Innovating steps taken by Booz Allen & Hamilton
The first innovative steps that were taken by the top management was that the employees were asked to work as a team rather than on an individual basis where the employees were asked to share data with one another and understand that there are other employees who may benefit from this information. However, the employees disapproved with this change because they were accustomed to the compensation plan that was on an individual basis rather than on a team basis.
The company then went on to implement another strategy where the employees were asked to maintain a database with all the information of the companies they are working on individually and then allow the other employees to access the centralized information for any support that they need for their assigned tasks. The strategy then kept intact the culture of the workplace as well allow the employees to cooperate with one another virtually. The top management also considered working with two other strategic decisions that also allowed it to work well.
Evidence for the Argument The argument about the differences between the product development needs of a consulting firm and operating companies is now being understood because there is a need to consider that any operating firm would always have more perspectives through which it can bring about innovation. Any operating or a manufacturing has several facets such as that of operations, sales and many others where it can bring innovation through the different channels of communication that is available to it.
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However, there is a lesser chance of a consulting firm to do s since it does not have any products but rather works only services. For a manufacturing firm, the top management can consider changing the assembly line order by simply speeding up the production or brining in a technological change that would allow the firm to produce faster and improve upon the quality of the products. This would then, in turn, allow the firm to be strategically innovative and then the firm would be able to gain an advantage over its other competitors.
However, for a consultation firm, it is necessary that they understand the channel that they will be suing. For any manufacturing firm, the channels that can be sued are that of media as well as for selling face to face. However, for a consulting firm, they can only allow physical interaction with the customers. The consulting firm does not have many options to innovate where it can be different from the competitors. The Booz & Allen company did consider being different and was the first to provide consultation services to its clients according to their needs.
Even though a bank or any other services organization works with no products, they still have the charm of being able to manipulate the services in a manner where they may seem to be unique in the way that they are selling the product. On the other hand, for a consulting firm, there is very less of what they can do in order to bring about innovation in their services because they deal with different firms and in order to innovate, there is a slight amount of standardization that is required. For standardization, there is a need for the customers to be treated in almost the same manner with the same range of products.
For a consulting firm, there is a need for the employee to keep switching the services of the company depending upon the requirements of the client because every client would have a separate issue and this would cause the employee to consider different options for allowing the client to create successful returns in his / her business. For a consulting firm, there are no set of products which can be sold to the clients base don a certain criteria. There is a need for every employee to thoroughly work with the clients in understanding their business and the problems they are facing so that they can be solved.
The consulting firm can not assign products for every client. Hence, there is a greater difficulty for innovating like any manufacturing firm. However, there are other ways in which the consulting firm can innovate so the statement can not be completely agreed with. Every firm has a separate way of innovating their processes which is why there is a need to understand that not all firms can be compared with one another in order to understand which ones can innovate and which cannot. The consulting firm can, in fact, innovate through the strategic means that they have of information.
As Booz & Allen has done, the information has been collaborated in a manner which can be used by different employees for similar situations that they may face as the employee who entered the data. Conclusion In conclusion it can be said that the statement ‘Brian Dickie indicated that there were differences between the product development needs of a consulting firm and operating companies’ can be agreed with. However, there is a need to understand that the consulting firm has its own perspectives and a manufacturing has its own.
Hence, the two can not be completely compared with one another on the basis as to who can perform or innovate in a better way. The consulting firm does, however, differ from an operating firm where innovation and product development needs come in because they will need to consider the different services they provide and how they can bring about standardization to the maximum in the services they provide.
References Wikipedia. (2007). Innovation. Retrieved on October 31, 2007 from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Innovation.