sony has a policy of lifetime employment, which makes it easy for its engineers to take risks with ideas and encourages the development of norms and values that support innovative efforts (Jones, 2004).

Sony’s founder constantly challenged his engineers to do things that had never been done before, such as new ways to create an image on a TV screen (the Trinitron tube) or very cheap video (the Betamax system). “Sony and others have shown making important changes to key parts of the dominant business model or the essential technology can redirect the competitive vectors of an entire industry (Davila, Epstein, Shelton, 2006). Innovation projects that range between incremental and radical innovation are more likely to succeed, making such projects more acceptable to risk-adverse executives and managers.

Just as Sony is a leader in introducing semi-radical innovations, Best Snacks must improve the culture of the organization and encourage the free flowing creativity and innovation. Google – by Ed Thaxton: Successful Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin named the search engine they built “Google,” a play on the word “googol,” the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The name reflects the immense volume of information that exists, and the scope of Google’s mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Of course, there is a large amount of information in the world that is not yet online, so we are also working to get more of it digitized, such as in Google Books or the Google News Archive. We also know that whenever you search the web you want it to be as fast as possible, with all your favorite websites at your fingertips, so we offer software like Google Toolbar and Google Chrome to help you browse the web quickly and easily. Though Google has grown significantly since opening in 1998, they still maintain a small company feel.

At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office cafe, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams. Our commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. Every employee is a hands-on contributor, and everyone wears several hats. Because we believe that each Googler is an equally important part of our success, no one hesitates to pose questions directly to Larry or Sergey in our weekly all-hands (“TGIF”) meetings – or spike volleyball across the net at a corporate officer.

We are aggressively inclusive in our hiring, and we favor ability over experience. We have offices around the world and dozens of languages are spoken by Google staffers, from Turkish to Telugu. The result is a team that reflects the global audience Google serves. When not at work, Googlers pursue interests from cross-country cycling to wine tasting, from flying to frisbee. The corporate headquarters, fondly nicknamed the Googleplex, is in Mountain View, California. Though the offices are not identical, they tend to share some essential elements.

Here are a few things you might see in a Google workspace: * Local expressions of each location, from a mural in Buenos Aires to ski gondolas in Zurich, showcasing each office’s region and personality. * Bicycles or scooters for efficient travel between meetings; dogs; lava lamps; massage chairs; large inflatable balls. * Googlers sharing cubes, yurts and huddle rooms – and very few solo offices. * Laptops everywhere – standard issue for mobile coding, e-mail on the go and note-taking. * Foosball, pool tables, volleyball courts, assorted video games, pianos, ping pong tables, and gyms that offer yoga and dance classes. Grassroots employee groups for all interests, like meditation, film, wine tasting, and salsa dancing. * Healthy lunches and dinners for all staff at a variety of cafes. * Break rooms packed with a variety of snacks and drinks to keep Googlers going. Everybody’s searching for something different and just as the very idea of Google depends on diversity so does delivering the best products. Google’s success hinges on their ability to understand the needs of all 597 million of our users and that is why they work hard to attract and hire talented individuals of every possible perspective, from all over the world.

When Googlers are encouraged to express themselves, they mean it. In fact, we count on it. Intellectual curiosity and passionate perspectives drive Google policies, work environment, perks, and profits. At the end of the day, it is Googlers who make Google one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For. ” The fascinating aspect of these companies are their intrinsic rewards and how it allows employees to operate with freedom and respect, allowing them control of their own time, and empowering them to have a united common goal, which is to invent products and ideas that will change the world for good.

In today’s corporate environment, the organization’s bottom line is to make the most profit long-term by attracting top talent, retaining top talent, and motivating top talent for maximum performance. The way companies can do that is by offering the best rewards in the industry. The company that is highlighted the most for its most elaborate rewards is Google, Inc. The founders believed that to attract the best talent, they had to provide an environment in which people would want to come to work, have fun, dream big, and get rewarded for hard work. Google, Inc. as achieved a top-5 ranking by providing innovative benefits, flexibility, and the opportunity to pursue ideas that challenge the status quo and shatter paradigms. Google, Inc. ’s CEO, Erin Schmitt, adopts the “fun is good” principle and states that they built a company around the idea that work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. Google, Inc. allows employees to spend 20% of their time to work on their own project, independent of their workgroup. Google, Inc. believes that no one should leave to pursue their personal passions.

Letting employees do this results in over 20% of product launches stemming from these personal projects. Best Snacks should imitate the philosophy of Google by instilling the principle to put employees first by providing a unique environment to work around.

References Accenture. (2010). Supply Meets Demand at Dell Inc.. Retrieved from http://www. accenture. com/Global/Services/By_Industry/Communications/Access_Newsletter/Article_Index/SupplyComputer. htm Anthony, S. (2010, May 18). Three Critical Innovation Lessons from Apple [1]. Message posted to http://blogs. hbr. rg/anthony/2010/05/three_critical_innovation_less. html