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That Special Touch Case

That Special Touch Case

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Published by: {OK} on Jan 19, 2013
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Name: Hafiz Aftab MustafaStudent ID: 12E0016
That Special Touch: Case Study Solution
Q-1: Do some research on Six Sigma. Explain what it is. Do you think itsreputation as a “creativity killer” is justified? Why or why not?
Six Sigma is relatively a new concept in the operations management literature. Itseeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing thecauses of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and businessprocesses. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statisticalmethods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization("Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc.) who are experts in these methods. Each SixSigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of stepsand has quantified financial targets. Initially it was introduced for the manufacturingfirms but with the passage of time its effectiveness in the service sector has alsobeen increased.In Operations Management Literature, Six Sigma is a new concept that improves theoverall manufacturing process, seeking to control the quality. There is a misconception about Six Sigma that it is a creativity killer. This is not truebecause we have many examples all over the world in which companies are veryinnovative and yet they are also getting benefits of efficiency through theimplementation of Six Sigma. We have example of 3M and Starwood hotels, boththese companies have an innovative culture and they have implemented Six Sigmatoo. This shows that the assumption about Six Sigma as creativity killer is wrongand some people are hiding their incapabilities by blaming it.
Q-2: What does this say about what Starwood has accomplished with itsSix Sigma program? What could other companies learn from Starwood’sexperience?Answer:
In this modern era, everything is changing. We have seen manysuccessful companies failing due to not matching up with the pace of change. Thesuccessful companies are proactive and they understand the change and needs tobe innovative. Starwood is also among those companies who have managed toremain innovative and are successfully implementing modern techniques andunderstanding the changing demands for its customers. Starwood’s biggest source
 
of innovation is its employees. Other companies can learn from Starwood that thebest innovation can be found through listing and involving your staff instead of hiring some expert and paying him/her a huge amount of money.Another important learning for other companies from Starwood could be theimplementation of Six Sigma program. Six Sigma complements innovation andprovide a strong support to become more efficient and effective.
Q-3: How important do you think it is to have a culture of creativity? If acompany does not have such a culture, what could managers do?Answer:
It is very important for all the companies to have a culture of creativity. Ithas been evident from past few decades that most of the creativity that world isenjoying was came from internal ideas. The staff understands the capabilities andconstraints of the company better and hence they usually come up with morepractical and doable ideas. The culture of creativity also increase the stafinvolvement and they get the sense of being important for the company and it alsomotivates them and make them more loyal to the company and perform better.If the company does not a culture of creativity, the manager should try to changethe culture and make it culture that appreciate the creativity. The manager couldstart this by increasing the involvement of the staff related to the matters whichrequires creativity. The manager could also start a special reward program for thosewho come up with good creative idea. To change the culture, it is very important tochange the mind set. So this could be the first step for the manager in changing anorganization’s culture.
Q-4: What else might Starwood do to promote creativity and innovation?Answer:
Starwood is getting most of the creative ideas from its staff for free andthese ideas are also very effective. It should involve its customers too in thisprocess of creativity. It can promote the creativity and innovation from itscustomers while focusing on the below given points:
Customer feedback
Customer surveys
Special activities with the customers and finding their opinion
Provide gifts to its customers for giving any good idea
Use of internet and company’s website to know the expectations of thecustomers

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