Education is an invaluable resource, and learning the right concepts and theories can be crucial to one’s success in a business setting. That being said, even when concepts are thoroughly synthesized and understood, there are useless if the individual cannot implement them in a real world setting. For this reason, simulations of real world scenarios are a very precious resource that can help bridge the gap between the classroom and the business environment. In this change management simulation, a situation is detailed in which a sunglass company is seeking to comply with environmental and retailer pressures to become more environmentally sustainable. There has been a moderate amount of internal resistance in the organization and it is up to me, as the director of product innovation, to overcome this resistance and implement this change in the organization.
The product innovation role was chosen because of the perceived necessity of innovation within an organization. Innovation is a crucial part of business success, and the very nature of innovation means that in order to successfully implement innovation requires at least some degree of organizational change (Goncalves, 2007). Such change is often wrought with difficulties in the form of improper planning, resistance that must be overcome, and poor training to adopt the innovation (Goncalves, 2007).
While there is a great deal of collective knowledge about the role of a CEO in an organization and its importance, there seems to be more ambiguity surrounding the value of an effective product innovator and why that specific role is needed in an organization. Allowing myself to assume this role in the simulation will not only allow me to learn the true responsibilities of this position, but also understand how this individual is responsible for influencing company politics and garnering support within an organization. Engaging in this simulation in the role of director of product innovation allowed me to truly appreciate the intricacies of this role and why it is important to overall organizational success.
My vision for this simulation was to manifest an organization and organizational culture which not only values environmental sustainability but also to successfully adopt the environmental sustainability recommendations set forth by the retailer. This vision may be considered overly optimistic considered the time constraints and vocal opposition, however it does encompass the ultimate goal of this simulation given the scenario.
My mission for this project is to implement a sustainable change initiative by building support and knowledge of the value this opportunity presents throughout the organization, first starting with the organization’s leadership before targeting the lower level employees. This mission encapsulates the spirit of the objective identified in the vision statement by also providing an overall direction for how the vision will be brought to fruition.
The core strategy, as implied in the mission statement is to build credibility through the demonstration of knowledge and value within the organization. Then, by providing support for and detailed information about the change, awareness and interest in the innovation will manifest among the important leadership roles within the organization. After ensuring that leadership within the organization is on board with the project, any barriers in the form of resistance to change will be identified within the organization before implementing education, training, and implementation. It is vital that leadership is called upon during this time to support the change and be trendsetter in the organization.
The strengths of this opportunity are inherent in the benefits of the innovation. Being environmentally sustainable will ensure operational feasibility in the long term. Furthermore, BigMart, the primary retailer of the sunglasses, will increase its marketing activities of the organization’s sunglass products. Research also suggests that implement such a sustainable initiative will appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, who are increasing in number and influence as time goes on.
The weaknesses of this opportunity reside in the resistance that has been expressed in the organization. Even before the change has begun, resistance is already being communicated, which weakens the potential success of the project. There also seems to be weaknesses in the fact that the director of product innovation is not an executive and doesn’t have a great deal of formal authority within the organization, making it difficult to singlehandedly implement this project.
Much of the reasoning behind this innovation hinges on the opportunities it provides. By becoming more environmentally sustainable, the company has an opportunity to appeal to a new market of consumers who highly value environmental consciousness. As such, the company is poised to attain more market share and gain a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace. Furthermore, there is an opportunity to make the company more efficient and sustainable in the long term, as society increases in its emphasis on environmental issues.
Finally, the threats of this opportunity are that the environmentally sustainable initiative will result in increased costs that are not sustainable. The perceived benefit may not be as great as different parties, including myself as product innovator, have suggested and the additional burden on the company could actually drive it out of business.
This simulation was very educational and allowed for a valuable immersive experience into the realities of change and adaptability in a large company. There is a clear opportunity for the organization to implement a more sustainable initiative. While the costs of implementation are high, the costs of failing to adopt this change are also high, considering the retailer’s insistence on selling environmentally sustainable products and the evolution of consumer preference for environmentally conscious organizations.
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