Innovation has become lately one of the main buzzwords in the business context. To become successful in the current business environment, organizations must be innovation-driven and forward-thinking. However, the specified task is only possible to accomplish with effective and strong leadership. As the example of the XYZ Company shows, leaders must include a visionary approach in order to continue an innovative streak.
Company XYZ entered the UAE toy market in the early 2000s with a brand that was new and fresh at the time and has been staying relevant ever since. The organization started seeking expansion in the 2010s, quickly gaining the support of Hasbro and other major toy-manufacturing organizations.
XYZ has been quite prolific in its relationships with foreign brands. However, its own brand has worn out its welcome after years of remaining unchanged. Combined with the drop in performance that the COVID-19 pandemic has entailed, the specified factor has affected XYZ’s performance significantly, leading to a drop in its share prices.
Innovative Approaches: Critical Evaluation
In order to maintain relevance in the UAE toy market, the XYZ Company will need to update some of its approaches toward a more innovation-based strategy. For this reason, the leadership framework will have to be reconsidered toward the Transformational and Visionary ones. In addition, alterations to the current processes involving manufacturing, R&D, and HRM will have to be made.
Product development. Greater product diversification should be offered so that the company could attract the attention of a more diverse audience.
Production improvement. XYZ Company will also need to revive its brand, which will require changing it or even substituting it with a new one.
Process improvement. Furthermore, the quality of manufacturing will have to be updated.
Skills to Promote Innovation
In order to create the environment in which staff members of the XYZ Company will be willing to apply innovative thinking to decision-making, and where innovative tools and strategies are deployed immediately after their release, the firm will have to ensure that its leaders, managers, and staff members have the required skills.
Creativity should be listed at the top of competencies that leaders and managers must possess in order to advance innovation and innovative thinking in the organizational setting. Studies indicate that the concept of creativity is connected intrinsically with innovation, which is quite understandable given the fact that both are rooted in the ability to build something new (Nakano & Wechsler, 2018). Specifically, the study under analysis mentions that “creative people would function on behalf of their intrinsic motivation, considering this as a key component to influence an individual’s ability to express his/her talents” (Nakano & Wechsler, 2018, p. 238). Therefore, fostering creativity in leaders and managers will be central to encouraging innovative decision-making at XYZ, especially in regard to its marketing.
The ability to lad people and convince them to change their attitudes and behaviors as the path toward accepting innovative thinking and the application of innovative solutions in the workplace is yet another skill that leaders and managers will have to apply at XYZ in order to advance the principles of innovation in the selected organizational context.
Strategies for Transformation
Since the skills of a transformational leader are deemed to be the cornerstone qualities that are expected to help to launch the process of change across the organization, it is vital to recount the available strategies for transformation in the target setting. In the context of the XYZ organization, the specified change will involve transitioning to the introduction of incremental innovation as the corporate philosophy and disruptive innovation as the vehicle for change (Oberg, 2019).
Finally, adhering to a set of crucial ethical standards should be seen as an essential constituent of a strategy needed for a leader to accomplish the transformation in the target environment. The adoption of ethical principles will allow a leader to meet the needs of key stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers, as well as local and global communities. Specifically, the application of ethical principles will allow a leader to ensure that the chosen path toward innovation aligns with the set criteria for sustainability.
In retrospect, the experience that the XYZ Company has had so far with transforming its staff members’ perspective and encouraging them to transition to the innovation-driven framework is quite inspiring and worth taking into account as a prominent example of managing change. At the core of the company’s strategy, survival and sustainability lie as the foundational principles. As a result, the frameworks created by the organization involves a change in approaching the very notion of product development, namely, the shift to the continuous update of the current brand to reflect the roles of innovation in a contemporary business environment. Namely, the acceptance of a more sustainable design of the product and the transition to a better waste management defined by the improved quality control powered by enhanced knowledge transfer across the departments should be considered an important step taken by the company it improve its performance.
Opportunities for Creating Value
Despite the described improvement, the XYZ organization still has quite a room for enhancing its performance and increasing its current product value. Specifically, tools for process improvement should be integrated into the organization. Among the key options for increasing product and service value in the current UAE market, one should mention the introduction of opportunities for better communication between the company and its customers, as well as the inclusion of a greater range of customization options. The significance of impeccable communication cannot be emphasized enough in the current environment of the economic recession caused by the pandemic. With the necessity to self-quarantine, customers will be unable to experience direct communication and interactions with the representatives of the organization. Therefore, ensuring that the feedback system works flawlessly is central to the XYZ’s performance and retention of its competitive advantage, customer base, and, ultimately, its profits.
The redesign of the company’s brand and the development of a more sustainable should also be placed at the top of the current priorities. Given the increased focus on environmentalist, which multiple scholars outline as the growing trend within the global context, as well as the UAE market, the promotion of environmental sustainability is crucial to XYZ’s viability. Moreover, the brand should reflect the firm’s openness to cross-cultural interactions, which is why the XYZ Company should focus on developing a brand with a generalized statement that can be updated according to the cultural norms and traditions of the target demographic. Currently, the introduction of sustainability ideas into its brand image is essential for XYZ. However, given the connection to the oil and gas industry that the company has, the specified task is likely to be quite challenging.
Nevertheless, once the organization integrates innovative reduces for minimizing waste, while also encouraging the development of skills for reducing errors made by staff members, the opportunity to create a more sustainable approach will emerge. Currently, the XYZ Company needs to show that it seeks to apply ethical and community-oriented approaches that support eco-friendly production. For this reason, a combination of equipment update and the change in the brand development with the focus on ne sustainability orientation will be needed.
Threats Associated with Key Market Forces
Unfortunately, the XYZ Company is also likely to encounter quite a large number of threats on its way to mending its brand image and developing a more appealing framework for customer relations. In addition, considering the fact that the XYZ Company relies heavily on the support of its partners and the flawless functioning of its supply chain, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are most likely to have a noticeable toll on its performance. Namely, delays in the production process, service delivery, provision of raw materials, and overall functioning of the supply chain are quite predictable given the restrictions imposed on organizations due to the lockdown (Elgin, Basbug, & Yalaman, 2020). Therefore, the health-related concerns are likely to have the greatest and the most negative implications on the company’s functioning.
However, XYZ should not view the specified factor as the sign of unavoidable defeat but, instead, use it for its advantage. For example, developing and improving the digital framework for marketing and customer relationships should become the focus of the XYZ Company’s efforts presently due to the forced restriction of other activities. Namely, building a digital feedback system for communicating with customers, as well as studying the opportunities for brand upgrade and the creation of a new marketing approach should be prioritized.
Given the necessity to reintroduce staff members to the concept of innovation in the organization, it is highly recommended that the leadership strategy should be shifted toward a more appropriate one. Namely, the use of the Transformational and Visionary Leadership frameworks should be considered the most sensible step in the described circumstances. Indeed, due to the emergent need to introduce all parties involved to the notions of innovative thinking, improved quality control, and responsible decision-making, staff members are likely to rebel against the increased range of challenges that they will have to meet in the corporate setting (Deliu, 20198). In turn, the introduction of the transformational leadership framework will help to increase the extent of motivation, involvement, and employee engagement, causing staff members to develop loyalty toward the company and accept the suggested changes.
When implementing innovation in the organizational context, a leader must remember that the subject matter is primarily a social process. Therefore, in order to introduce the concept of disruptive innovations being the foundation for the firm’s further existence, the company leader will need to change the mindset of staff members and their attitudes toward innovative decision-making. Instead of viewing it as a burden and an unnecessary complication, employees should envision innovation as an inevitable part of a company’s functioning and its main tool for staying relevant. For this purpose, changes in the corporate policy and innovation-driven decision-making will have to be prioritized.
Furthermore, the integration of innovation at the corporate level will mean distancing from the current brand image and changing it toward the one that revolves around the idea of product innovation. The latter, in turn, suggests that the product should reflect the changes in the industry trends and meet customers’ increasingly high demands. For instance, the transfer toward digitalization and the creation of opportunities for personalizing and customizing the provided products and services should take place (Aksoy, 2017). By steering the process of brand development in the specified direction, the company will remain relevant and popular with its target audiences.
As stated above, process improvement techniques must be included into the current principles by which the company is managed. Namely, it is highly advised to focus on keeping customer experience more exciting and ensuring that it remains impeccable. Specifically, the organization will have to deploy tools for immediate response to the issues that customers may have with it product, as well as introducing according modifications to its production process. The specified change will be possible with the development of an application that will allow receiving feedback from customers and simultaneously categorizing it so that updates to the current range of products could occur systematically.
Moreover, the redesign of the current brand image is highly advisable. Once changed toward a more sustainability-oriented image, the company’s brand will be received much more warmly in the global community. Moreover, it will be the responsibility of the XYZ organization to introduce minor changes to the brand when entering foreign markets so that it could still be recognizable, yet appeal to customers on an intuitive level due to the presence of culture-specific signifiers (Gözükara & Çolakoğlu, 2016). For this reason, the XYZ Company should invest in market research and customer relations specifically, while improving its digital marketing tools and developing the said apps for collecting feedback and communicating with customers. As a result, the organization is expected to have the idea of innovation internalized into it at multiple levels, including not only its technological side but also its customer relationships, its marketing approach, and its framework for responding to changes in the market environment.
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Deliu, D. (2019). Empathetic leadership – Key element for inspiring strategic management and a visionary effective corporate governance. Journal of Emerging Trends in Marketing and Management, 1, 280-292.
Elgin, C., Basbug, G., & Yalaman, A. (2020). Economic policy responses to a pandemic: Developing the COVID-19 economic stimulus index. Covid Economics, 1(3), 40-53.
Gözükara, İ., & Çolakoğlu, N. (2016). A research on generation Y students: Brand innovation, brand trust and brand loyalty. International Journal of Business Management and Economic Research, 7(2), 603-611. Web.
Nakano, T. D. C., & Wechsler, S. M. (2018). Creativity and innovation: Skills for the 21st Century. Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas), 35(3), 237-246. Web.
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