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Best Snacks Problem Solution

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Best Snacks Inc. Problem Solution
Lori Mann
Creativity, Innovation, and Organizational Design -MMPBL/550
September 19, 2011
Facilitator: Ken Pinaire
Best Snacks Inc. Problem Solution In today’s global economy, the pace of competition and change has accelerated. Organizations of all types need employees that can think in new ways so the organization can sustain its performance and continue to grow. Thinking in new ways is also known as creativity and innovation. Creativity is taking ideas beyond the normal boundaries and innovation is using the available skills and resources to create new product and service offerings, process technologies, and enabling technologies (Davila, 2006, p. 35). The process of managing creativity and innovation can improve the organizational effectiveness because “all innovation begins with creative ideas” (Jones, 2004, p 409). Best Snacks Inc. must implement organizational strategies that support innovation and the development of new products and services as well as implement a program designed to increase its employees’ creative thinking skills. Additionally, Best Snacks Inc. should also make changes to its management systems. In this paper, I will describe the issues Best Snacks, Inc. is facing as well as its opportunities to implement a creative and innovative environment that will enable the company to regain its industry leader status, increase sales, and to reverse its downward trending stock price. It will then discuss the stakeholders, dilemmas, benchmarking, alternatives, and, finally, the recommended course of action that Best Snacks, Inc. should take to meet its strategic goals.
Describe the Situation
Issue and Opportunity Identification Best Snacks Inc., a publically held company, has been a leader in the snack food industry. As customer performances began to place a higher priority on product price over brand loyalty in the past decade the company has seen a dramatic decrease in sales, market shares, and stock price. Best Snacks Inc. has chosen not to introduce any product or service innovations in the previous five years and has only made minor changes or modifications to its research and development and marking activities. The success that Best Snacks Inc. has experienced has allowed them to become complacent and conservative. This occurs as companies work to preserve those core competencies that were central to their previous success (Davila, 2006). The organizational culture, as evidenced by the company’s stated performance measures and values, within Best Snacks Inc. does not support creativity or innovation and there is a clear lack of training and development policies that support or incentivize these activities. Best Snacks Inc. has the opportunity to transform its operations and organizational culture by reorganizing itself into a learning organization that supports and rewards individual and organizational learning. “The individual level managers need to do all they can to facilitate the learning of new skills, norms and values so that individuals can increase their own personal skills and abilities and help build the organization’s core competences” (Jones, 2004, p. 377). The culture shift provides the company with an opportunity to spark the development and introduction of new products and services, allowing Best Snacks Inc. to regain its position atop the snack food industry.
Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas Each shareholder at Best Snacks Inc. has their own values, rights, and interests that they feel best complement the organization. It will be in the best interest of Best Snacks Inc. to take all the values, rights, and interests into consideration. Best Snacks Inc. most prominent shareholders are the company itself, including executives, management, and employees as well as the customers and their competition. If Best Snacks Inc. does not make some critical changes in a timely manner then they stand to lose everything. By creating a learning organization, Best Snacks Inc. will be better suited to address and comply with the needs and demands of their shareholders. Employees will think they are valued, customers will receive the best product for the best price, and shareholders will be able to see their investment pay off. While creating innovative products, Best Snacks Inc. will respect the competition and work around patents that may have been obtained by the competition. Changes in management style will assist the company and its employees to be successful.
Frame the Right Problem Best Snacks Inc. has the opportunity to overcome its complacent attitude and lack of innovation by implementing cultural change intended to boost its employee’s creative thinking skills thus fostering creativity and innovation within the organization.
Describe the End-State Vision Best Snacks Inc. will be a leader in the snack food industry, will develop and be staffed by employees trained in creative thinking, will be innovators within the industry, and will offer shareholders an excellent return on their investment.
Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation

Evaluate the Alternatives The highest rated alternative was for Best Snacks Inc. to become a learning organization. A learning organization is “an organization that purposefully designs and constructs its structure, culture, and strategy so as to enhance and maximize the potential for organizational learning to take place” (Jones 2004 p. 377). If Best Snacks Inc. changes its culture to one of a learning organization it will solve problems and help the company realize their goals. It will assist the company in becoming more creative and innovative, which will in turn increase profits and industry standing. Making this one change could incorporate all the other alternatives.
Narrowed List of Alternatives Becoming a learning organization will assist Best Snacks Inc. in meeting its goal and again becoming an industry leader. Organizational learning is “the process through which managers seeks to improve organization members’ desire and ability to understand and manage the organization and its environment so that they make decisions that continuously raise organizational effectiveness” (Jones, 2004, p. 376). Changing the management style in this way will create a ripple effect throughout the organization and change the organization on many levels. By increasing innovation on the incremental, semi-radical, and radical levels, Best Snacks Inc. can better prepare them to catch up with and surpass the competition. Not only is radical innovation necessary for the company to regain its number one spot, innovation needs to occur on a smaller scale as well to meet and exceed the customers’ expectations.

Identify and Assess Risks Change in any organization is a risky venture, especially when the change disrupts the current organizational culture. Employees often become complacent and are comfortable living within the cultural norms of an organization. Employees have indicated, via a company survey, that they will welcome change to benefit Best Snacks Inc. The employees do believe that these changes are necessary for the organization’s growth. Developing employees who are poised and ready for change will make the transition sassier and reduce the risk of resistance. With open communication and employee education these risks can be reduced even further. Using project management techniques is another way Best Snacks Inc. can reduce some of the risk that comes with such substantial change. Choosing the right people for the right tasks will be a very important part of the process. By opening the lines of communication, educating employees about the changes, and using project management to monitor tasks, Best Snacks Inc. will have a low risk of employee resistance. This will in turn reduce the cost and time it takes to institute the changes within the organization.
Make the Decision Best Snacks Inc. needs to change its management style to one style that focuses on organizational learning. The best solution for Best Snacks Inc. is to create a culture rich in creativity and innovation. Best Snacks needs to create an open system where all employees are encouraged, listened to and used to their greatest capacity. By doing this Best Snacks Inc. will become a true learning organization, one in which learning is enhanced through the very culture of the organization. By doing this Best Snacks Inc. will create the environment needed for innovation to take place. Innovation on all levels is needed in order for Best Snacks Inc. to become competitive in the snack food industry once again.
Develop and Implement the Solution Best Snacks Inc. will need to be careful not to create more problems for the company during the implementation stage of their organizational change. The first thing that needs to be addressed is collecting data on all employees and their current skill sets. This will determine how the project moves forward and which individuals will be placed in charge. Employee surveys need to be complete within the first week and projects determined and lenders assigned within two weeks. During the first three months, employees and teams will undergo training and education programs to acclimate them to the changes that are occurring and advance their skill sets is required. As soon as teams are formed and fully trained, they will be able to work on their individual projects. Each team will be assigned tasks and a timeline for the project’s completion.
Evaluate the Results Best Snacks Inc’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Fairchild, has asked for initial results to the corporate changes to be reported within 12 months. She does recognize that the process will take more than that to fully take effect because the changes are so complex. At the one-year mark, Elizabeth Fairchild will be looking for a 50 percent increase in innovative products being marketed by Best Snacks Inc. She will also be looking for at least a 60 percent increase in profits and market share. She also desires to see the company back as one of the top three industry leaders for snack foods. She would also like to see an 85 to 90 percent increase in employee satisfaction. Best Snacks Inc. executives and managers will closely monitor employee training and continuing education programs. Best Snacks Inc. will initially provide training within the first three months of the change process, but it will also be ongoing after that. Best Snacks Inc. wants to have top notch employees who are given every opportunity to excel in their areas of expertise and advance their skill sets to better serve the company. This will help Best Snacks Inc. become more effective and efficient, but more creative and innovative as well.
Conclusion
Today’s global economy has introduced new markets and increasing competition. To keep pace, organizations must be innovative, flexible, and responsive. Organizations, such as Best Snacks Inc. must develop and harness the creative talents of their employees to sustain innovation and fuel growth. This includes ideas beyond the normal boundaries and using the available skills and resources to create new product and service offerings, process technologies, and enabling technologies (Davila, 2006, p 35). Best Snacks Inc. must implement organizational strategies that support innovation and the development of new products and services as well as implement a program designed to increase its employees’ creative thinking skills. Additionally, Best Snacks Inc. should also make changes to its management systems. The system implemented by Best Snacks Inc. must be in alignment with and support its corporate strategic goals and consider the company’s stakeholders. It is critical to the ability of the company to improve sales, increase its market share, and boost its stock price that the company moves away from its strategy of incremental innovation. Developing and utilizing the creative skills of its employees will allow Best Snacks Inc. to improve processes and bring new and innovative products and services to the snack foods market.

References
Davila, T., Epstein, M., & Shelton, R. (2006). Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit From It. Wharton School Publishing: New Jersey.
Jones, G. (2004). Organizational Theory, Design and Change: Text and Cases (4th ed.). Prentice-Hall: New Jersey.

Table 1
Issues and Opportunities Identification
| | | |
|Issues |Opportunities |Reference to Specific Course Concept |
|Decrease in sales, market shares and stock |Regain top spot in the snack industry |“In fast-changing environments, the ability to learn |
|prices | |faster, better, and more cheaply than your competitors |
| | |could mean the difference between retaining market |
| | |leadership and barely surviving” (Davila, T., Epstein, |
| | |M.J., & Shelton, R., 2006, p. 209). |
|Lack of Research, Development and Marketing.|Avoid complacency by staying in tune to |“It is important to realize, however, that creative |
|No new products or services in last 5 years |the current products that are out on the |ideas are not just those that lead to major new |
| |market to be able to be competitive |inventions or achievements: Creative ideas are any that|
| | |take existing practices a step farther than the norm. |
| | |Creativity is nothing more than going beyond the |
| | |current boundaries, whether those boundaries are |
| | |technology, knowledge, social norms or beliefs” (Jones,|
| | |G. R., 2004, p. 409). |
|Lack of Training and Development policies |Hire new employees with fresh ideas that | |
| |can jump start the organization again | |
|Organizational Culture |Transform operations and culture into |“The crisis of leadership ends with the recruitment of |
| |organizational learning |a strong top-management team to lead the organization |
| | |through the next stage of organizational growth: growth|
| | |through direction. The new top-management team takes |
| | |responsibility for directing the company’s strategy, |
| | |and lower level managers assume key functional |
| | |responsibilities”. (Jones, G. R., 2004, p. 351) |

Table 2
Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas
| | | |
|Stakeholder Groups With Competing | | |
|Values |The Interests, Rights, and Values of Each Group |The Ethical Dilemma Based on the Competing |
| | |Values |
|List: Group X | | |
|versus Group Y | | |
|Best Snacks Inc. management versus |It is in the best interest of Best Snacks Inc. |The ethical dilemma presented based on these |
|employees |employees to have the opportunity to develop, use, and |competing values is fairness. The management of|
| |master their creative skills and to be rewarded for |Best Snacks Inc. must be aware of its treatment|
| |their creative efforts. Best Snacks Inc. has the right |of its employees. The employees of the company |
| |to set its own priorities and reward systems. |may seek employment elsewhere if they feel a |
| | |lack of fairness or opportunities within the |
| | |company. |
|Best Snacks Inc. management versus |The customers of Best Snacks Inc. have the right to |The ethical dilemma presented based on these |
|customers |expect innovative, affordable, and quality products and|competing values is profitability. Best Snacks |
| |services from the company. Best Snacks Inc. has the |Inc. needs to satisfy its customers’ desires |
| |right to keep operating costs down and to earn a profit|for new products (or lose them to competition),|
| |for the company and its shareholders. |which may cost money to develop while at same |
| | |time generating a steady revenue stream that |
| | |results in profits and shareholder returns. |
|Best Snacks Inc. management versus |The shareholders of Best Snacks Inc. stock have the |The ethical dilemma presented based on these |
|shareholders |right to expect the highest return on their investment |competing values is one of accountability. The |
| |in the company. Best Snacks Inc. has the right to |company is accountable to its shareholders and |
| |minimize its exposure to the risks associated with |must consider their interest in its |
| |radical innovation. |decision-making. |

Table 3
Analysis of Alternative Solutions
[Click Twice on Table to Change, see instructions on next page] [pic]

Table 4
Risk Assessment and Mitigation
|Alternative |Risks and Probability |Consequence and Severity |Mitigation Techniques and Strategies |
|Increase radical, semi-radical,|The process is risky, time |Best Snacks Inc. could lose money |Use organizational decision making |
|and incremental innovation |consuming, and costly |and reputation if the risks do not|strategies |
| |Probability is high |pay off |Benchmark other companies |
| | | |Research the competition |
|Become a learning organization |Employee resistance |Best Snacks Inc. could lose money |Employee education |
| |Time consuming and costly |and employee morale and even lose |Open communication |
| |Probability low and high |employees altogether |Budgeting |
| |respectively | | |
|Change management style to |Employee resistance |Employees could be complacent and |Employee input and education |
|increase organizational |Probability is low |resist any changes management |Open communication |
|learning | |attempts to make |Use project management techniques |

Table 5
Pros and Cons of Alternative Solutions
|Alternative |Pros |Cons |
|Increase radical, semi-radical, and incremental|Increase profit |Costly |
|innovation |Realign with competition |Risky |
| |Increase consumer satisfaction |Time consuming |
|Become a learning organization |Increase employee satisfaction |Costly |
| |Increase organizational knowledge |Time consuming |
| |Create a creative culture where innovation can |May experience resistance |
| |flourish | |
|Change management style to increase |Increased job satisfaction |May experience employee resistance |
|organizational learning |Increased performance |Time consuming if new hires are needed |
| |Increased profits as a result of productivity |Costly if training is needed |

Table 6
Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
|Action Item Deliverable |Timeline |Who is Responsible? |
|Develop into a learning organization |12-24 months |Executives, managers, employees |
|Develop a creative and innovative organizational |12-24 months |Executives, managers, employees |
|culture | | |
|Improve employee skills through training and |1-2 months and ongoing |Managers, department heads, team leaders|
|education | | |
|Select projects and project managers |2 weeks |Executives and managers |
|Determine employee skill levels |1 week |Managers and department heads |
|Review of processes and progress |6 months and ongoing |Executives and managers |
|Employee and customer feedback survey |12 months |Executives and managers |

Table 7
Evaluation of Results
|End-State Goals |Metrics |Target |
|Regain status as industry leader |Industry reports, stock market |Will be on of the top three industry leaders |
| | |within one year |
|Increase profit and market share |Company and industry reports |60% increase within the first year |
|Create a learning organization |Employee training and continuing education |Initially within the first three months then as|
| | |need |
|Improve employee satisfaction |Employee survey |85-90% satisfaction rate within one year |
|Increase creativity and innovation |Number if innovative items brought to market |50% increase within the first 12 months |

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...MMPBL 550 Problem Solution: Best Snacks Inc. Best Snacks Inc. have held the number one or two position in the snack arena giving exceptional and secure investments for their investors. In the past two years, sales have dropped drastically, the market shares have decreased and stock prices were spiraling down. The Vice President of Organizational Development, Sabrina McKay is a valuable asset with exceptional expertise that involves several organizational development initiatives. However, due to the harshness of Best Snack’s situation, the company is forced to evaluate the likes and dislikes of their constituents in order to compete with success. This paper will address Best Snack’s circumstance in a manner of resolving issues and realizing future opportunities, engaging stakeholders throughout the process to ensure success, and implementing a strategic plan involving new innovative ways and creativity as a vital part of the company’s culture. Describe the Situation Issue and Opportunity Identification The snack food industries over the past number of years have come to understand how this increasing commodity has broadened its horizon in this changing arena. In order to create a constant firm stand in this industry, Best Snacks will have to address the issues of the declining in sales, market share decreases, stock prices taking a dive, the jeopardy of losing its long-term popular place in the snack market and lack of innovation or creativity. Best Snacks has......

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Best Snacks

...Best Snacks Problem Solution Stephanie Curry MMPBL 550-Creativity, Innovation, and Organizational Design May 28, 2012 Sara Garski Best Snacks Problem Solution The snack food industry has become increasingly commodity-based over the past ten years, and while the competition has increased, differentiation among the competitors has decreased. This gradual change in the industry has caused sales to slip, market share to decrease, and stock prices to fall. The unwillingness of the company to change to the needs of the market has put the company in a position to lose its long-held premier standing in the industry. In addition to the financial and economic problems facing the company, the employees are distressed about the upcoming changes that the president of the company has implied will soon occur. Also, the employees believe that the company has done a poor job of promoting innovation in the industry which is why the organization if declining in many areas of the industry. For Best Snack’s to succeed, they must confront the problems they are faced with, and change the corporate culture from top to bottom. Describe the Situation Issue and Opportunity Identification Several issues face Best Snack’s in the increasingly commodity-based snack food industry. In a depressed economy, consumers are more likely to buy snacks based on price rather than brand loyalty (University of Phoenix, 2012). This turn in the economy has presented several problems to......

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