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In the contemporary world, change in organizations is happening at a swifter rate than can be imagined. The vehicle, causing these changes, is inclined to technology, which is updating day by day. Therefore, there is a need for organizations to keep revisiting their strategies to be followed to bring effective change. On the same vein, the organization should also be careful enough not to lose customers in the name of keeping abreast with the competition environment. The process of organizational change and innovation are critical in determining the future of the company. The imperativeness of flexibility of the organization structure to accommodate for change can never be overemphasized. Almost every other business in the world has realized the importance of innovation for survival in the market (Chapman 2010).
In the achievement of the intended change results, the ideas or the “change” intended must be realistic. This means it should be practical and not a theory that has no foundation implementation. In cases, where such unrealistic changes are introduced into the system, there is a possibility of crisis arising. Apart from the realistic nature of a change, other factors considered before implementing change. These factors determine the effectiveness of the change intended. It is not advisable to push the stakeholders in the organization to accept the change intended. However, in cases, where the change intended is crucial to the organization functionality, force may be used to ensure adoption (Galavan, Murray & Markides 2009).
Organizational innovation is a business term that refers to adoption of ideals and /or behaviors by a company/organization (Galavan, Murray & Markides 2009). The adopted trend is usually new to the organization and its effects are aimed at improving the company. The rate of innovation in an organization determined the ease, with which the organization responds to changes in the market. However, due to the factors that hinder changes, the implementation of the innovated ideas is slowed in many organizations. In this note, organizations are expected to put into consideration the attributes of effective organization change and innovation.
The first step in arriving at this decisional point involves a systematic analysis of the situation. The management team has to undertake a comprehensive study to diagnose the situation of change. Once the problem is noted, the problem should be comprehensibly evaluated at the most appropriate and beneficial aspect. This will, then, lead to close examination of theories of change and innovation that helps in determining the course to be adopted (Chapman 2010).
Finally, effective organizational change and innovation is defined by the ability to adopt the new ideas or/and behaviors in the organization. A close examination of the Coca Cola Company is conducted to help in understanding this change process. The analysis will be displayed parallel to the process steps.
Coca Cola Company is a giant drink company that is involved in processing of soft drink. The company origin was in the USA and was stated in 1886 (Bool 2009). The company positioned its product into the market in a special way. It offered free drinks in several occasions to help people recognize the taste of the brand products. This was an incredible step that resulted to a boost in sales and customers coverage. Since that time, the company has undergone vast changes in trying to retain their position at the top of the competition table.
Though changes and innovation have helped the company to grow and extend consumer boundaries, this modification and improvement have faced challenges. The company maturation can be traced back from the time of World War II, which led to collapsing of a number of companies in America. Luckily, the company survived and from this time it has picked up drastically to become one of worldwide most famous soft drink company. The company transformed the situation of war in that time to an opportunity of thriving in market expansion.
Organizational changes and innovation in Coca Cola Company
Supply of drinks to the American soldiers
A notable organizational change and innovation in the early years of the company history is the request to supply the American Army in the war with the Cola drink. This idea was presented by the Coca-Cola President, Robert Woodruff. The decision though risky and for what shortsighted businesspersons would term “a not worth investment”, contributed to the company’s growth. The management of organization demonstrated a sound decision, made to bring an innovative idea. Analysis of the first step of the effective organizational change and innovation in this case shows a properly diagnosed situation. The company realized the opportunity to establish the company in different areas of the world in such a difficult time. Robert turned the unfortunate situation/ event of war to a field of business in a long-term view (Bool 2009).
Before the war had started, the Coca Cola Company was being marketed in various countries including Cuba, Philippines, and Europe among others. By the time the war ended, the company had established several processing ports in areas, where the American army had camped. In total, there were 64 bottling plants, established in the European region. The company was, thus, able to meet its request to supply drinks to the army as well as lay a foundation for expansion of its’ consumers coverage.
This example or step, taken by the company, illustrates how the company innovatively anchored a strong change in the market environment. Consequently, the company was able to reach out many people in areas, where the bottling plants were established. Theories of change, employed here, reflect the timing of positioning the idea. At this time, the government chances to decline the offer from the company were less. Thus, the adoption of the innovative idea was fast, thus, increasing facilitating effectiveness of the organizational change and innovation.
New Coke brand
During the mid 1980s, the American population favored the sugared products of the Pepsi Company over the Coca Cola drink. The company idea to shift to the new consumers taste did not significantly amount to the intended result. The introduction of New Coke in the market to replace the original flagship brand name of the company’s soft drink products illustrates another brilliant example of organizational change and innovation (Clifford, 2009).
The repercussions that resulted in the market after this brand was introduced showed that the company recorded a significant blow to the income generated. Most of the Americans reacted negatively towards this idea. The company had invested in a ‘diagnostic’, procedure to help deduce which taste was highly favored by the consumers. This was after the market share had a decline in the prime of Pepsi introduction in the market. The analysis of the situation revealed that many people preferred nutritional base drinks. Thus, they were buying Pepsi at a higher amount that the Coca Cola brand (Clifford 2009).
The company had to come up with an innovative idea that would enhance the company’s survival in the market. Following the result of the researchers, they decided to release a new brand; this was highly flavored than the original Coca Cola drink. The drink was sold under the name of New Coke. However, the loyal consumers of the Coca Cola drink were frustrated by this move. Influence from the Pepsi Company negative views about the new product resulted to decline in the sales of the new product. However, with time the market share started to increase to an optimum increase of 8%. (Clifford2009).
However, the company still realized that the society regarded the older brand as the real Cola drink. Consequently, the company reversed the idea and re-introduced the old brand into the market. The consumers received this with a lot of appreciation. Analysis of this trend shows several hiccups in the process of adopting the new brand. The company failed to develop an intimate understanding of the diagnosis, made by the researchers. In the market place, people will go for a product due to the added advantage of difference from those of the possible substitutes. Producing a drink that matches Pepsi, only give consumers the idea of going for the first of its kind product in the market. Thus, they always preferred Pepsi to New Coke. The company also failed to investigate deeply on the theories of change and innovation that could have helped in the process of change adoption. They failed to convince the people about the importance and benefit of New Coke.
The real coke was marketed as Coke Classic, in a few months from its introduction; it had outdone the New Coke and Pepsi in the sales. The company realized it had underestimated consumers’ impact on the swift transition from Coca Cola to New Coke. The change was wrong since the company failed to understand the extent of the population attachment to the idea that Coca Cola formula represented. The effectiveness of the research conducted was queried after it failed to show that relation in its results. This is a significant hindrance in the effective adoption of the innovation. The researchers would have depicted the importance of this relation; a more acceptable product would have been released into the market. Despite the fact that the mistake was corrected later on, the loss incurred cannot be overlooked.
Management and organizational structure
The Coca Cola Company has devised plans to overcome the present challenges in the management structure. Every company has its own difficulties in the leadership and decision making process. The structure of the management design, adopted by the company, determines how fast the company will make a sound decision. Moreover, the structure also depicts the extent of consumers’ adoptability and the effectiveness of the ideas. In this vein, the Coca Cola Company has decided to adopt a decentralized management structure. This design has allowed the managers, at different levels in the company, to be competitive in their levels of management. The organization has two distinct operating groups; bottling investment and the corporate. The groups are, then, divided into regional subgroups that are, then, divided to form different teams geographically. This is a creative decision that helps the company to excel in the marketing field.
A good example to illustrate why the management organization is considered in this paper as an organization change and innovative idea is the 2010 World cup sponsorship. The company allowed the regional groups to come up with a different aspect and format of advertisement, depending on the local preferences. In so doing, the company improved the sales since the local managers were able to devise plans that suit the local consumers’ interest.
Culture is a significant influence of the marketing of products. Unless a company humbles to an extent of complying with the consumers’ culture, the growth and development of such a company is restrained (Galavan, Murray & Markides 2009). Though the top management determines the decisions, relating to the company’s progress, how to implement the ideas in the local levels is a decision of the local leaders. The importance of this idea was expressed by Neville Isdell in 2004, when he was announced the new CEO. Neville insisted on reviving the low growth rate of the organization. In his view, office management would not help drive the organization further. Instead, the company had contemplated on the adopting close relationship between managers and the consumers. In this connection, Neville introduced a complex system of governance, where the face-to-face meetings were launched in the ground levels to ensure that the employees were updated on whatever the company intended. Moreover, internet chats and communication channels were revived to increase the sharing of information among the stakeholders.
The behaviors of the employees changed positively since they believed that they formed the core bench of the decision making panel. This resulted to decline in the rate of employees, leaving the company. Neville idea resulted to improvement in the rate of growth of the company (Bool 2009). Therefore, the idea of interactive leadership is expressed by many as a major boost in the growth of the Coca Cola Company. This can be analyzed to illustrate the channel for effective organizational change and innovation.
To begin with, the CEO diagnosed a crucial situation of weakness in the company that could have petered the company. The diagnosis was made at a perfect time and intervention devised to revert the problem. The company used the theories of change and innovation to come up with ideas of how the interaction could be enhanced. They intended to use the internet and face to face meeting in order to reach out to more employees, so that they could contribute to company development. Increasing the interaction among the employees is a vital role in the development of a motivated relationship in an organization. The result leads to increase in sales and the employees’ comments on being satisfied in the company than never. The summative result of Neville ideas were reflected positively, hence, can be regarded as an effective organizational change and innovation.
The Coca Cola Company has diversified its products to cover a large group of consumers. The company is one of the leading innovative firms internationally. The company is driven by the need to inspire moments of positivity and joy, establish values and impact a difference through refreshing its consumers. The company has helped several communities in the realization of the potential resources at their disposal. Moreover, the company encourages consumer participation in innovation and inventive business ideas, thereby, resulting to mutual benefit between the two groups. The new brands that the company is releasing are more consumers’ choice based, rather than profit aimed products.
A core area that reflects the innovativeness of the Coca Cola Company is the number of brands that the company has established in the market. Coca Cola Company has over 500 brands, which are distributed in over 200 countries (Clifford 2009). As mentioned earlier, the company has adopted the local culture and a business process that ensures adoptability by the local consumers. This gives the company an advantage to excel even in the most remote areas. The consumers have helped the company to come up with brands that have results in community prosperity. The collaboration between Nestle Company and Coca Cola Company is an example to show how the company is much into the innovation and change (Bool 2009).
The growing changes in need and taste among different consumers triggered the company to diversify its products. The response is yet another example of innovation and change. The diet Coke was established after issues aroused, concerning the health habits in relation to drinks. The individuals who are suffering from conditions such as diabetes preferred a drink that would not affect their health or destabilize weight. Another brand that was suitable for individuals sensitive to the issue of health and weight is the Coca Cola Zero. The variant products of the Coke show the active involvement of the company in the organizational change and innovation. The maturation of the projects and the increase in sales of the product shows the effectiveness of the organizational change and innovation process (Bool 2009).
Crucial areas in organizational change and innovative management
In the process of effective management of organizational change, the last step of facilitating the adoption of change is highly sensitive. It is at this point that most of the resistance will be felt that may hinder the implementation of the aspired change in the organization. To ensure that dreams and the efforts, channeled at the diagnosis part are not wasted, the company should facilitate a smooth transition and involve all the stakeholders in time. Consequently, it is essential to visit the main approaches, used by the organization (Coca Cola Company) to avoid resistance to change (Galavan, Murray & Markides 2009).
The company ensures there is a smooth flow of information among the employees. The decentralized management/ leadership design of the company facilitates faster update of information, regarding the company. There are also computer site, where the employees shares their opinions. Neville introduced these changes in 2004, when he took over the Presidency role of Coca Cola Company. This method of governance allows the company to convince the unsatisfied individuals concerning a decision before it is implemented (Bool 2009).
Educating the employees on the practicality of the intended changes helps cope with the fear of unknown that may come with the changes. During this time, the company will identify the challenges that the employees are facing in implementing the changes. In most cases, innovations bring about different ideas that may need education and facilitation for ideas to be effective as intended. The Coca Cola Company needs to help consumers and employees to learn a program before it is implemented.
During times of adoption of the New Coke, Goizueta, who was the CEO of the company by then, paid a visit to Robert Wood (his predecessor) to negotiate for his idea. He wanted to reformulate the New Coke but many of the decision makers were against and adamant to support. This illustrates the importance of negotiation in ensuring that people understand your idea before implementing it (Chapman 2010).
However, in cases, where the innovation and change intended are crucial and there are groups of individuals not buying it, manipulation or coercion may be used. This depends with the agency and the importance of the intended change in an organization.
As revealed in the above discussion, it is clear that, innovation in a company and changing the organization as per innovations are two different but dependent factors. Change has been described as a must in the field of business due to the vibrant growth and diversification. The discussion has revealed the extent of the spirit of change in the different level of participants in the organization. Individuals, groups and the Coca Cola organization have been illustrated as having assimilated the attributes of effective management of organizational change and innovation. The reasons as to why the Coca Cola Company is an outstanding example of utilization of management of organizational change and innovation are not to be farfetched. The company has excellently maintained a firm grip in marketing soft drinks. The drinks are marketed in a varied cultural, geographical, political and economic environment, though they end up selling highly. The company, thus, benefit from its creative and innovative experts who are working hard to see the company escalate to higher levels in the market.