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With the ever-changing business environment and emerging challenges, business owners and managers and opting to shift from traditional ways of doing business to advanced and better business approaches. This is mainly through creativity and innovation, which allow the adoption of a new idea in achieving the desired goals for a company or individual.
Without a proper approach to change that is brought about by innovation and creativity, it is possible for a business to collapse or fail to achieve its objective in a competitive business environment.
This essay discusses the concept of creativity and innovation management with regard to Procter & Gamble, which has shifted from ‘research & development’ to “connect & develop” as it endeavors to remain relevant and competitive in the market.
Creativity and innovation has become one of the most debatable issues in business management around the globe. This is because, everybody wants to have a new idea on board and move from old tactics of solving problems or creating problems. If we look at technology, it is evident that most businesses have significantly embraced technological approaches through creative and innovative ideas.
More than a decade ago, very few companies thought of online marketing and e-commerce at large. It was perceived as a reserved technique for advanced companies alone. However, things have tremendously changed, with the internet being considered as to be the key business breakthrough. In recent years, most companies have attributed their success to a shift in operations by embracing new ideas.
Creativity and innovation generally refers to a new approach or idea, which is central to a given business. In most cases, many experts have agreed that creativity and innovation are intertwined, making them inseparable from entrepreneurship. In other words, one can begin a venture and develop it to better standards. This is to say that people entrepreneurs and their business start-ups are viewed as important agents of innovation.
It should also be noted that this conclusion is not solely based on products and services provided, but also with regard technologies and processes, which are employed (Hiatt & Creasey 2003).
In implanting innovating ideas, it important for the organization to address some of the challenges, like poor communication and planning to attain better results. Above all, the involvement of every shareholder is paramount in achieving set goals and objectives.
Benefits of creativity and innovation management
In order for the shareholders of P & G to understand the benefits of creative and innovative management ideas, they have to visualize how the company has changed for the better since the introduction of “connect & develop” that replaced “research & develop” approach. Based on these ideas, Procter and Gamble has advanced in various ways, which have given the company a competitive advantage status in the business market (Keith 2012).
For example, the company has used the internet in finding the best employees who can perform tasks effectively and guarantee the success of the business.
In particular, these tools have improved service delivery through the absorption skilled individuals and operate as internet get keepers. Through this approach, the company has gathered huge information, which can be used in shaping the future of the company as it aims at remaining competitive in the business world.
Importantly Procter and Gamble is able to study market trends with the environment together with other players in the same industry. Through this, Procter and Gamble is has been able to study its rivals in terms what they are offering, prices, brands, and other aspects, which concerns their future plans in the market.
Additionally, P & G has been able to study social and political tendencies, which are common in influencing business performance. With this kind of information, Procter and Gamble is able to take precaution based on projected future events, which are likely to affect the market (Keith 2012).
Creative and innovative ideas like the use of the internet in sourcing information have helped P & G to connect with other internet based companies. As a result, the company is able to gather information from its customers and technological ideas, from other firms around the world, thus getting connected to the best resolution suppliers known in the world (Lauchlan 2010).
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This connection with other players around the world is essential in the adoption of better ideas, which can be used in advancing the performance of P & G to pinnacle levels.
Besides these, P & G has been able to expand its market and definitely its customer base by working with companies like InnoCentive.com, which has is considered to be a major partner in finding solutions to different problems, which are brought to the attention of researchers for a solution to be prescribed.
While focusing on how innovative and creative ideas are helping P & G to connect with the outside world in solving problems and expanding its market scope, it is also important to underscore the role of these ideas internally, and their potential of transforming the company’s performance (Nell 2012). The company has witnessed efficient performance around different markets, product groups, and technologies.
By use of intranets, the company is able to derive a wide range of its knowledge progressively. For instance, the use of the Encore-Program has turned out to be quite successful in creative a competitive business environment for the company.
The program brings together retirees of P & G together with others from recognized firms to serve as knowledge and development resources in a pure innovative system. By connecting with such people with reputable skills, it would be able to mentor other employees in the organization and ensure that they equally embrace creativity and innovation management.
How to communicate to shareholders
While creativity and innovation management is an important aspect of P & G, it is doubtless that the support of its stakeholders is equally important in determining its success. In other words, the success of a new idea cannot be realized without the involvement of all stakeholders in sharing the new idea and understanding its potential in promoting excellent performance (Hiatt & Creasey 2003).
In this context, the task of the CEO is to make the stakeholders to understand the meaning of innovation and why it is necessary in ensuring that P & G remains at the top of the market in terms of performance.
Besides explaining to them the benefits of new ideas as discussed in the previous segment of this essay, it is will be relevant for the CEO to clarify that innovation involves making changes in the manner in which things are done and handled are compared to previous approaches.
Moreover, the greatest task will be to transform the perception of stakeholders and allow them to embrace change of ideas. This is because most people remain rigid to change by conforming to old systems of doing things in a particular manner.
While nurturing the culture and traditions of an organization is essential, the CEO’s should communicate the message in the most appealing way possible. One of the ways of communicating a new idea to the shareholders is through meetings, conferences and trainings.
Firstly, P & G can brainstorm the issue in a meeting in order to understand the views of stakeholders as represented during the meeting. This can be considered as the initial stage of informing all concerned parties about a new idea, which the company is planning to adapt. The CEO can give a speech, highlighting the far P & G has come and how it has remained focused in excellent performance.
Additionally, the speech should explain the rising need for innovation e.g. change in technology and stiff competitors among others (Paton & McCalman 2008). This would give the shareholders an idea about the proposed change and share ideas, which can be incorporated in subsequent meetings.
Apart from the speech the information can be communicated through trainings, where the top management and other qualified people are involved in exploring the idea and sharing it with stakeholders. During these trainings, presentation methods can be adopted, to allow attendees to visualize the idea through PowerPoint slides and diagrams projected or viewed on large screens (Paton & McCalman 2008).
This approach ensures that the proposed idea is actualized before it is implemented by the company management. The diagrams would also be of great significance in demonstrating the milestones covered by P & G, together with the projected performance if the new ideas are adopted and implemented.
Lastly, this information can be communicated suing handouts, which are given after a brief explanation of the new idea being embraced by P & G management. The advantage of using handouts to pass the information to stakeholders is that they could be used in future for future references, unlike other methods of communication (King & Anderson 2002).
In addition, this approach allows the revision of the information given once there is need. This therefore ensures that the management and the stakeholders are moving at the same pace in the implementation of new ideas at P & G.
Lastly, handouts can reach many stakeholders as compared to other methods, which might not reach those in remote areas. As a result, the method can be effective in not only covering a large number of people but also in saving the time and resources.
Goals and priorities for implementation of change
In implementing new ideas at P & G, it will be necessary to have goals and priorities, which will be key in advancing the performance of the company and ensuring that it remains focused on achieving its initial target. Of great significance is the fact that P&G has to remain ambitious with its mission and vision.
The main reason for this is to allow the management to determine the nature of the expected results after the implementation of new ideas at the company. Importantly, the projected results have to be inspiring so that all stakeholders can feel proud in implementing the change.
Better results will also unite the management, employees and other stakeholders towards achieving a common goal (King & Anderson 2002). This unity is necessary in order to overcome some of the barriers are commonly observed during the implementation creative and innovative ideas around the world.
Additionally, it is important to prioritize the vision of the company because it allows the company to translate its visions into practice, thus creating the necessary direction for the implementation of new ideas. While focusing on these ideas, it is equally essential to note that the vision defines the purpose of the organization and explains the need of advancing the course of new ideas.
On the other hand, P & G management should focus on the mission statement of the company because it defines the visionary goals of the firm, together with its primary ideology (Tidd & Bessant 2011).
Lastly, the management has to emphasize on the mission statement because it plays a crucial role in making the goals of the organization accessible to the rest of the world, thus promoting transparency in running the affairs of the company.
Creative and innovative management barriers at P & G
Many change management concur that creative and innovative ideas face challenges, during various stages of their implementation. As a result, innovative ideas are usually met with denial, anger, and bargaining, which finally gives way for the implementation of a new idea in any given organization (Tidd & Bessant 2011).
It is therefore important for P & G to be aware of these processes even as they plan to embrace new approaches of doing business and connecting with the rest of the world. While this is the case, it is worth noting that there are common barriers which complicate the process of shifting from old traditions to new ways of doing business (Ramesh 2000).
The commonest barrier cited by business owners and managers is poor communication. This is because communication is supposed to create a bridge between the company and the stakeholders. Ideally, any message passed across must be effective in eliminating doubts among listeners.
In some cases, information concerning an innovative and creative is usually shared among a few individuals, like senior management who assume that the same information is irrelevant to other stakeholders (Baldacchino 2009).
Besides this initial stage of deciding the number of people who get the information, some methods of communication are usually ineffective, in such a way that the limit the understanding of listener or distort the information being passed across from the top management.
When this occurs, the most probable thing which occurs in most cases is that a gap is created between the management and other employees of the company or shareholders of the company (Jefferson 2007, p. 5).
Another barrier witnessed during the implementation of a new idea is poor planning in preparation of culture-change. As mentioned before, an innovative idea implies that the company does not do certain things the way it used to. In other words, there is usually a shift in culture, which has to be communicated, and necessary planning strategies put in place.
When employees are ambushed with new ideas, they are likely to resist or accept it partially for the sake of pleasing the senior management. This leads to poor results, which undermine the whole idea of change (Baldacchino 2009). Additionally, poor planning for the shift creates a gap between the old idea and the new culture, which the organization could be trying to introduce.
In understanding the need for innovative and creative ideas, it is paramount to underline the role of employees in promoting effective change management. Poor or lack of employee involvement during change implementation is considered to be a major barrier. This is attributed to the fact that most people fear change and therefore they tend to resist.
This resistance to change puts off a number of managers who are in charge of change management in different organizations around the world (Baldacchino 2009). However, in some cases, employees are prepared through trainings and other approaches, which allow them to be prepared for innovative and creative ideas. When employees are not involved in the creation of the change, they usually develop the fear of failing.
This is to say that they are likely to be reluctant in implementing the change since they might not be aware of the change being embraced or the benefits of shifting the company’s culture to something new. Such reasoning is likely to have negative implication on the entire company and may lead to its collapse.
As mentioned above, it is clear that there are barriers, which can hinder the implementation of a creative and innovative management idea at P&G. In order to prevent the negative effects associated with these elements, it is important for the management of P & G to implement a strategy, so that all the stakeholders are involved in the implementation of the idea.
Firstly, there is need for proper communication in order to avoid misunderstanding and ensure that every person concerned is reached (Adams 2005). As mentioned before, communication methods like training, workshops, presentations and use of handouts should be adopted to promote clarity and eliminate doubts among stakeholders.
In addition, P&G should prepare shareholders through proper planning. In other words, the company should be prepared for a culture-shift before introducing new ideas to its stakeholders. Like for the case of communication, there is need for the organization to carry out informative sessions, which are aimed at changing the mindset of people by clearing possible doubts (Adams 2005).
Lastly, P&G has to involve all its employees in the entire change process. In fact, the internal players of P&G should be ready to embrace the adoption of innovative and creative ideas before involving external partners and other shareholders. This would ensure a smooth transition from the old culture a new way of achieving its goal (Creative Trainer: Innovation Management 2011).
In order to achieve better results, the strategy for overcoming the above barriers has to be communicated to relevant stakeholders in the organization. For instance, all the managers of P&G should be aware of the new idea being embraced by the company (Bhattacharyya 2007).
Additionally, line-managers should play a crucial role in explaining their respective employees the need for shifting the company’s culture in terms of the benefits, challenges and the process of overcoming the challenges. Shareholders can be informed through a special general meeting where they are trained about innovation and creativity management at P&G.
In general, innovation and creativity is an important aspect of business management. From the above analysis, the introduction of new ideas at P&G is aimed at promoting the performance of the company in various ways. As a result, proper handling of the entire process is necessary. Proper communication and planning is essential in handling a host of barriers, which are commonly associated with change management in organizations.
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