Innovation and Risk Management

Innovation and Risk Management Order Instructions: Assignment Task
As a consultant for an international innovative organization of your choice, you have been tasked with producing a strategic growth report for your chosen organization as they embark on a growth strategy and are considering introducing a new product to their product portfolio in order to be more competitive in the market.

Innovation and Risk Management
Innovation and Risk Management

Within this report, you are expected to demonstrate how your chosen international organization qualifies as ‘innovative’. In addition to this, you are to critically analyze the main components of the New Product Development (NPD) process and recommend ways by which it can be integrated into your strategic growth report.
Total Marks for Assignment: 100

Explanatory comments on the assessment criteria
Knowledge and Research (content, relevance, and originality)
A clear demonstration of rigorous research from recognized authoritative sources. Audience focus. Meeting the deliverables (35%)

Writing and Presentation (format, references or bibliography, and style)
Rigorous use of the Harvard Methodology for citation and referencing; page numbering; correct display of direct quotations. (10%)

Argument and Analysis (Critical analysis, evaluation, and application)
Constructive critical analysis, introduction, conclusion. Demonstration of a clear understanding of the issues. Use of academic models. Full articulation of ideas developed. Offering well-argued solutions and/or alternatives if and where appropriate. (55%)

format is report

Innovation and Risk Management Sample Answer


The increasing level of competition in the contemporary world calls for companies to invest highly in strategies such as innovation in order to a niche for themselves. Innovation has been acclaimed for its contribution to business growth and performance, based on the utilization of new and unique ideas that set an organization apart from competitors. Since 1856 when Burberry Group Inc. was formed, the company has been at the vanguard of the fashion industry; outshining its peers to become among the most noteworthy names in the industry. This can be attributed to its commitment to excellence, but most importantly, its innovative nature that has seen the company provide customers with the trendiest products.

As the company embarks on a growth strategy that will ultimately lead to the improvement of the company’s product portfolio through the introduction of a new product, there is need to understand the company’s current position. This strategic growth report will demonstrate how the company is performing in terms of innovation, how Burberry has managed to achieve innovation and describe the new product development process components. It will also offer recommendations on how new product development can be integrated into the strategic growth report.

What constitutes an innovative company?

Preceding research indicates that a company’s competitive advantage is synonymous with its level of innovation, meaning that any organization that seeks to succeed in a competitive environment must consider innovation as a mandatory strategy (Radomska & Sołoducho-Pelc, 2015, p. 107). Innovation is explained as the process of developing new and unique ideas, methods or products; and provision of new solutions to meet unarticulated needs (Agarwal et al, 2014, p. 5). In order to be considered highly innovative, a company’s processes, resources, products or services must solve an existing problem, be unique and inimitable (Chew, 2012, p. 2-4).

Innovation may take various forms including linear and flexible innovation models. Linear innovation involves executing innovation in phases, such that one phase must be complete before the other one can be commenced, in order to minimize risk. Under linear innovation, there is the technology push model which involves innovation based on the emergence of new technology; and market pull model, where the user needs or market forces influence innovation (Pantano & Viassone, 2014, p. 44-45). In both models, the process is sequential and involves conducting research, idea generation, research, development and test marketing, with each being completed at its own time. Flexible innovation, on the other hand, may be influenced by different forces and not necessarily market or technology based. The innovation phases may be executed concurrently and do not follow any order.

In order for a company to be deemed as being innovative, it must exhibit the following characteristics:

A clear vision and mission denote among the most important characteristic of an innovative company. The vision and mission guide the company and its employees on the ultimate goals of the organization. This plays a role in promoting innovation as the organization works towards achieving set goals.

The leadership in a company matters where innovation is concerned. This is because the leader plays an imperative role in providing guidance and instilling values that drive innovation within the company.

An open supportive environment is an important aspect when it comes to innovation. Highly innovative companies, promote an open environment in which people are free to suggest ideas, no matter how simple they may be. An informal environment that promotes brainstorming and discussion of valuable ideas is promoted.

An innovative firm maintains a highly qualified and diverse workforce in order to maximize the chances of success. Each of these individuals brings in unique skills and capabilities; and different talents and mindsets necessary in enhancing innovation (IBM, 2016). To enhance this, the company must set innovation as a required capability during the hiring process and performance review process.

Teamwork and inclusion play a vital role in enhancing innovation. Therefore, truly innovative companies value their employees and are open to ideas that they may have regarding product development, process changes and organizational growth (Andries & Czarnitzki, 2014, p. 22-23). Through team collaboration, great ideas are developed, thus making room for innovation.

An innovative company is one that clearly understands its business environment including the strengths of competitors; who their customers are and their needs; new market trends and changes in customer needs; and what strategies competitors are taking to fulfill them (Radomska & Sołoducho-Pelc, 2015, p. 100).

An innovative company constantly engages its customers and is open to suggestions and input from customers. This means that besides the usual customer surveys, constant interaction with customers is encouraged to promote need identification and obtain new ideas in the development of new products (Grant, 2016).

Lastly, innovative companies accept failure as part of the learning process. Successful innovation is desirable, but failure is also an opportunity to learn and improve organizational strengths for sustainable innovation.

Burberry as an innovative company and Innovation and Risk Management

Burberry is a fashion icon, having managed to build its brand name over the decades. However, it is its innovation efforts that have been instrumental in the company’s growth. This ranges from the development of unique products to innovative use of technology to reach out to its customers and enhance its brand. Based on the discussion on what constitutes an innovative company, Burberry’s achievements in terms of innovation can be described as below.

In its lifetime, Burberry has produced numerous unique products for its clients. The company is known for its unique design pieces, fragrances, and jewelry. These products are made to create a competitive advantage through their unique characteristics that differentiate them from those of competitors (Burberry, 13). However, it is a technology innovation that has been at the helm of Burberry’s success in the modern competitive market. Burberry has been proactive in developing new ways of connecting with clients. Burberry has been labeled a luxury digital brand whose focus is now on e-commerce leadership (Bureberry, 2016, p. 30). This comes at a time when the digital revolution is influencing customer trends to a great extent and online business has grown exponentially.

According to Moore (2015), Burberry is leading in embracing technology within their stores and online presence, in an industry where many players have achieved little. In 2009, the campaign dubbed Art of Trench that allowed customers to share their photos in Burberry trenches was a great success and a catalyst of the company’s current digital innovation. The campaign increased Burberry’s followership and created additional traffic to its website, besides the increase in e-commerce sales by 50%. In 2013, Burberry in partnership with Google launched Burberry Kisses, a campaign allowed users to send virtual kisses around the world to individuals of their choice. This created increased traffic to their site and increased the luxury brand’s popularity. Burberry is expected to gain significantly from digital innovation, having successfully created value for the brand based on user-generated content, shared experiences and increased convenience in shopping (Moore, 2015).

Effective and proactive leadership has been a major drive for innovation at Burberry. The current CEO Christopher Bailey also serves as the chief creative (Jones, 2016). This is bound to enhance innovation within the company due to the influence of leadership in the organization.

Customer engagement at Burberry high and this has been instrumental in enhancing innovation. Based on customer feedback, Burberry is able to design products that specifically address customer views and in line with current trends (

Having a dedicated innovation team is of significant essence for firms that focus on innovation and Burberry has been successful in achieving this. The ‘What If Group’ is the special innovation group within Burberry that is concerned with the development of wearable technology and innovation. The group which consists of people from different departments have monthly meetings for discussions on new ideas in fashion, technology, and retail.

Every employee at Burberry is valuable and a significant contributor to strategy. Employees at Burberry are encouraged to be creative and to share ideas that could help the company become more competitive through the development of new products, new designs and other aspects that may be of importance (Burberry, 2016, p. 44-45). An open culture at Burberry, allows employees to be creative in their own way, leading to better outcomes in terms of innovation.

New product development process components for Innovation and Risk Management

Development of a new product consists of different components that ensure the product achieves the intended objectives. The NPD process as described by Bhuiyan (2011) includes seven steps as demonstrated below:

New product strategy involves aligning the development process with the objectives of the company. It provides a basis for concept generation and screening criteria guidelines. It can be established as the most important step in the process because it involves identifying the need to develop the product.

Idea generation entails seeking product ideas that align with the objectives of the company. This means that the product must project the overall goals of the organization.

Screening is the initial analysis of ideas to determine which ones are feasible and worth further study. At this juncture, the company has identified different possibilities and screening helps in identifying the most reasonable ones.

The business analysis follows the screening process, with the objective of exploring selected ideas to determine their worth, based on parameters such as profitability, execution, sales volume and return on investment.

The analysis is then followed by the development stage, where the idea is executed to develop a product to meet the needs identified. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the practicability of the idea.

Testing plays an important role during NPD as it involves establishing whether the product will work as anticipated. It involves conducting commercial experiments, with an objective of verifying prior business judgments.

The last phase of the NPD process is commercialization. This is the actual launch of the product to the market, for target customers to purchase. This may be accompanied by a formal launch or marketing activities to inform customers about the new product.

Integrating NPD with strategic growth report and Innovation and Risk Management

As Burberry embarks on promoting its performance through continued innovation and the development of a new product, understanding the NPD process is of great significance. In this relation, Burberry needs to establish factors that make every component of the NPD process successful, and then put innovative strategies in place to ensure that the organization the product launch is a success. Before making a decision on which product to add to the company’s portfolio, the first step would be to establish the current market trends, based on customers’ needs. This should be accompanied by studying the industry to determine the kind of projects that competitors are undertaking and the kind of products they are planning to bring into the market. In obtaining relevant market information, interacting with customers is of great relevance. Social media is a rich source of information and through interacting with customers, Burberry is likely to get an idea of what customers may be looking for.

Generation of ideas spells out the first aspect of the innovation. It is at this juncture that the company will engage its employees and the innovation team to brainstorm and think through possible ideas to be used in satisfying the identified customer needs. During this stage, every idea is important and should be given adequate consideration. As established in the strategic growth report, one of Burberry’s secret towards innovation is employee inclusion in the generation of ideas and having a dedicated innovation team. This means that the idea generation stage should not be difficult to achieve and that the resulting product would be highly innovative. It is also notable that the company thrives on teamwork to enhance organizational success through innovation. Accordingly, screening the ideas identified should be a teamwork affair, where brainstorming, accompanied by rigorous research should be undertaken to determine the best idea to implement. This is an important stage in the NPD process as it will determine the future growth of the company.

While innovation is necessary at all points of the NPD process, the product development stage is particularly sensitive because the nature of the product will determine whether it will perform well in the market or not. This calls for high-quality materials and innovativeness in the production process to ensure that the product will attract demand. The design team must take adequate time to create a product that meets customer needs based on the survey conducted during the need identification and then work towards developing a product that would prove difficult to imitate. The screening process plays an imperative role in determining whether this has been achieved.

Innovation does not end at the production process and it is therefore imperative that Burberry undertakes innovative marketing strategies, with the aim of reaching the intended customers. The company’s digital technology is a good starting point because it offers interactive media for reaching clients. Indeed, the company’s future growth is directly proportional to customers’ perception of the product, hence the need to enhance innovation.

Innovation and Risk Management Conclusion

Burberry is a verifiable example of an innovative company and this strategic growth report is an indication that the company can successfully launch a new product based on the strengths portrayed herein. Through great leadership, teamwork, employee inclusion, leadership in fashion technology and high-tech products, the company has proved that innovation is the key to company success. Based on the NPD process, Burberry has great potential for success and its innovative nature will ensure that the anticipated product exceeds the needs of its customers.

Innovation and Risk Management Reference List

Agarwal, R et al 2015, The Handbook of Service Innovation, Springer, London.

Andries, P, & Czarnitzki, D 2014, ‘Small firm innovation performance and employee

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Bhuiyan, N 2011, A framework for successful new product development, Journal of

Industrial Engineering and Management, Vol 4, Issue 4, pp. 746-770.

Burberry 2016, Annual Report 2015/2016, Retrieved from

Burberry website,

Chew, EK 2012, Knowledge-Driven Service Innovation and Management: IT Strategies for

Business Alignment and Value Creation: IT Strategies for Business Alignment and Value Creation, IGI Global, Hershey PA.

Grant, RM 2016, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: text and cases, 9th ed, Wiley

& Sons, Chichester.

IBM 2016, Diversity & Inclusion Diversity of People. The diversity of thought: A smarter way to

innovate every day, Retrieved from

Jones S 2016, How will Burberry’s changing leadership impact the brand?, Retrieved from

How will Burberry’s changing leadership impact the brand?

Moore, A, 2015, Burberry: Leader in Retail Tech, Retrieved from

Burberry: Leader in Retail Tech

Pantano, E, & Viassone, M 2014, ‘Demand-pull and technology push perspective in

technology-based innovations for the points of sale: The retailer’s evaluation’, Journal Of Retailing & Consumer Services, 21, 1, pp. 43-47, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 July 2016, Retrieved from

Radomski, J, & Sołoducho-Pelc, L 2015, ‘Business Strategy In Innovative And Non-

Innovative Companies Of Various Sizes’, Problems Of Management In The 21St Century, 10, 2, pp. 100-109, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 July 2016, Retrieved from

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