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Global Investment Company: Learnings From India

1713 words - 7 pages

THE GLOBAL INVESTMENT COMPANY: LEARNING FROM INDIACase Background Information: The Global Finance Company (GFC) is the private arm of the Global Bank. It is tasked to foster economic growth in developing countries and performs several important tasks to achieve this goal, such as financing private sector investments, moving capital in the global financial markets and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. The Mumbai office director is looking to increase the development of new products and services and new ways of meeting the customers' needs applying reverse innovation principles and knowledge management, as long as these efforts provide value to the organization. The ...view middle of the document...

The solution, however, will not be strictly technological. As was read in the Case Background Information, sharing knowledge within a data repository has not proven to be the solution, and rather, "was met by yawns". If one asks oneself why knowledge isn't already being shared around the organization, either cross-organization or even from one GFC department to another, generally it is because the customs, habits, or values in the organization don't allow it. (Denning, 2006). In effect, the organization may not be providing the right incentives to foster a change in the organizational culture.This is one reason why American companies with a traditional "top-down" model for innovation have found it more difficult to keep up with other firms in emerging markets. (Phillips, 2011) The horizontal innovation model employed by some Indian firms overcomes what Jeffrey Philips --in his book "Relentless Innovation"-- calls the major obstacle to developing an innovation-focused (and knowledge sharing) culture: senior management themselves. Indian leaders' roles, as described in the book "The Indian Way" are to develop the organizational culture to foster employee-led innovation and process improvements. The implicit idea being that senior managers are not innovators themselves; rather, they are keepers of the organizational culture. Under the traditional top-down model, the main barrier to innovation is not creativity or generating new ideas… the biggest barrier to change -and thus innovation-- is cultural inertia and fear, and as shepherds of this culture, managers are seen as a disruptor to innovation and change (Phillips, 2011). Indian leaders, on the other hand seem to have recognized this either explicitly or implicitly and see it as their job to create the 'framework' to allow employees to grow, become creative and participate in bringing about innovation.MindTree, one of the top IT consulting firms in India, is a good example of a company where ideas are fostered from the top, but flow upstream; MindTree, also employs knowledge management systems throughout their organization to successfully develop and employ best practices and knowledge sharing. Their blueprint, however, focused first on developing an organizational culture that embraced the value of sharing. MindTree launched a multi-year effort to establish the values of the organization as a whole: caring, learning, achieving, sharing and social responsibility. This focus on organizational values is what facilitated the implementation of knowledge management in the firm. (Datta, 2006)Our strategy for GFC is to develop an environment that fosters innovation and knowledge sharing and provides the necessary incentives for employees to develop it. This will be through a combination of an intranet Knowledge base (with wiki properties), establishment of communities of practice and setting the appropriate incentives and project performance metrics. As has been stressed before, the first and most...

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