Managers all around the world are always looking for ways of improving their businesses through innovation, but most of the time are frustrated by poor results. Stuart Crainer’s interview with the innovation guru, Costas Markides, in “Innovation Globally” (Business Strategy Review 21.1 (2010): 24-27. Web) provides managers with techniques of innovating globally.
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This article has two main purposes: first, is to provide guidelines on how established companies can respond to the invasion of a disruptive business model in their industries; secondly, is how managers can apply ideas to non-business situations to find solutions for some global problems. In this article, the author addresses the following key question: “can the techniques used by managers to create innovation inside organizations work with global change?” (Crainer, 25).
The most important information in this article is on how to disrupt the disrupter in the marketplace. Markides points out that the most successful way of responding to competitive challenges is by disrupting the disrupter. This strategy involves observing the business challenger and developing techniques of outdoing it in the market.
The challenger most of the time comes up with products that correspond to the ones of the established business and adds more weight on the different product characteristics. Therefore, managers of established companies should find new ways of disrupting the strategies of the competitors.
Markides also maintains that it is better for a company to make changes when it is booming rather than when it is having trouble on its growth. Innovation and continued success depends on the manager of an organization capability of taking drastic action, even when the business is on top of the marketplace. Introducing change at this stage gives managers the luxury and the credibility of rejuvenating the organization.
The main inference in this article is that managers can apply sound ideas to non-business situations to find amicable solutions to a number of global issues. Management, as the art of bringing individuals together for a common objective, can be used to solve societal problems such as crime and prostitution.
The article illustrates this point by giving a scenario of a research professor, called David Kennedy, who found a successful way of dealing with the drug problem among teenagers. He videotaped teenagers in the streets distributing and selling drugs and instead of the police prosecuting them, they had to follow an action plan for rebuilding their lives.
The key concept that we need to understand from this article is that we need to spread innovative ideas globally, not just in one city or in one country. By this concept, the author means that since new ideas already exist on how to get solutions for societal problems, our aim should be on mechanisms of incorporating the innovative ideas on an increased scale. However, he asserts that this is not happening because individuals often think that they are different, that another person’s innovative idea will not be applicable in their “special” case.
The article asserts that for innovation to succeed in any environment, individuals must be ready to take the initiative of developing it. Even in the business environment, there are many ideas, but most of them are not accomplished because nobody ever cares to take ownership of them to ensure they spread and become successful. The main assumption underlying the author’s thinking is that the readers are aware of the issue at stake: global innovation.
He assumes that every reader knows all about the topic; therefore, he does not give some credible background information about the issue. As much as individuals like to be treated as equals and not being talked down to; however, does not imply that he should make an assumption that everyone is equipped with enough information to fully grasp the topic.
In answer to Crainer’s question on the ways that a company can function as a model for innovative change, Markides maintains that the position that a company plays in the society is not to maximize shareholder value, but to develop products and services that increase value to the society.
This is because maximizing shareholder value comes automatically as the business seeks to meet the needs and requirements of the customers. Therefore, if this is the aim of any organization, it implies that the managers of the organization are not going to engage in illegal or unethical things to maximize shareholder value.
If we take this line of reasoning seriously, the implication is that businesses would cease to deal only with marketplace competition, but also focus on the importance of underlying values as the moral compass that should guide behavior.
However, if we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, the implication is that we would experience severe economic recession and most companies going under because of too much self-indulgence and fraud. Many people would suffer from lack of jobs, crime rate would increase, and more people would be poor simply because of not upholding these values in business. In conclusion, the main point of view presented in this article is that innovation can be used globally both to solve business and societal problems.
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Crainer, Stuart. “Innovation Globally.” Business Strategy Review 21.1 (2010): 24-27. Web.