Gene One Proposal
June 16, 2012
Gene One Proposal
The fictional company Gene One knows about innovation. After all, its gene technology changed the produce industry with disease-resistant tomatoes and potatoes (University of Phoenix, 2012). Gene One now faces the challenge of moving the innovation needle again, this time in more unfamiliar fields. The company has set a goal of introducing two new breakthrough technologies in the next three years. These new technologies are critical to hitting a target of 40 percent growth during that same time period.
One reason Gene One has set such aggressive goals is that it also plans an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the end of three years to capitalize on market conditions and provide growth capital. However, company senior leadership lacks experience in the IPO process and the organization’s structure is not yet sufficient for a public company.
Gene One is facing a difficult period of change. The organization must keep its innovative spirit and new technology focus, while reshaping itself in the mold of a structured public company. Gene One requires planned change that is intentional and goal-oriented (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Driving Innovation
Even in an organization known for technology innovation, Gene One faces the need for a change in its approach. Technology innovation and research staff members are expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s decision to go public, believing it will lead to greater pressure to produce. Research and technology staff members also are questioning whether Gene One should leverage its knowledge in its existing fields or expand its innovation toward new markets (University of Phoenix, 2012). Since the actual innovation, research and development process is clearly one in which Gene One has a successful track record, its current innovation challenge may be more of a change management issue. Gene One needs to get research staff out of its comfort level to embrace the benefits of an IPO and to energize them about new potential markets to enter. One tactic to drive attitudinal change, without sacrificing innovation spirit, is to adopt Kurt Lewin’s three-stop model to organizational change — unfreezing, movement and refreezing (Robbins & Judge, 2011). The goal is to get staff members to take one of the most vital steps in effecting change — accepting it (Yukl, 2010). As Lewin’s theory suggests, Gene One must first unfreeze its research and technology staff from the status quo (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Gene One’s senior management needs to educate its research and technology staff about the benefits of being a public company, which will create more capital for future innovation. Leadership can point to other publicly traded companies which are innovation leaders in their fields. At the same time, since Gene One’s goal is two launch two new technology breakthroughs, the company needs its researchers to look beyond its current development lines. Gene One can unfreeze from its existing research by gathering together its staff to evaluate which research has the most promise and if existing research lines can be leveraged in new ways. Is there an existing research line, that if applied to another field, could produce a significant breakthrough? Once Gene One has unfrozen attitudes to gain acceptance by research staff, it can focus on the movement necessary to spark innovation. Gene One will be in position to refocus research efforts in new directions, shift research teams to get the most qualified people on the most promising products, and reduce the number of research projects to focus on the best opportunities. If employees are in the movement phase, they will feel less threatened by change and see it as a positive opportunity. In the final stage, Gene One will refreeze its research teams to develop its most promising few technologies. Since staff members will understand the need for technology...
References: Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2011). Organizational behavior. (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
University of Phoenix (2012). Gene One scenario. Retrieved on June 14, 2012 from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/gbam/xmba520.1/File1.asp
Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in organizations (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Yunxia, Z. (2008). Effective Signals: How Can Firms Communicate Their Strategic Intent in IPO Communications?. Academy Of Management Perspectives, 22(2), 106-108. doi:10.5465/AMP.2008.32739766
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