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The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage retailer, manufacturer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. It's widely recognized and best known for its main flagship product Coca-Cola which was invented by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in 1886.
A proliferation of management paradigms is occurring, defining paradigms as a means of understanding the world and a basis for informing action, thus a paradigm is a systematic set of ideas and values, methods and problem fields, as well as standard solutions, that explain the world and inform action.(According to Thomas Clarke and Stewart Cleggare).
Understanding the Paradigm Shift of the Coca-Cola Company:
The New Face of Bias in the Workplace:
It is unthinkable that a global company like Coke could be guilty of discrimination against its minority employees, however, a new paradigm exists for discrimination and bias in the workplace. As demonstrated by Joel Author Barker, in his 1989 video (The Business of Paradigms), "When a paradigm shifts, everyone goes back to zero. It doesn't matter how big your market share is or how strong your reputation, or how good you are at the old paradigm. With the new one, you go back to zero. Along the way the company has learned valuable lessons about bias in the workplace and has proved to be an even better place to work for all employees.
The emphasis is a shift from older managerial techniques, based on prescription, command and control, to empowerment, teamwork, and networked relations; hence they are people who bring in the idea for the new paradigm and are always the first to establish and solve the new model accordingly.
Mavericks: These paradigm shifters challenge conventional wisdom and accepted ways of doing things. Berry, a former British aid worker spearheads Cola Life, a campaign to get Coca-Cola to use its distribution network in Africa to deliver rehydration salts and help reduce child mortality from diseases like diarrhea. Berry finally has Coca-Cola's ear and the multinational plans to do a test run of the idea in East Africa in November.
One doesn't have to create an industry's next paradigm shift to be a pioneer. Hence they are the first people to follow a new paradigm after it is initiated by paradigm shifters.
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The Brand (pillar of global giants): The brand concept has undergone an effectively rapid historical evolution. Thus in 1900s the Coke Company had changed already the Coca Cola brand into the central pillar of its immense business. One of the many illuminating stories regarding the centralization of the coke brand is Robert Woodruff's drive in 1920's to standardize the product brand internally thus becoming a paradigm pioneer.
They are the organizations last people to follow the new paradigm. They do not accept the new paradigm at the beginning and they only accept if it's working and safe. (According to Lewin's Field Force analysis). Hence they do all the refinements after the pioneer has driven the concept of practicability.
Over engineering the soda machine: - With a sleekness imparted by Ferrari designer engineers are helping with Coca Cola's new soda fountain machine the 'free style'. The machine mixes its beverage not from syrups since their invention a century ago but from tiny flavor concentrates delivered using a micro dosing technology
The Summary of "Developing countries are competing on creativity as well as cost. That will change business everywhere"
"Developing countries are competing on creativity as well as cost. That will change business everywhere" the Economist. Apr 15th 2010
This article that appeared in the Economist early last year depicts of a paradigm shift from a world market dictated by the western more developed countries to a world economy chiefly dependent on the emerging markets to propel growth. It explains how the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and now South Africa) have exploited the concepts of "lean manufacturing", cheap skilled labour, breakthrough technology and innovation to produce low cost products that were once a prerogative of the developed world for their people.
The article begins by an annotation that almost three decades ago a major transformation happened in the automobile's manufacturing industry; Japan overtook America as the world's biggest car producer. This was unthinkable for the Detroit bosses in America and it necessitated a visit to Japan. To their disbelief, they witnessed a country that had transformed its entire economy into a hotbed of business innovation through "lean manufacturing". This event marked the beginning of a revolution that took over in almost all factories globally, the same revolution that is now spreading fast into the developing world thus creating a shift in the world's centre of economic gravity towards the emerging markets.
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China for instance has sustained an annual growth of more than 10% for the past five years while India has its figures at 8%. This sudden growth has been instigated by the self belief and discontentment of these two nations as the sources of cheap skilled labour. Contrary to that, they have taken up the challenge to the west on innovation and product redesigning of everything. These redesigning is geared at reducing the cost of production thus producing cheaper commodities faster than their rival western corporations. This continuing trend is slowly snatching the economic leadership mantle from rich world even as more western multinationals like IBM and Ericsson try to take advantage and also invest in these emerging markets to create an edge over their now biggest competitors such as HUAWEI.
Apparently, all this benefits the billions of consumers in the BRICS and other developing countries who now have access to better and cheaper products and services. This develops a ray of hope and optimism for the future. Meanwhile the slow-growth rich world's firms continue to face increasing savage price competition and an overturn of their competitive advantage in innovation. Eventually change will come and the emerging economies will become the market leaders in disruptive innovation and low-cost commodities as they spread into the developed world to shake industries to their foundations.
This change will be terrible for them, but their consumers will be more than delighted to partake of the cheaper and quality goods and services since they are likely to face slow income growths. Western governments could also benefit in terms of learning ingenious ways of cost cutting and applying the available economies of scale to boost public-sector productiveness.
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Moreover, the article concludes by advancing the point of view that innovation sustains innovation. The writer argues that this harsh emerging world take-over bid will only serve as fuel to new innovation in the rich world. This cycle will continue on and will imminently improve the overall global economy and the ultimate well being of humans.
The Summary of Gary Rivlin's "The problem with Microsoft..."
Gary R. (2010). "The problem with Microsoft..." Fortune Magazine March 29, 2011.
In this article, Gary Rivlin depicts Microsoft's current CEO Steve Ballmer as an egocentric leader who is unquestionable and utterly disrespectful to his support and innovation staff. Ballmer's many dismissals and discontinuations of key creative products by the company's innovative team has continued to hurt its software industry dominance while other tech company's like Apple and Google continue to develop successful products that mesmerize their consumers.
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The writer begins by telling the rather unfortunate incidence of Courier, a project Microsoft's entertainment and devices division was developing to catapult Microsoft into the mobile devices field that is very lucrative at the moment and which has completely dodged the corporation. Steve Ballmer eventually discontinued that project in its later stages terming it unnecessary due to its heavy borrowing from "windows", Microsoft's vaunted computer operating systems.
This action is viewed as an act of improvidence by the top management even as they continued to get a lot of major cycles wrong such as the emergence of the mobile phone as the new age PC. Furthermore some of Microsoft's products such as The MP3 player, the Zune, Bing: Microsoft's revamped search engine, the Xbox gaming system and acquired mobile-technology company Danger were really coming down with negative user reviews.
All this has been blamed on Ballmer himself and his deep pride that causes him to dismiss excellent consumer-oriented ideas. It is a no brainer that Microsoft has the capability and capacity to innovate, however the corporation has been adept at spotting technological trends due their CEO's shortsightedness to any consumer dictated pointers. Another major setback is the company's "licking the cookie" policy that allows only a small group to work independently on a feature or product. This slows down development at an era when this is unforgivable since other tech companies constantly innovating.
The general opinion of Microsoft's ex-employees is the disintegration of Microsoft's divisions to smaller autonomous companies capable of making individual decisions and strategy formulations, an idea that Ballmer has already scoffed at. Others suggest that the corporation sticks to its software to businesses -- and sell off its consumer-oriented units.
Rob Sanfilippo is of the view that everyone should not crucify Ballmer entirely. Considering that during his time at the helm, the company has blundered a lot, there have been also a couple of innovations that have gone into the releases new Windows and Exchange servers that handle a large share of the Internet's e-mail. However he also thinks that Microsoft has over-relied on the magic of the Windows brand and it is time for them to diversify.
All in all, Microsoft is envisaged to have hopelessly stuck in neutral because of the weak management board in place and the lack of goodwill from its founder and chairman Bill Gates to dismiss this malfunctioning CEO who is personally his good friend. Although Microsoft has blown many leads before in acquiring a bigger market share in the tablet business, it is never too late for a complete overhaul of its management and innovation strategies. If a lot more companies such as Apple, Motorola and Netflix facing similar or worse challenges have managed to reinvent themselves why not Microsoft.
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