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Principles of Management:

assignment 1
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Principles of Management:
assignment 1
In todays hyper competitive fast paced markets, innovation has
become as crucial to success as human resource management. If
innovation is so fundamental for maintaining a competitive advantage,
how can managers effectively and efficiently facilitate and properly
manage innovation? This problem has become increasingly important over
the last decade. Adam Grants article How to build a culture of
originality from the Harvard Business review (2016), explores how culture
effects innovative outcomes and the need for a culture of non-conformity
for successful ideation and innovation. Managers need to be constantly
thinking about how to add value to existing ideas and finding new
directions in such a volatile fast moving marketplace.

Innovatings effect on organisational outcomes is hard to measure,

the easiest way to do it is to contrast companies in the same market and
how they approach innovation. Take BlackBerry, over the course of 5 years
(2010 to 2015) they went from having 41.6% US market share, to a 1.2%
market share at the start of 2015 (Grant, 2016)[1] (Lella, 2015). Compare
this to the huge growth of Apples iPhone over the same period. The
difference in the companies? It mainly resides in their culture. BlackBerry
was set in its ways, hiring likeminded engineers and focusing on secure
email in their smartphones, stagnant in their culture and ideation. Apple
was encouraging a culture of non-conformity, pushing the boundaries of
innovation and taking the smart phone market by storm. Flexibility and
adaptability is ingrained in apples culture. Every year Apple promoted the
person who challenged Steve Jobs the most (Grant, 2015). The culture of
apple flows down from Jobs and his renegade attitude, and they are
exemplary example of the positive effects of innovation in a company. It
has been shown that this culture of non-conformity does increase
innovative outcomes, but how does it do this? And how can a manger
achieve this culture, make it stick and increase innovation in the long

Non-conformity in an organisation means having employees willing

and able to challenge the existing beliefs and views of the organisation.
Innovation in essence requires novel thinking, that is thinking outside the
square. How is this novel thinking possible in an organisation that prides
itself on sharing the values of one another and all driving in the same
direction. Innovation requires looking at a problem for a different
perspective, and the more difference the better. According to Grants
Research outcomes are not maximised until there are around 200 ideas on
the table. To get that quantity of ideas, a diverse forward thinking

Principles of Management:
assignment 1

empowered workforce is crucial. The U.S Navy has been called the place
where originality goes to die by Grant. Grant studied how one young
aviator (Ben Kohlmann) tweaked the culture of the Navy, and sparked a
transformation from the definition of top down no questions asked
bureaucracy to an organisation that is now at the absolute forefront of
military technology and innovation. Kohlmann initiated a culture of asking
questions about what they were doing and the constructive challenging of
authority. Verganiti (2016) insists it is constructive criticism or questioning
of authority that is the engine of innovation. A managers job isnt just in
cultivating this innovation stimulating culture, it largely balancing this
culture of dissent with cohesion.

Empowering employees and utilising their creative and novel thinking is

essential for innovation. However, putting employees in a situation where theyre
required to innovate without boundaries or constraints is overwhelming and
ultimately not effective (Sull, 2015). Managers must structure and in essence
manage the creative process, creating rules and allocating time purely for the
development of new and existing ideas. The rules that guide innovation should
come not just from managers but also from the employees doing the innovating.
Disciplined innovation is key to sustained success and innovative growth. Simple
Rules regarding innovation give all employees a loose frame work in which to
direct their creative prowess (Sull, 2015). Another successful technique is
organising employees so they can individually brainstorm solutions to a problem,
before those solutions hit the group stage. This eliminates the wasting of good
ideas in a group brainstorm, and creates a large range of solutions, truly
harnessing the diversity of the workforce.

Adapting all these innovative management techniques to specific

organisations is important for managers. For example, a family owned firmed
would need to approach innovation from an alternative view point to their
publically owned counterparts. Despite being shown to have an increased
capacity for innovation, family firms often are more rigid and path based In their
orientation, therefore less effective in innovation (Masses,Minin and Frattini,
2015). Researchers have devised a contingency approach to innovation
management in family firms, designed to remedy this apparent paradox in
innovative ability. A contingency plan means designing the simple rules and
moulding the culture for innovation around the company. This means identifying
where the company is heading, its existing culture and the most effective way to
innovate. A contingency approach to innovation management should be applied
to all organisations, not just family firms, in order to maximise the effectiveness
of the previously mentioned innovative techniques.

Management style and corporate culture both tie in strongly with how
successful an organisation is at innovating. Having a culture of non-conformity
and balancing that inherent chaos with structure is a huge part of effective

Principles of Management:
assignment 1

innovation. The style and approach of a manager cannot be authoritarian in

nature. Bureaucracy and a top down structure will inhibit innovation and restrict
the strategies at a managers disposal (Grant, 2016)

Innovation has become the cornerstone of competitiveness for modern

day organisations. Continuous product improvement and new directions create
value and increase market share. Managers today must work towards fostering
ideation and properly choosing implementing and managing those ideas. The
culture, rules and structure all have a large sway on how successful an
organisation is at innovating. Specifically, a culture of non-conformity creates
diversity and original thinking. Workers need to be in an environment where they
can challenge the existing beliefs in order for new ways of thinking (New
directions innovation) to be devised.

By Jack Poole

Article of Choice:

De Massis, A., Di Minin, A., & Frattini, F. (2015). Family-Driven Innovation: Resolving the
Paradox in Family Firms. California Management Review, 58(1), 5-19.
Grant, A. (2016). How to build a culture of originality. Harvard Business Review, 94(2016).
Sull, D. (2015). The simple rules of disciplined innovation. Mckinsey Quartarley, 3(3), 8697. http://dx.doi.org/0047-5394
Verganti, R. (2016). The innovative power of criticism. Harvard Business Review, 94(2016).
Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/01/the-innovative-power-of-criticism