Innovative Solutions In The Workplace

Innovative Solutions In The Workplace

This Assessment requires submission of one (1) document that includes your responses to all six parts. Save this file as IG004_firstinitial_lastname (for example, IG004_J_Smith).

When you are ready to upload your completed Assessment, use the Assessment tab on the top navigation menu.

Create your Internal Consultant Project by completing the six sections below.

Before you begin, imagine that senior management in the organization where you work, or in an organization with which you are familiar, has asked you to take the role of an internal consultant whose job it is to use creative thinking to determine an innovative solution to a challenge in the workplace. Consider the problems and challenges that the organization is experiencing, particularly in an area that is familiar to you. For example, if you are in information technology (IT) maintenance, the problem might have to do with network reliability issues. If you are involved with a call center, the problem might relate to poor performance on an important performance metric, such as, average call handling time or customer satisfaction. You will identify the history leading up to the present alarming situation and justify why this problem is important to the organization’s bottom line.

With this problem in mind, you must devise three possible solutions that are creative and viable. For example, recommending that a call center should simply be outsourced is not a viable or innovative solution. The solution should be based on use of the organization’s internal resources only.

Your Internal Consultant Project must be 8–10 pages in length, excluding the title page, reference page, and appendices.

Access the following to complete this Assessment:

· Mind Tools. (2014).  Mind Maps: A powerful approach to note-taking .

· Academic Writing Expectations Checklist

Instructions

Before submitting your Assessment, carefully review the rubric. This is the same rubric the assessor will use to evaluate your submission and it provides detailed criteria describing how to achieve or master the Competency. Many students find that understanding the requirements of the Assessment and the rubric criteria help them direct their focus and use their time most productively.

Rubric

Create your Internal Consultant Project by completing the six sections below.

Before you begin, imagine that senior management in the organization where you work, or in an organization with which you are familiar, has asked you to take the role of an internal consultant whose job it is to use creative thinking to determine an innovative solution to a challenge in the workplace. Consider the problems and challenges that the organization is experiencing, particularly in an area that is familiar to you. For example, if you are in information technology (IT) maintenance, the problem might have to do with network reliability issues. If you are involved with a call center, the problem might relate to poor performance on an important performance metric, such as, average call handling time or customer satisfaction. You will identify the history leading up to the present alarming situation and justify why this problem is important to the organization’s bottom line.

With this problem in mind, you must devise three possible solutions that are creative and viable. For example, recommending that a call center should simply be outsourced is not a viable or innovative solution. The solution should be based on use of the organization’s internal resources only.

Your Internal Consultant Project must be 8–10 pages in length, excluding the title page, reference page, and appendices.

Access the following to complete this Assessment:

· Mind Tools. (2014). Mind Maps: A powerful approach to note-taking.

· Academic Writing Expectations Checklist

Instructions

Before submitting your Assessment, carefully review the rubric. This is the same rubric the assessor will use to evaluate your submission and it provides detailed criteria describing how to achieve or master the Competency. Many students find that understanding the requirements of the Assessment and the rubric criteria help them direct their focus and use their time most productively.

Rubric

Your response to this Assessment should:

· Reflect the criteria provided in the Rubric.

· Adhere to the required length.

· Conform to APA style guidelines. You may use Walden Writing Center’s APA Course Paper Template.

This assessment has six-parts.  Click each of the items below to complete this assessment.

Part I: Myths, Misconceptions, and Barriers

Provide a short history and description of the workplace problem, including a justification of why the problem is important to the company’s bottom line. With this workplace problem in mind, complete the following:

Identify three myths and misconceptions in the workplace concerning creativity and innovative thinking that are directly related to sustaining the problem you identified.

Address how the lack of foresight and/or creativity is interrelated with lack of innovation in this context.

Identify at least three barriers that stymie creativity and limit productivity in the organization and make the assumption that you will be using an internal team to help solve the problem.

· Identify three myths and misconceptions in the workplace concerning creativity and innovative thinking that are directly related to sustaining the problem you identified.

· Address how the lack of foresight and/or creativity is interrelated with lack of innovation in this context.

· Identify at least three barriers that stymie creativity and limit productivity in the organization and make the assumption that you will be using an internal team to help solve the problem.

Part II: Divergent and Convergent Thinking

All effective teams will feature varying thinking styles. Some will be “ideators” or developers. Others will be implementers or clarifiers. You will face the task of harnessing several different thinking styles which will produce many divergent ideas on how to solve the workplace problem.

· Devise three strategies you will use to ensure divergent and convergent thinking styles can be accommodated.

· Present rationales for why you think your strategies will be effective.

Part III: Mind Mapping

Use a mind map to create a mind map for your workplace problem. You can refer to a MindTool mind map resource, for an example.

· Your mind map should be as expansive as you can make it.

· Your problem should branch into at least four related components and/or issues.

· Expand on each of these branches using as many sub-branches as needed (at least four sub-branches for each branch) to explore the complexity and connective possibilities available to each question.

· To create your mind map, you may use Microsoft Word or another format of your choice. However, if you are planning to use a non-standard piece of software, be sure you can save the file in a format that you can insert into a Word document. Insert your mind maps into your Word document as an appendix.

· Explain how you mind map accurately structures the business problem you identified.

Part IV: Design Thinking

By now, you have identified an issue or problem that can be treated in some tangible way. You have some ideas that could lead to a creative solution. It is now time to consider how design thinking can be applied to real-world business problems at your organization.

· Use Design Thinking principles to reflect on your mind map and narrow your potential solutions to the three best options for future prototyping or testing.

· Consider the possibility of integrating Design Thinking within the organization. Identify at least three ways that Design Thinking can be integrated into your organization. Identify and three barriers for such integration.

Part V: Testing Potential Solutions

As you think about your three potential solutions, it becomes necessary to devise a strategy to filter them down to one preferred solution. Design Thinking requires development of a testing protocol. For example, many prototypes were developed and tested before Apple released flagship products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. In the case of a service, Disney theme parks provide an excellent model of services that has been very thoughtfully designed and refined down to the smallest detail to maximize the customer’s experience. Many companies use Design Thinking to help redesign cumbersome procedures for streamlining customer service, reducing and eliminating unnecessary paperwork, etc.

· Describe a testing protocol for each of your three potential solutions. You may design a single testing protocol for all three solutions if appropriate or a different protocol for each of the solutions if needed. Be sure to list the criteria within your testing protocol descriptions by which solutions will be measured for effectiveness.

Part VI: Creativity and Ethics

In the world of business, it is important to test all solutions to business problems for potential ethical issues. For example, a creative solution may be considered to be costly given a tight budget. An ethical issue could arise from taking a short-cut on product quality to meet a budget constraint or vital steps could be removed from a critical inspection process in the name of increasing productivity through reduction of labor hours.

· Identify at least three major contemporary ethics issues plaguing your company’s industry and provide a perspective on how ethical your suggested problem solutions appear to be. Be sure to provide safeguards you intend to take to ensure ethics will not become an issue for any of your suggested solutions.

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