Best Snack Foods

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Problem Solution: Best Snacks Inc. University of Phoenix

Problem Solution: Best Snacks Inc. Over the last few years Best Snacks has been faced with declined sales, decreased market shares as well as steadily decline stock market prices. As a result of these changes, Best Snack is currently no longer on top of the snack food industry. The current CEO Elizabeth Fairchild, has enlisted the assistance of Vice President of Organizational Development Sabrina McKay to help change the creative and innovative culture.

The purpose of this paper is to provide solutions to the issues facing Best Snack that will allow the company to regain the new one spot in the snack food industry. The solutions will focus on the overwhelming need for a return to creativity and innovation into the organization. Describe the Situation Issue and Opportunity Identification The snack food industry is consistently changing and evolving. Best Snack currently has not been able to keep up with the competition.

Several issues will need to address before a turn around can begin. The issues with Best Snacks are lack of creativity and innovation, which has led to the decrease sales, decreased market share and decreased profits. The time is now for Best Snacks to adopt a culture that fosters creativity and innovation or jeopardize losing even more. A full outline of the issues facing Best Snack is outlined in Table 1. As a result of the survey, Best Snack has several opportunities to address with the employees. Much of the research on innovative companies points to the importance of management practices that support creative employees and their ideas” (Best Snacks, 2009, p 4). Becoming a learning organization is one of the opportunities for Best Snack. Becoming a learning organization will encourage the changes that the CEO wants to implement. As the employees become more skilled and start to use those skills the creativity and innovation will be reinforced and become a vital part of the company’s organizational culture. Senge’s principles for designing a learning organization emphasizes the importance of building shared vision, by which he means building the ongoing frame of reference or mental model that all organizational members use to frame problems or opportunities and that binds them to an organization” (Jones, 2004, pg 379). Stakeholder Perspectives/ Each stakeholder has their one ideas of how they relate to Best Snacks. The key stakeholders are the customers, the management team, employees and the shareholders.

Each stakeholder has some investment in the success of the company and each stakeholder wants a high return on his or her investment. The investment and values of each key stakeholder is identified and explained . The management team is looked upon by the employees, shareholders and the customers to make the decisions that will ensure the success of the company. These decisions include fostering an environment that fosters creativity and innovation to keep the company competitive.

The employees are looked upon by the management team to provide creative and innovation ideas that can control cost and maintain product lines. The stakeholders look to the management team and employees to work in a manner which uses the Capitol in the best manner. The stakeholders want a decent return on their investment and want to know that the management team is managing their capitol effectively. The customers want to know they are receiving value for their money as well as purchasing from an honest and reputable company. Frame the “Right” Problem

Best Snacks will provide all employees opportunities to grow and develops skills related to creativity and innovation. As the employees use these new skills, Best Snack will be come an organization that will lead the snack industry in using creativity and innovation to materialize the company’s strategic plan of increased market share, increased sales and increased stock prices. Describe the “End-State” Vision Best Snack has an upward climb to becoming number one in the snack food industry again.

Best Snacks will be to incorporate radical innovation into culture. The company will need to evaluate both the business model as well as technology to see what improvements can be made. This will be a first in the snack food industry and will position Best Snack a true leader in the industry. The next step is to increase creative thinking and innovational skills on all levels of the organization. By looking at both internal and external sources for creativity and innovation Best Snack will have a consistent flow of creative and innovative ideas for developing and marketing products.

The need for new products and marking ideas is essential to increase sales, market shares and stock prices. Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation “Making decisions on a product enhancement requires communications between many parts of the organization, including R&D, manufacturing, marketing and sales, and finance, as well as processes and criteria for making the decisions” (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p 120). Best Snacks R&D department is currently not producing the type of ideas that will lead to new innovation products required to keep the company competitive.

By creating an outreach program Best Snack R&D department will be in contact with fresh and innovative ideas. “By 2000, it was clear to us that our invent-it-ourselves model was not capable of sustaining high levels of top-line growth. The explosion of new technologies was putting ever more pressure on our innovation budgets. Our R&D productivity had leveled off, and our innovation success rate—the percentage of new products that met financial objectives—had stagnated at about 35 percent.

Squeezed by nimble competitors, flattening sales, lackluster new launches, and a quarterly earnings miss, we lost more than half our market cap when our stock slid from $118 to $52 a share” (Connect and Develop: Inside Procter & Gamble’s New Model for Innovation 2006). This served as a major wake up call for Proctor and Gamble so the company began looking at university and government labs to create partnerships to assist both parties in product research and design. Proctor & Gamble soon realized that this process was paying off because of the best ideas had come from the partnerships outside the company. Lafley made it our goal to acquire 50 percent of our innovations outside the company. The strategy wasn’t to replace the capabilities of our 7,500 researchers and support staff, but to better leverage them. Half of our new products, Lafley said, would come from our own labs, and half would come through them” (Connect and Develop: Inside Procter & Gamble’s New Model for Innovation 2006). With this new change in obtaining ideas, it was important that the culture of the company changed as well.

As Best Snacks is looking to make changes to product line, the company could benefit from creating partnerships with universities and even individuals looking to sell product ideas. Procter & Gamble has created a website in which individuals can log in and provide new ideas. Best Snacks could add a link to the company website that could serve the same purpose. The link on the website could be a cost-effective way to begin to obtain new ideas. If the website generates valuable suggestions, then the outreach program can be expanded as-needed.

The solution of a culture change and using an out reach program is the best solution for Best Snacks as it will lead to continued growth and development for the company. Evaluate the Alternatives Best Snack has attempted to use incremental innovation without much success and the CEO see this and is aware of the need for radical innovation and increased creativity. “ She determined to make Best Snacks the first consumer snacks company to make radical innovation and creativity a vital part of the organization’s culture” (Best Snacks, 2009, p 1).

The company will need to embrace the need for a culture change and work toward more products that will reach the target customers. Innovation and creativity is exactly what Best Snacks needs to regain the top position in the snack industry. The company will need to educate the employees and train them to think creativity and identify innovative thoughts. This can be accomplished by the management team identifying the behaviors of other creative and innovative companies. Once these behaviors are identified, the next step is to incorporate these behaviors in the daily routines.

These steps set the ground work to empower the employees to introduce new products. Narrowed List of Alternatives When looking at the list of alternatives presented , the best alternative solution is to look at gaining outside partnerships to assist the R team in providing new ideas. Before this solution can work the culture will need to shift to encourage creativity and innovation from all employees. The employees need to understand that the external ideas are not to replace the internal ones but to enhance the brainstorming sessions. The next best solution would be to create a learning organization.

All of these steps are necessary as Best Snacks focuses on shift to a company known for innovation and creativity. Identify and Assess Risks Best Snacks needs to understand that each solution carries a different set of risks. It’s important these risks are taken into consideration before any decision is made. The current risk that needs to mitigate is the declining sales, declining market share and declining stock prices.

The management team will need to have solid techniques in place to help the employees more toward the new organizational goals. Make the Decision When evaluating all of the solutions provided, Best Snack would benefit from all of the solutions in some manner. By developing the partnerships with local colleges, shifting the culture to foster innovation and creativity by implementing the behaviors of that lead to creativity and innovation will help to transform ideas to new product lines. The first step is to contact the local colleges to create internships program.

This program will consistently provide the R department access to new ideas. The R team can take the ideas and brainstorm how to implement the ideas. The downside of this solution is that the R department may not take the ideas seriously and not focus enough attention to the development because of resentment. The second and third alternative is change the culture to foster creativity and innovation by identifying the behaviors of other creative and innovative companies. These two alternatives are interrelated as before one can occur the other needs to occur.

The shift of culture will be hard from several of the employees because of resistance to change. The management team will need to provide change management training to employees because the future of the Best Snack is full of consistent change. The final alternative is to create a learning organization. As Best Snack is making the other adjustments to the business model, the company will have no other choice but to implement organizational learning. The benefit to this alternative is that the company will be consistently looking for new ideas and products that new learning will be required of each employee.

As the employees learn and share new skills the company continues to learn and grow and in turn the product line will continually evolve to meet the demands of the customers. Develop and Implement the Solution Sabrina McKay the Vice President of Organizational Development has a full slate to ensure that all of the pieces are in place. Sabrina’s first action item is to identify the leadership behaviors are required to lead the company. These behaviors will be identified within two months.

Once the behaviors have been outlined, over the next three months the review of the current management process will be evaluated. During this evaluation, the necessary changes will be outlined. During these evaluations, the management team will be review all polices and procedures to benchmark against the new set of behaviors and processes. The management team will have two months to complete this evaluation. Once the changes have been outlined, a new training program will be created by Sabrina and this should take approximately nine months to create and provide the training to all associates.

While the training is being conducted Sabrina will also be working on the creativity and innovation plan. This plan will include the partnerships with local colleges. Sabrina will have eight months to create and identify the best college to use for the program. Once the partnerships and training is complete the management team can continue to outline the strategies for supporting the employees in all of the new endeavors. The support for the employees is vital to the whole plans success. The project will be reviewed every six months to ensure adequately progress.

Evaluate the Results The focus for Best Snack is to become the first company in the snack industry actively using radical innovation in the organizational culture. The plan that was outlined in Table 6 and Table 7 has the project completed within the next 12 months. The changes that will be made during this time will need to be consistently reinforced by management. It is also very important that management support the employees as training and change is provided. This is the time for management to increase the trust factor between management and employees.

As the trust increases, creativity will also increase. The employees’ surveys will be used to measure how well the management team is nurturing the increased creativity and innovation. Once partnership program is in place, Best Snacks will have consistent flow of ideas for the R team to brainstorm and transform into new products. As the R team is brainstorming both internal and external ideas this lead to additional ideas. Within a year, the R team will be able to provide more marketing ideas and products in a more efficient manner.

Best snacks will a 30% increase in new products in one-year. The increase in products will start to increase company sales, market share and stock price within the year. With the consistent new ideas, increased creative and innovative thinking, Best Snack will see consistent growth over the next few years. Conclusion Best Snack has become very dependent on incremental innovation and the low risk factors that when change is urgently needed it is hard to stray from it. Best Snack is trying to become a leader in the industry but is stuck therefore the need to shift to radical innovation. The second level at which systems interact with learning is through their own improvement and the improvement of organizational processes. During the execution of a particular project, there is learning about the process itself that is captured. In other words, there is learning not only about the particular innovation, but also about how the company can improve its innovation processes” (Davila, Epstein, & Shelton, 2006, p 218). For Best Snacks to maintain the new competitive edge it is important to continue to foster the communication as well as the concepts of creativity and innovation.

Best Snacks is now in a position to use the knowledge of the past to create a better future for the employees, customers and shareholders.


  • Davila, T. , Epstein, M. , & Shelton, R. , 2006. Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It, 1e. Jones, Gareth R. , 2004. Organizational Theory, Design, and Change, 1eChapter 12: Decision Making, Learning, Knowledge Management, and Information Technology. P&G’s New Innovation Model 2006 retrieved April 10, 2010 from http://hbswk. hbs. edu/archive/5258. html University of Phoenix, (2009).

This  will determine which customers they are not reaching and then can determine value of reaching out to a new  demographic.Technology Change to drive innovation . The CEO Elizabeth recognizes the company’s need to make Davila. , Epstein. , & Shelton in the following ways: some innovated changes. Product and service offerings |associates believe that management does not quick .Process technologies decision regarding new products. The company has Enabling technologies |introduced only five new products in three years. The company needs to determine what products they want to improve on or, which new items to produce.

This new products could also require some changes in the technologies. The company has just implemented an automotive packing system and will need to find other technologies that will help decrease cost associated with production.

The nest step will be for Best Snack food to look communication between vendors. The close relationship can also help to reduce cost.


The executive team should begin to outline the learning|Jones 2004, p. 376 learning. The process for the individual through the University.

Once the through which managers learning continues with the individual, the new  seek to improve knowledge will begin to have an impact on the group and organization members’ when the group is learning the whole organization is capacity to understand learning.

Best Snack needs to outline training classes and manage the organization for all levels of the company. As the company and its environment |continues to learn the groups and individuals will  so that they begin to look deeper into process to determine ways to | | |can make decisions |streamline and reduce cost.

This is creating an with continual organizational |environment that fosters creativity. This will so help effectiveness. The following are |to decrease the fear of taking risk within the company. types of organizational learning


Organizational decision making is the This is what the executive team is currently working |Jones 2004, p. 368 | |process of responding to a problem by |on.

At the core of every organization is a set of decision-making rules and routines that bring stability and allow the organization to reproduce its structure, activities, and core competences  over time (Jones, 2004, p. 375) .Learning in a innovative organization |Sabrina will be able to provide this characteristic to |Davila. , Epstein. & Shelton | |has the following characteristics: |Best Snack foods once she is has completed her new |2006, p. 212 | |Process learning is linked to |assignment. The first step that she has completed of | | |strategy |the employee survey is an excellent start to determine .Systematic approach to complex |the current state versus the new look of the company. Organizational dynamics |She is also looking at the values and the mission of Shared vision |the company.

Both of these will more than likely be .Flexibility and agility |updated to reflect the new strategy. Once the new Timely anticipation of challenges and |strategy is determined the company will be working threats |toward a common goal and will be able to foster a Collaborative and challenging creative environment. The company currently has a Best environment. Snack University for the students but the courses are not mandatory.

The company should look at requiring so many hours a year so that each employee can continue to improve upon there skills.

The Executive management has the necessary program to the employees and support responsibility to implement the organizational |growth and development. changes in order to maintain competitive. Executive Management vs. Shareholders |Increased return on investment.

The main interest is the history of innovation,Loyalty, respect, responsibility and reputation of |market shares, stock performance, operating |company. profit, return on investment, and profitability.

The shareholders are fearful about their investments not increasing and the shareholders want to know that the capitol is being managed properly. If the capitol is being managed properly then there should be a return  on their capitol. Executive Management vs. Customers |Customer is interested in cost and quality. The CEO Elizabeth Fairchild has meeting with.The customer is also wanting accountability and customers to talk about values and how they honestly from the executive team. |compare to the competition. The customers are expecting that the company to take their  answers and work to make the necessary changes.


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