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Technology Innovation Project
Background of the Corporation
Largo Corporation is a major multinational conglomerate corporation which specializes in a wide array of products and services. These products and services include healthcare, finance, retail, government services, and many more. The annual revenue is about $750 million and it has about 1,000 employees. The parent company is located in Largo, Maryland and its subsidiaries are headquartered throughout the United States.
The mission of the corporation is to bring the best products and services to people and businesses throughout the world so they can then realize their full potential.
The corporate vision guides every aspect of their business to achieve sustainable, quality growth:
The company’s culture is reflected in their corporate values:
The corporation consists of the parent company and the following subsidiaries:
The organization is headed by CEO Tara Johnson who completed her Master’s degree at UMUC and eager to make worthwhile improvements to the corporation. She rose through the ranks of Largo Corporation starting with systems integration, then retail and her last position before becoming CEO was in finance.
The corporation is in a highly competitive environment so the CEO wants savvy employees at many levels to make wise judgments and take an aggressive approach and deliver results towards improving the bottom line yet maintaining corporate social responsibility.
Ms. Johnson is very concerned about the outlook of her company. Revenues recently declined and she felt that the organization needed a transformation for the company to do well over the long term. In thumbing through some readings she was inspired when she uncovered the following:
We live in a business world accelerating at a dizzying speed and teeming with ruthless competition. As most of the tangible advantages of the past have become commoditized, creativity has become the currency of success. A 2010 study of 1,500 CEOs indicated that leaders rank creativity as No. 1 leadership attribute needed for prosperity. It’s the one thing that can’t be outsourced; the one thing that’s the lifeblood of sustainable competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, most companies fail to unleash their most valuable resources: human creativity, imagination, and original thinking. They lack a systematic approach to building a culture of innovation, and then wonder why they keep getting beaten to the punch. (Linkner, 2011)
She decided to establish a team responsible for defining an operational process that would result in innovations that would both counter potential future threats as well as provide a competitive edge for the corporation.
You have been chosen by the CEO as the “Innovation Team” leader. All members of the team need to understand the process of environmental scanning in order to identify innovative technologies that allow the corporation to respond to potential threats and dynamic changes in business and operational requirements. Further, she has directed you to provide solutions robust enough to address unforeseen market choices and demand. Hence, you should always allow for serendipitous discoveries, that is, ideas that you stumble across which have potential future benefits which may not be immediately aligned with the current mission.
This learning activity establishes your understanding of how innovation is accomplished in an organizational environment. As you quickly discover, innovation hinges on providing an environment that nurtures and values creativity and innovation. Fresh ideas often arise from solving problems nagging the organization. Keep in mind that genius rarely resides in the head of one individual within the organization. Yes, you have the “Steve Jobs” types of executives upon whose shoulders the vision rests and without whom there is no vision. But this is rare. Equally rare will be the “hidden employee gem” whose sudden inspiration saves the day.
You will understand the innovation life cycle process. It begins with ideation, that is, understanding the problems through a review of purpose and structure. In a later stage, an example of a concept you will learn as part of the innovation process is the “crowdsourcing” model that scours the Internet, creates internal discursion opportunities, and creates strategic alliances with external partners (Brabham, 2013).
IT professionals need to understand the importance of innovation and how to achieve it in their organization. Innovation is doing something different that has an impact on the business’ operations. Innovations are not often on the leading edge of technology. They can be as simple as migrating operations from one form of processing to another, switching to a greener lighting solution, outsourcing desktop support, investing in a stronger email security system and so on. Most innovations result from proactive thinking and what we will call a “corporate mindfulness”.
All IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively (oral and written) to executive level management in a non-jargon, executive level manner that convincingly justifies the need to invest in IT improvements and modernization. In addition, you will be developing critical thinking and key leadership skills. This learning demonstration is designed to strengthen these essential knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by IT professionals.
3. Steps to Completion
1) Perform Environmental Scanning
Environmental scanning involves identifying external opportunities and threats for an organization.
(a) Select one subsidiary of Largo Corporation. Research and project future potential threats to the subsidiary.
(b) Also identify potential disruptive technologies that the subsidiary may leverage in order for it to succeed in the future to counter future threats. As a start, here are several sources you might want to check (in addition to your readings):
Ted Talks videos on technology: https://www.ted.com/topics/technology
MIT Technology Review: http://www.technologyreview.com/
CNET’s Next Big Thing: https://www.cnet.com/next-big-thing/
Be sure to connect the technology with the operations of the subsidiary. Be sure to assess the impact on the subsidiary.
Deliverable: Provide an interim Environmental Scanning report which summarizes of your findings re: addressing the opportunities and threats to the subsidiary, identifying disruptive technologies and assessing their impacts to the subsidiary. (An interim report will be consolidated to a final deliverable in a later step.) Minimum length = 400 words.
2) Research Innovation and Innovation Cycles
In this step, you are to gain an understanding of concept of innovation, technological innovation and the generic innovation cycle.
This source provides one perspective of innovation and technological innovation: https://books.google.com/books?id=qaqeAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=innovation+definition&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yENFVai3HMOfNsucgIAD&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=innovation%20definition&f=false
Research the different innovation cycles that are out there. One can be found at:
One that uses a turbine metaphor (Pg. 15 and 19) can be found at: https://books.google.com/books?id=3VRs0vB25PoC&pg=PA7&dq=innovation+lifecycle&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5UVFVZKBCpPWgwSt3oGAAw&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=innovation%20lifecycle&f=false
There are others you can research.
Deliverable: Provide a report that compares and contrast the different generic innovation cycles. Include a table that summarizes the attributes of these innovation cycles. Minimum length = 400 words.
3) Operationalize the Innovation Cycle
Based on one or more of the innovation cycles identified in the previous step, create a detailed process for innovation that is customized for the subsidiary you selected. Discuss how it will change the culture of the subsidiary to be more oriented to innovation and creativity.
You might want to review this reference on the role of organizational climate on innovation implementation (Pg. 68): https://books.google.com/books?id=JRf7TxYef70C&pg=PA68&dq=innovation+implementation&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YkdFVaK2DsaqNqeRgZgF&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=innovation%20implementation&f=false
Deliverable: Prepare an interim “Innovation Corporate Action Plan” that addresses the findings from this step. Minimum 400 words. Include at least 3 references.
4) Develop a Migration Strategy
Research way on how to implement this new innovation process in the subsidiary. Discuss any change management issues.
Here are articles that may be helpful:
Deliverable: Migration plan. Minimum: 400 words. Include at least 3 references.
5) Prepare an Executive Presentation
Compile all of the key findings of previous steps and prepare a narrated PowerPoint presentation. It must be relevant to the subsidiary. It should address as a minimum:
The presentation should consist of 10-15 slides. It should include audio narration (directions are found at: https://support.office.com/en-au/article/Add-narration-to-a-presentation-0b9502c6-5f6c-40ae-b1e7-e47d8741161c). The narration should also be captured in the slide notes.
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