Note: This is a three-part Assignment that is submitted over the course of 2 weeks. This week, you will submit Parts 1 and 2. You will submit Part 3 in Week 8. Although Part 3 is not due until next week, it is recommended that you look ahead to review the expectations for Part 3 so that you can keep those questions in mind as you develop Parts 1 and 2. Additionally, you will use the same document for each submission (renaming it each time you submit). In this week’s submission, you will complete Parts 1 and 2, and you will leave the placeholder language for Part 3 as is.
The world of business often changes at a fast pace, including innovations in technology, changing customer needs, and other market fluctuations. In some cases, however—such as during a local or global crisis—the need for change is more immediate and companies may face the reality of responding by quickly innovating or facing financial or other hardships.
For this Assignment, you will take on the role of a consultant who has been brought in to develop and evaluate creative solutions for a business facing the effects of a global crisis. You have been asked to develop some potential solutions to propose to company leaders that could help the business shift its focus or innovate in the face of change. You will employ creativity and design thinking principles to address business needs and help the company assess its readiness for innovation and change. For the purposes of this exercise, here are some guidelines:
- You will choose the company (or type of company) and create a narrative for the specific problem the business is facing. This could be a company where you have worked or with which you are familiar, or you can locate an example of a company and use it as the basis for your narrative. For example, you might select a larger company that needs to figure out a way to reach more customers since most of its local business has been temporarily halted, or perhaps you will choose a small business that operates locally and offers a product or service that is currently not relevant to the market’s needs.
Note: If you select a company with which you do not have personal experience, some of the questions related to the employees and other similar details may be more challenging to answer; however, you should feel free to use your creativity to respond to the questions as if you had already interviewed the company’s staff and leaders. Provide information that will help you craft your narrative. The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate your ability to think through and develop creative solutions to business problems, not to have all the “right” answers.
- You will engage in aspects of the design thinking process to complete this activity but will not be able to complete all parts of the process (including interviewing stakeholders and prototyping the solutions). You may want to review any resources you have already read on design thinking and consider how you would conduct this process if you were an actual consultant for this chosen company.
With those thoughts in mind, construct Parts 1 and 2 of your business solutions design, being sure to incorporate appropriate examples, where applicable, as well as citations for relevant academic resources from the classroom, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate scholarly sources to support your work.
BY DAY 7
Submit Parts 1 and 2 of your evaluation of harnessing creativity and innovation to meet business needs, in which you address the following in a 5- to 6-page business solutions design document:
Part 1: Laying the Foundation for Innovation
- Synthesize the business problem. Specifically:
- Describe the company in question, including how many people work there, the industry the company is part of, and what types of products and/or services the business offers.
- Explain the business problem, including what impacts the global crisis is having on how the business operates and its ability to meet customer needs and deliver its product(s)/service(s).
- Identify the company’s present internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats that the current crisis is presenting to the company.
- Appraise the company’s readiness to innovate, including how well the organization is set up to tolerate risk.
Part 2: Considering Stakeholder Needs
- Identify the stakeholders whose needs you will have to consider when designing potential solutions.
- Create a prioritized list of stakeholder needs (based on your knowledge of the company or your imagining of the stakeholders you identified) you will have to take into consideration when developing potential solutions.
- Based on the identified business problem, what are the greatest points of need? What might be the leaders’ and employees’ most pressing concerns?
- What are other needs to consider that are a lower priority but still significant enough to note?
- Assess what, if any, considerations will need to be made to promote stakeholder buy-in.
- Are company leaders open or resistant to change? What is your prediction for any challenges you may encounter in the face of changes?
- What recommendations do you have for how to gain buy-in and minimize risk?