Organizational Impact Paper
University of Phoenix
OI 461 Innovation, Design, and Creativity for a Competitive Advantage
Brandon S. Smith
March 8, 2008
Innovation can be defined as a “frame of mind” and the act of developing an idea in its physical form such as a new product, service or process. It means finding solutions to problems and can be categorized as a product or process innovation, product or service that an organization offers, and the way in which they create and deliver the product. The impact in innovation can be dramatic on society globally if the product helps with customer service, health, and service. We examine three companies, Shinfin, Colgate and McKinsey & Company, to discern their unique application of innovation processes.
Organizational Impact Paper
When examining a company’s impact on innovation, one can find reasons on how the product impacts the organization and society, and what strategy and process they utilized to achieve success. Three companies, Shinfin, Colgate, and McKinsey & Company, are introduced below, providing information on how each of their companies have impacted society with their innovative products. Each of these companies provides a different service using four different but complimentary processes of innovation: architectural (basic configuration of product and process); market niche (innovation that opens new market opportunities); regular (change that builds on established technical and production competence); and revolutionary (disrupts and renders established technical and production abilities obsolete, yet can be applied to existing markets and customers) (vonStamm, 2003). Shinfin designs and distributes unique swimming fins, Colgate provides improvement to the quality of life, and McKinsey & Company assists companies with performance issues.
Shinfin™ is a company that created a unique type of swim fins product, an evolution from foot flippers, and an impact on the innovation of the swimming fin. The fins enhance the enjoyment and benefits of swimming and other water sports. Marc Lee, inventor, conceived and designed a swimming fin for a natural streamlined kick to assist a swimmer with their freestyle, backstroke and butterfly stroke. The swimmer kicks from the hips with only a little knee-bend and very little ankle stress (unlike foot flippers which require much more knee-bend and impose large stresses on the ankles). His process was to correct swimming biomechanics, allow fins to be utilized in a variety of swimming activities, and avoid foot flipper problems such as on-land safety. The inventor designed fins that are comfortable and flexible, fitting to the front of the legs with straps fit securely just above the ankle. They are adaptable for various types of legs kicks, allowing a great deal more muscle power from the thighs and torso, and a comfortable bend at the ankles and the soles of the feet free so walking… or even running… is possible while wearing them. The fins were designed to be utilized in swim training, fitness, aerobics, snorkeling, bodyboarding, kneeboarding, and even surfing, and are especially attractive to people with disabilities and amputations. The inventor wanted to avoid foot flipper problems such as sore feet, good fit, tripping and falling, weight, stress and strain, and tear and rot. The impact of the product appears to be successful for the company due to customer satisfaction ratings and complements ranging from lack of cramping, better workouts, and feet comfort (Shinfin.com).
Colgate® originated as a small soap and candle business that William Colgate created in New York City back in the early 19th century. The people at Colgate work globally, share a commitment to the company’s three core corporate values: Caring, global teamwork and continuous improvement. As a leading consumer products company, the company is deeply committed to advancing technology which can address changing consumer needs throughout the world. The goal is to use technology to create products that will continue to improve the quality of life for consumers wherever they live (Colgate.com).
One of the products that has impacted innovation is the Colgate 360˚ ® original toothbrush, a revolutionary new toothbrush specially designed for sensitive teeth and gums, with less wear on sensitive tooth areas compared to a regular soft, flat-trim toothbrush. Its unique design features clean the teeth, tongue, cheek, and gums by removing more bacterial; this is why it is more than just a toothbrush. The company discovered that 80% of the bacteria in your mouth are not on the consumer’s teeth and formulated a way to create a toothbrush that gives a gentle yet superior clean with a unique cheek and tongue cleaner that removes over 96% more bacteria and produces less wear on sensitive areas of the tooth with multi-functional bristles (Colgate.com).
McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm consisting of a global network of offices, is a trusted advisor to the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions. The firm’s process is to help leaders make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements to the performance of their organizations and undertake their most difficult issues and serious challenges. The firm is about world-changing impact, developing exceptional leaders, and finding innovative solutions. The firm is not a corporation tied to earnings pressures or bound to increasing returns to the shareholders. Instead, the firm is constantly measuring new ideas, opportunities led not by one person, but by the partnership group.
The firm’s product: Associates. Associates at the firm have the a scale, scope, and knowledge which allows them to address problems that no one else can and consist of a network of people who are passionate about taking on immense challenges that matter to leading organizations, and often, to the world. Associates are the trusted advisors and counselors to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world, serving more than 70 percent of Fortune magazine’s most admired list of companies. Associates are problem solvers, analytical, creative, intellectually curious, have the ability to work with people at all levels of an organization, and are highly collaborative with a passion for excellence. The firm does not regard individuals based on their title, but their competence and leadership. The firm believes in the power of one consistent set of high standards for service and people so that they can always attract and bring together the best team of minds from around the world, along with the broadest range of industry and functional experience. McKinsey & Company believes in teamwork, coaching, and collaboration. Associates develop better solutions in teams than as individuals, so as to eliminate competition against each other and share a structured problem–solving approach, in which all opinions and options are considered, researched, and analyzed carefully before recommendations are made.
Innovative companies can play a significant role impacting individuals, organizations and society globally. When examining all three companies’ impact on innovation, it was easy to see the motivations that drive them and how their products impact humanity, as well as the strategies and processes they utilized to achieve success. When each company utilized one or more of the different forms of the innovation process, their products became successful globally and helped mankind achieve vital goals.
von Stamm, B. (2003). Managing Innovation, Creativity and Design. Unites States: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd