Analysis of Brilliant Lights Company

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Background Facts / Introduction

Brilliant Lights is a small-sized organization that provides unique solutions in the field of light fittings. Doug, the general manager of the company, considers his retirement, but he also wants to keep the company successful. The company was created 17 years ago, and its way of leading the business did not change with time. The case study shows that the company needs critical change to remain effective in a highly-competitive market. Doug has concerns about his employees’ future, including Julie, the business manager, Peter, the part-time factory worker, Mary, the designer, and others. A lack of motivation and innovation, high quality of delivery, and competition from cheap overseas import are the main challenges faced by Brilliant Lights.

Range of Issues and Problems

Strategic Management

In today’s rapidly-developing world, globalization makes it possible to expand businesses globally. China is one of the countries that succeeded in importing products all over the world, which complicated the competition for local companies (Wang, 2019). Accordingly, Brilliant Lights struggles to compete with imported products because of their low costs. This situation points to a lack of strategic management in the organization, which limits its competitive advantage and weakens its position in the market. It seems that the company fails to look ahead, set long-term goals, and identify the most relevant ways to accomplish them. As stated by Schermerhorn et al. (2014), it is critical to understand the changing rules of the market to be able to adjust and remain competitive among rivals. The globalization of the economy also stimulates the environment of hyper competition, where innovation and low prices become decisive factors for clients.

Leading and Managing Change

A lack of innovation and strong leadership are two more problems that are pertinent to Brilliant Lights. These problems can be referred to as leading and managing change to follow the idea of continuous innovation in an organization. Using the definition of Peter Drucker, a prominent business consultant, it is possible to state that innovation should be purposefully focused on social or economic change (Schermerhorn et al., 2014).

Motivation and Rewards

In addition, Doug notes several times that he is tired, and his employees also experience a lack of enthusiasm that is important for success. Therefore, poor motivation is another issue that needs improvement. A lack of a well-organized decision-making process should also be identified as a problem since the company fails to properly analyze its current situation and identify the ways to overcome this challenging situation. In terms of information and decision-making, outdated software and hardware indicate that the company pays little attention to the importance of information systems in business.

Key Issues


An unclear leadership in the company is the first key issue that should be addressed to overcome the current problems. The case of Brilliant Lights shows that its leader has ethical traits, such as thinking about employees’ well-being, keeping the door open, and taking responsibility. However, the changing environment requires leaders to be not only ethical but also flexible enough to inspire others and set a clear vision. Doug’s strategy is unclear since he is tired and frustrated by the need to take a new approach to his business. This leader also fails to practice empowerment as he cannot enable his employees to gain strength, which reduced their commitment to the organization. Therefore, the quality of products and services tends to reduce. Even though it is evident that employees trust Doug, they seem to understand that significant changes are needed.

Leading and Managing Change

In terms of leading and managing change, a lack of continuous innovation is the second key issue that should be improved. The challenge of change is probably the main obstacle that restricts the effectiveness of Brilliant Lights since the company is resistant to adjust to the dramatic changes on the market. For example, the improperly working computer of Doug indicates that information and communications technology is not regarded as important. Instead of organizing online meetings with suppliers and customers, Doug is still more interested in face-to-face conversations, which require much time and efforts. The overall environment of the company does not facilitate creativity and invention.

Motivation and Rewards

Motivation and rewards compose the third area of improvement since Doug and his employees mention that they are concerned about their future and feel that they are not motivated to work better because of this uncertainty. The company seems to lack extrinsic rewards, such as promotions, bonuses, and verbal appraises (Schermerhorn et al., 2014). Moreover, a low level of motivation points to poor intrinsic rewards as employees cannot think about personal development, and their performance decreases because of insufficient self-administered motivation.

Relevant Theories and Concepts to Address

While managing strategic change, the concept of transformational leadership seems to apply to the given case. It is characterized by the ability of a leader to achieve significant changes in the company. The evidence shows that transformational leadership correlates with lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and greater employee satisfaction (Milhem, Muda, & Khalil, 2019). The transformational leader makes changes in the vision, strategy, structure, culture, and technologies of the organization. Such leaders should pay attention to developmental problems and needs, improve employees’ awareness of problems by helping them look at problems from new perspectives (Aydogmus et al., 2018). The leader encourages employees to use their creative thinking, being committed to listening to any proposed ideas. One of the foremost goals of a transformational leader is to develop self-confidence and a desire for continuous self-development in employees.

Emotional intelligence is another concept that can be used to improve leadership in the organization. It is based on the ability to build and manage relationships in the workplace, which makes human skills especially important. According to Milhem et al. (2019), the mediating role of emotional intelligence stimulates the implantation of transformational leadership. More to the point, empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation are included in the notion of emotional intelligence (Rathore, Chadha, & Rana, 2017). By employing transformational leadership and emotional intelligence, Doug would handle the issue of unclear leadership style and poor employee motivation.

A lack of innovation in Brilliant Lights can be addressed by applying Hamel’s wheel of innovation that includes such steps as imagining, designing, experimenting, assessing, and scaling. These steps reflect leadership responsibilities to foster innovation based on developing new possibilities and evaluating their practical application. The value of Hamel’s wheel of innovation is associated with its attention to anticipating risks and weaknesses, as well as making constructive changes and commercializing new products (Schermerhorn et al., 2014). Also, innovative organizations are characterized by a set of features that create a culture of supporting changes. The innovative roles of information gatekeepers, idea generators, project managers, product champions, and innovation leaders are critical to fulfilling as the cooperative work of these persons is the key to success.

Problem-Solving Objectives

For the issue of unclear leadership style (leading), Brilliant Lights’ leader can be recommended to set an objective of adopting the transformational leadership style and emotional intelligence. Considering that the company suffers from the reduced product quality, and employees are not motivated properly, transformations are critical to empowering the personnel to generate new ideas and improve the organization’s competitiveness. Specifically, the leader should create a clear vision of the future that would empower employees with optimistic expectations, inspire them through motivation, use understandable language to convey a new mission of the organization, and reduce the complexity of the problems by setting achievable goals.

For the issue of poor innovation (leading and managing change), Brilliant Lights should apply Hamel’s wheel of innovation and either hire new personnel or train existing employees so that they have innovative organizational characteristics. By leading and managing change through these recommendations, the company would adopt a proactive view of its future (Schermerhorn et al., 2014). In situations, where goals and strategy need to be revised, likewise in case of Brilliant Lights, change agents would help employees to cope with the fear of impending changes.

Implementation/Action Plan

The implementation plan for both of the identified objectives should start from leadership. Namely, Doug needs to understand that transformational leadership is necessary for his company to revive. To become an effective leader, he needs to thoroughly study the market trends and identify the areas of change to become competitive in a long-term period (one year). Within two months, Doug should provide the organizational change and set a new vision, while the promotion of the new leadership approach should be conducted by management within four months (Table 1). The second action plan for leading and managing change and overcoming poor innovation is based on identifying innovations to implement (three months), applying Hamel’s wheel of innovation (six months), and ensuring innovation acceptance through employee education (one year) (Table 2).

Short-term 1-3 mths Medium-term 3-12 mths Long-term 1-5 yrs
Responsibility Leadership Management All staff
Task Adopt transformational leadership style and emotional intelligence Promote transformational leadership among employees Employee training
Resources reqd. Working party, time, and costs Time and costs Trainers, time, and costs
Deadline 2 months 4 months 1 year

Table 1. Action plan for leading (unclear leadership style).

Short-term 1-3 mths Medium-term 3-12 mths Long-term 1-5 yrs
Responsibility Leadership Management All staff
Task Identify innovations to implement Adopt Hamel’s wheel of innovation Ensure innovation acceptance through employee education
Resources reqd. Working party, time and costs. All staff, time, and costs Trainers, time, and costs
Deadline 3 months 6 months 1 year

Table 2. Action plan for leading and managing change (poor innovation).


To conclude, this paper analyzed the case study of Brilliant Lights company that faces a range of strategic and organizational problems. The key issues identified included leading and managing change (a lack of innovation), leading (unclear leadership style), and a lack of motivation. Based on the relevant literature, it was suggested for the company to implement the transformational leadership style, emotional intelligence, Hamel’s wheel of innovation, and identify change agents. Two action plans were developed to guide the company on overcoming current challenges in short-term and long-term periods.


Aydogmus, C., Camgoz, S. M., Ergeneli, A., & Ekmekci, O. T. (2018). Perceptions of transformational leadership and job satisfaction: The roles of personality traits and psychological empowerment. Journal of Management and Organization, 24(1), 81-107.

Milhem, M., Muda, H., & Khalil, A. (2019). The effect of perceived transformational leadership style on employee engagement: The mediating effect of Leader’s emotional intelligence. Foundations of Management, 11(1), 33-42.

Rathore, D., Chadha, N. K., & Rana, S. (2017). Emotional intelligence in the workplace. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(2), 162-165.

Schermerhorn, J., Davidson, G., Poole, D., Simon, A., Woods, P., & Chau, L. (2014). Management (4th ed.). John Wiley and Sons.

Wang, H. (2019). China and globalization: 40 years of reform and opening-up and globalization 4.0. Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, 17(3), 215-220.

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