Written or Oral Questions
1a. Which methods does your business use to communicate and promote a culture of innovation? (5 marks)
The methods that our business uses to communicate and promote a culture of innovation are:- Experiment to generate ideas - Companies must let employees know they are open for innovation. Some companies do this by creating a designated space where employees can be creative. Most office spaces, which are normally a sea of cubicles, have little room physically and emotionally where creativity and innovation can flourish.-Give staff time to work on ideas - Innovation needs time, and more often than not, employees feel they have none to spare. As a result, a growing number of companies are giving employees time away from the daily grind to work on projects of their own choosing. Some companies hold innovation days; others have hackathon sessions while others again give staff a set amount of time to work on projects that excite them, developing and testing new ideas.-Invest in idea generation - Implement some of the ideas employees come up with. Ideas have to be implemented or they’re not worth anything. To truly innovate, companies need to ensure a culture that supports new ideas and new ways of doing business efforts, but also execute those ideas.-Incentivise innovation - Be it monetary or otherwise, the best way to keep employees trying hard and working toward success is to reward effort. Companies often think rewarding employees means big bonuses, but recognition for a job well done can come in all shapes and sizes. Employees can be rewarded with flexible working hours, a freebie or even the chance to develop their idea and head up the project.-Never fail to fail - If employees are constantly worried that they might lose their jobs, they will never take the necessary risks to develop an idea or offering. Not every idea will be a success and companies should be prepared for this. Innovation is not about failure but more about frequency of trial. People remember successes and hits more than misses.
b. How is innovation recognised and rewarded? (5 marks)
A crucial element of rewarding and recognising successful contributions to innovation is being able to recognise the wider picture and take into account team member’s personal, professional and career development. Development can be a key motivation for a number of people and can be utilised as an effective recognition tool if it is conducted in the right manner. By providing the opportunity for professional development through the use of one to one meetings, opportunities for skills development and organised training sessions you can ensure that you not only keep team members engaged but consistently encourage further development and contribution to innovation. It is also vital to remember that there is more to life than work, and by demonstrating recognition of a healthy work-life balance and allowing opportunities for personal development and flexibility to allow for a family-friendly working environment, it is possible to create a positive and balance attitude towards contribution and reward.
2a. What methods can you use to identify the potential success or failure of an innovative idea? (5 marks)
The methods that we use to identify the potential success or failure of an innovative are:- Identify the ideas that are most likely to succeed as innovations for the company.- Ensure that complex ideas are reviewed by people with the appropriate expertise necessary to understand what would be necessary to implement the idea – and what might go wrong.- Enable a middle manager to defend the idea to senior management, stakeholders, and financial officers who may need to grant budgetary approval of the idea.- Make it possible to review a large number of ideas in a resource efficient manner.- Improve the idea by identifying potential implementation problems and preparing suitable actions to overcome those problems. Sadly, this last aspect is often lost in formal idea review procedures
b. How should you prepare for failures and respond if they happen? (5 marks)
We need to develop new ways of thinking in order to design better solutions, services and experiences that solve the current problems. This will help us radically change how we go about exploring problems and creating solutions to those problems.We cannot make the fails personal. We need separate the failure from identityWe need make stock, learn and adapt. Thinking about how we will apply this newfound insight going forward.We need to try a new point of view. Making ideas happen isn’t easy and requires patience, determination and hard work. The most important part of it is not just coming up with a promising concept, but rather rethinking it over and over again, implementing it and then putting it to practice.
3a. Which continuous improvement strategies are followed within your business? (5 marks)
That is the improvement strategies that our company use to deliver results when implemented correctly and with dedication.- Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA): This is a four-step quality model that focuses on achieving continuous improvement by following four specified steps within a cycle. - Lean: Lean or Lean Manufacturing focuses mainly on preserving quality, with less work by eliminating waste. - Six Sigma: Six sigma utilizes a set of quality management methods that aim towards improving outputs by identifying errors and defects.- Total Quality Management (TQM): This type of continuous improvement strategy started out in the manufacturing sector but can be adapted to fit almost any business type.- Kaizen: This Japanese-derived term is used to describe a long-term approach towards implementing small changes that add up to bigger results. - 5S: The 5S philosophy centres on maintaining a clean and organized workspace to promote greater efficiency, functionality, and higher levels of production.- - Hoshin Kanri: Hoshin Kanri or simply Hoshin Planning is a step-by-step form of continuous improvement which centres on a comprehensive communication system between all levels of staff while working towards a shared goal. - Kanban: Kanban originated within the Toyota enterprise and is a tactic used to help improve and make needed changes in order to promote further improvement. - Value Stream Mapping: This helpful planning technique looks inward at the design and flow of how information is shared and how processes are conducted. - TIMWOOD: This form of continuous improvement places emphases on the 7 wastes commonly identified by the mnemonic TIMWOOD.
b. How are these improvement strategies evaluated and communicated to key business groups? (5 marks)
Continuous improvement is the task of frequently seeking out ways to improve processes, products, or services. However, when it comes to the ongoing and ever-changing task of continuous improvement, it is important to remember that persistence and perseverance are vital. For instance, when cell phones first came out they were oversized, bulky, offered less than desirable service, and neglected any sense of style. However, through continuous improvement cell phones today are small, sleek, and stylish mini computers that offer vast capabilities that were virtually unimaginable years back. All this change has been made possible through continuous improvement. However, it is important to note that these improvements did not come about overnight, but instead through small, incremental changes implemented by companies committed to continuous improvement.
4a. How does your organisation grant approval for the implementation of innovative ideas? (5 marks)
Different levels of approval may be required, depending on the types of innovations that are made. Employees might be granted the authority to make decisions and carry out incremental changes, if there isn’t a high level of risk.However, senior management may give the go-ahead for radical innovations, including the development of brand new processes and creation of services based upon customer demand. Approval may be granted by CEOs, owners, CFOs, departmental heads or board members.
b. Are there any steps that could be taken to improve the speed and efficiency of the approval process? (5 marks)
There are some proven means of overcoming these bottlenecks:- restrict final authority to a specific number of employees; each of whom share common interests in the development of the business- ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the strategic vision and objectives of the business- decide whether you have the required skills and resources in place to deal with the proposed innovation- Only engage in time consulting consultations when major decisions have to be made- Let the employees take responsibility for everyday changes and make it clear that you are prepared for a certain degree of risk- be prepared to take a variety of viewpoints into account when implementing organisational change- The importance of flexibility
5. What methods could be used to limit the negative impacts of change within your organisation? (10 marks)
Your business might adopt these continuous improvement frameworks:- Kaizen – A Japanese business method which emphasises the importance of change for the good. It involves the identification of processes that can be improved and highlights strategies which can be gradually implemented. Workers are expected to focus on productivity, effectiveness, safety, and minimisation of waste- Total quality management – The aim of total quality management is to organise employees and business processes for guaranteed customer satisfaction. It involves the implementation of strategies for enhanced production and delivery. It is important to understand that different elements of the business chain are inter-linked and should be optimised for total quality-Lean manufacturing – Managers who implement this method are required to carry out route cause analysis and identify the reasons for waste. The causes may include poor stock rotation, delays in production, product defects, and inability to capitalise on worker’s skills. The professional practices of Kanban or just in time stock rotation may be implemented to reduce the amount of waste- ISO 9000 – Referring to an internationally recognised set of quality standards. ISO 9000 certification depends on the inspection of business procedures, maintenance of business records, training of employees, and appropriate interaction with customers- Six Sigma – A method of improvement which relies upon the development of strategies based upon comprehensive business data. Business people who assume responsibility for six sigma leadership must take account of the various business processes and understand how to measure required standards.
6a. What methods might your business use to record information about the success or failure of innovative strategies? (5 marks)
The methods that the business use to record information strategies is:-Performance reviews – You should collect different forms of data about employee performance, for analysis in light of your business objectives. Categories of performance may include levels of innovation, speed, and manufacturing efficiency-Peer appraisals – Employees may be prepared to give feedback about the performance of their co-workers. However, you should be wary of bias when gathering such reviews-Dashboards – You can use dashboards to track the performance of departments against organisational criteria-Financial records – There are various ways of collecting data about the financial impact of innovation. You may use balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements for an accurate appraisal of financial performance-Marketing research – It is important to measure the performance of different promotional methods. Criteria such as lead to sales conversion, cost per lead, and organic web traffic should be taken into account-Employee monitoring – Performance data should be analysed to find out the impact of changes within the business. You may also ask employees to complete questionnaires and surveys about the impact of innovation- Customer research – There are a number of ways of evaluating your business from the customer’s perspective. You could engage via social media networks and conduct surveys to gauge perceptions. You should also collect data regarding the completion of customer orders and after-sales service
b. How should this information be stored? (5 marks)
Effective organisation is required for the management of information from various business sources. Essential data may be gathered via different digital channels and during business meetings. It may be recorded in the form of computer data, paper documents, digital networks, and audio devices. All of the essential information should be securely saved and access restricted to relevant personnel. There should be organisational policies and procedures for the collection and storage of information. It may be necessary to invest in additional resources and use the services of external data management companies for enhanced organisation and protection. The following systems may be used:- Web content management- Documents management- Records management- Digital asset management- Learning management- Learning content management- Collaboration- Enterprise search.
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