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Selection of a Case study organization (Attempt 1) - Assignment Example

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Selection of a Case study organization (Attempt 1)
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Defining Success: A Case Study of Amway Details: al Affiliation: Defining Success: A Case Study of Amway
Success is all about strategy—a unique, philosophical competency of leadership that involves intuition and creativity. It is about synthesis of ideas drawn from varied perspectives and their formalization into testable, methodological processes capable of challenging the status quo (Fairholm, 2009). It is about understanding nature dynamics; that the world is not always linear with regards to the activities in it, and that man and their creations [organizations, for that matter] must be “agile, flexible, relationship-savvy and wise” to continually adapt to the emergent and sometimes ambiguous circumstances (Beckhard & Pritchard, 1992). From the very bottom line costs to the increases in service speed and reliability that deliver greater value to organizations and their customers, innovation actually stands at the epicenter of the strategic approaches adopted towards success in the 21st century. Bolstered by the rapid changes in the market structure that powers competition from almost every corner of the globe, organizational emphasis on external as well as internal collaboration as a gateway in accessing the right mechanisms of expediting the incorporation of new ideas is fundamental in leveling the playing field with larger competitors and the numerous aggressive startups. Amway, a direct-selling, family-run organization headquartered in Ada, Michigan, is a perfect sample organization that has grown from a lean structure to operationalize its services in 100 countries courtesy of the numerous radical shifts of strategy that brings on board “consumer needs, technology and business value” in their search for competitive advantage over the years since inception. A multi-level marketing company with over five decades in business, Amway has built numerous brands within its core product categories [nutrition, beauty, and home], managing to increase its annual revenues from a modest base to a whopping $11.3 billion in the financial year 2012 (APQC, 2013).
At the heart of the company’s growth momentum is an innovation culture summarized as 5x5s; a “five minutes—five slide” presentation for all to showcase ideas for evaluation and further pursuit. Using an Open Innovation Business Model that majorly sources ideas from the external networks, Amway wields a great deal of freedom in pursuing powerful innovations that only serve to propel its strategic needs. The organization long recognized that it does not command as much resources as its forerunner-competitors in the industry, and thus devoted its efforts to internal product development. Accordingly, Amway moved out from the hitherto insulated environment, leveraging its networks comprising of customers and external business units, scientific advisory boards and foreign governments to locate bleeding-edge technologies that are in line with the organization’s long-term interests. To achieve this objective, Amway strategically positioned itself in Silicon Valley, Research Triangle Park and such like areas around the world where innovations tend to be clustered in order to have access and manage the collaborative relationships that has now widened beyond the innovation clusters (APQC, 2013).
In addition to the outsourcing of innovations through its networks, Amway maintains a Research and Development (R&D) team consisting of experienced employees, developed mainly from within, who facilitate collaboration, identify needs, and enact changes with proven viability; a viability that goes through a rigorous, four- stage-gate process, commonly referred to as Idea To Market (ITM), consisting of technology surveillance, R&D exploration, product development, and business sustaining. It is worth mentioning that the organization does not own product/service development in the entire process of innovation — consisting of ideation, evaluation, validation, and execution, but passes on innovations between and within its network units for application or further development of own innovation approaches (APQC, 2013). Products and/or services that do not strike a balance between the three elements mentioned above at any given stage of development are either recycled for additional incubation or deferred for ignition when appropriate.
As a necessary ingredient to innovation, Amway’s Idea-To-Market (ITM) is an integrated, gradual process with an overlapping time-lag between the four phases to ensure total and accurate transfer of information for the preservation of project continuity, if need be (APQC, 2013). Given the numerous innovations channeled from all over the world, Amway orders its projects by progress and maturity to determine their readiness for implementation. With full awareness that the search of competitive relevance is not an event but a process on course, the company tracks a range of critical metrics that basically determines the true value of business units, overall stability relative to market trends, and the navigation hot-points with regards to forecasts.
APQC. (2013). Open innovation: Enhancing idea generation through collaboration. Best
Practice report. Retrieved from
Beckhard, R., & Pritchard, W. (1992). Changing the essence: The art of creating and leading
fundamental change in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Fairholm, M. R. (2009). Leadership and organizational strategy. The Innovation Journal: The
Public Sector Innovation Journal, 14(1), 1-16. Read More
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