Grundfos: Harnessing Creativity and Innovation Research Paper
Creativity is an essential part of innovation. To put it more precisely, innovation often begins with creativity, and the lack of either will almost certainly lead to stagnation and poor performance (Serrat 2017). In the case of Grundfos, both creativity and innovation are supported by the working processes and implementations that are used in it. For example, the company uses the FISH suggestion scheme that supports the development and integration of innovative ideas provided by the company’s employees. All individual objectives are aligned with larger, more complex organizational objectives, which are supported by the strategic plan (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d). At the same time, the company’s strategic plan outlines all skills and competencies necessary for goal achievement, and employee training ensures that these are acquired by new employees during the learning process.
The presence of project improvement teams also indicates that Grundfos highly values innovation and creativity. Using these teams, employees can share their ideas with each other or provide them to the management, which does not only result in a more creative and innovation-based working process but also improves communication between leaders and followers (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d).
FISH Suggestion scheme is yet another implementation that allows employees to contribute their ideas. All ideas are reviewed and either accepted or declined; if the idea is approved, the employee who shared it becomes the Project Leader of the Project Team (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d). Knowledge sharing also leads to improvement in interpersonal trust and implementation of knowledge management practices (Vij & Farooq 2014). The use of various technologies in different organizational processes (product development, stock management improvement, etc.) also results in more solid support for innovation and creativity in the organization.
Leading with Vision, Inspiration, and Integrity
As Vacar and Dumitrașcu (2012) state, leadership is a process of influencing employees’ activities in such a way that they can lead the organisation toward goal achievement. Effective leadership that places value on people, processes and technologies can be observed in Grundfos, where the organisational purpose of becoming a global player is supported both by leaders and their followers. At Grundfos, leaders are not only role models but also supporters of innovation integration, ethical approach, and knowledge sharing (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d). Before new Grundfos Values were integrated, organisational leaders reviewed GPL values every three years. Grundfos’ intranet INSITE is used to communicate these values. A strategic map developed by the company’s leaders and KPIs is used to track the progress toward established goals and objectives.
There is a talent development program in the Group that identifies potentials who can develop their skills further, for example, at the Grundfos Academy in Denmark. A culture of empowerment that emphasizes self-management among employees is also a crucial aspect of Grundfos leadership (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d). Empowerment can positively impact employees’ performance and is therefore necessary for the overall organisational success (Meyerson & Dewettinck 2012). Change management used by leaders was essential for the company’s quick response to changing business environment; the fact that the company uses it indicates that it places a high value on being flexible and capable of addressing difficulties caused by fluctuations in and transformation of markets. The current focus of organisations on equality, empowerment of women and resulting profit can be seen at Grundfos as well (Calkin 2016).Three out of eight directors in the Management Team are women, and 40% of second line managers are women (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d). Thus, Grundfos’ leadership supports the empowerment of male and female employees equally, which is rarely observed in this market.
Calkin, S 2016, ‘Globalizing girl power’: corporate social responsibility and transnational business initiatives for gender equality’, Globalizations, vol. 13, no. 2. pp. 158-172.
Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d., Web.
Meyerson, G & Dewettinck, B 2012, ‘Effect of empowerment on employees performance’, Advanced Research in Economic and Management Sciences, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 40-46.
Serrat, O 2017 Knowledge solutions, Springer, New York, NY.
Vacar, A & Dumitrașcu, D 2012, ‘Leadership – a key factor to a successful organization-part I’, Studies in Business & Economics, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 179-189.
Vij, S & Farooq, R 2014, ‘Knowledge sharing orientation and its relationship with business performance: a structural equation modeling approach’, IUP Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 17-41.