How to Build Value into Your Business Using the Innovation Value Pyramid

Resources, time, and investment are considered important factors for ensuring the accomplishment of the activities in the working environment. However, integrating values is also important for driving business growth and success (Ndalamba, 2018). There are many more reasons why building a sellable business is worth the time and effort it takes upfront. After all, a sellable business is also a growing, stable, and profitable business that does not rely on the owner for its daily operations. Every business owner wants, regardless of when they plan on selling. It is necessary that organisations clearly understand the importance of value and its integration into organisational operations. The concept of innovation in the organisation is facilitated by many aspects you should consider.

With the emergence of technology and market evolution, organisations focus on incorporating innovation as their primary strategy in the business to create a unique value against the competitors (Polding, 2016). However, incorporating the concept of innovative value is a complex process for managers and senior executives as it requires direct and indirect changes in the operating system of firms associated with employees, techniques, and goods and services offered to the customers. These changes assist the leaders in transforming the corporate culture of the firm to embed innovation value. Furthermore, integration of the value can be considered an effective strategy for innovation in the business. However, it has been observed that regardless of such a role of value in driving business, many firms do not focus or invest in increasing their organisational value (Dembek et al.,2018).

Several theoretical frameworks have been created to help businesses integrate innovation value into their routine activities. One of the well-known models is the Innovation Value Pyramid which has been designed to support the managers in embedding value in the organisation with the collaboration of the employees (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). Thus, this assignment will analyse the importance of value in the organisation. Additionally, the concepts of maximising goodwill and maximising value will be discussed better to understand the relationship between values and organisational well-being. Finally, the Innovation Value Pyramid model framework will be discussed for the effective embedding of value in the organisation with the help of case studies.

Embedding Value into the Organisation

It’s a common saying that every business should be built so that it can be sold. One of the rare certainties in business is that an owner cannot stay at the helm forever. Of course, at this point, it’s too late to do anything much about it, often causing sellers to leave millions of dollars on the table that should have been in their pocket (Fernandes, Ward, and Araújo, 2015). According to BizBuySell’s Annual Insight Report (2019), almost 9,700 businesses were sold, a 3% decrease from the previous year, which saw the highest numbers reported at almost 10,000 businesses. According to the statistics, businesses sold are almost stable, which is quite a good sign. A sellable business is a valuable business; however, a daily focus on value creation is key to achieving almost any business goal. Whether an owner wants to buy their competitor, franchise their operation, or sell the company to their management team, they need first to build a valuable organisation (Ryu, 2017).

Research in the context of the business value indicated that these values could make a significant difference for the corporate. These values possess the ability to bring behavioural change in the organisation and improve productivity and performance, contributing to the success and growth of the business (Angeli & Jaiswal, 2016). Furthermore, it has been revealed that embedding value in the organisation effectively motivates the employees and increases customer and employee commitment to the company (Direction, 2016). Therefore, values are embedded in the organisation to target three main aspects of the organisational culture. The first aspect is the core principles related to the individual’s personality, such as innovation, determination, integrity, respect, and perseverance (Turró et al., 2014).

Whereas the second aspect focuses on the attitudes and beliefs of the employees in the organisational culture. Studies have illustrated that organisation, which are evident in their values associated with the reflected behaviour, influences the actions and perceptions of the employees in the workplace. Therefore, the third cultural aspect that is influenced by the values is the standard practice followed in the company (Ndalamba, 2018).

In customers’ opinions, values can be considered as the quality incorporated in the offered goods and services (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). According to the research conducted in this field, it has been assessed that around 76% of the customers are impacted by the values reflected in the services of the firms (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). Furthermore, it has been further evaluated that organisational culture is created by the values embedded in the working environment of the organisations. Therefore, it can be interpreted that embedding values in the organisation is important for enhancing organisational performance and gaining high customer satisfaction (Ndalamba, 2018).

What is Value?

Value is a key principle of business. It is fulfilling the need to provide services to the customer. A company creates value by providing its services to customers through its products (Porter & Kramer, 2019). The top three ways of value creation are; creating new value, more value, and better value. Creating new value is difficult because it needs to be executed from the start, for example, by introducing products into new market segments. Creating more value means working on something that has already been executed. For example, creating efficiency in different processes to increase the expansion of selling products for the same price. Finally, creating better value is about enhancing something that already exists, for example, concentrating more on quality than quantity (Dziewanowska, 2017).

Ultimately, every business draws its value from its intangible assets not necessarily attributable to any stakeholder group, for example, the intellectual capital or the firm’s business model. Business value is drawn not from the size of its stockholding. Products don’t have value; benefits usually have value as they are intangible (Lin, Lobo, and Leckie, 2017). For example, a customer doesn’t go to the store to buy a drill bit; they go to the store to buy a solution for making a hole. If someone gave a better choice than a drill bit for making a hole, a customer would take it instead because the product itself holds little value. It’s the solution a customer is interested in. It’s the solution they are willing to pay for. The same is true for the business. From a buyer’s perspective, the business is a money machine. And the more effectively it does its job, sitting in the corner pumping out hundred-dollar bills, the more valuable it is.

What is Business Value?
What is Business Value?

Business value expands the concept beyond mere economic value to include other forms of value (Pearson, 2016), such as:

Shareholder Value

For a publicly-traded company, shareholder value is the part of its capitalisation that is equity instead of long-term debt. In the case of only one type of stock, this would roughly be the number of outstanding shares times the current share price. Dividends augment shareholder value while issuing shares (stock options) lowers it. The shareholder value-added should be compared to the average/required increase in value, also known as the cost of capital (Cremers, 2016). For a privately held company, the firm’s value after debt must be estimated using one of several valuation methods, such as discounted cash flow or others.‍

Customer Value

Customer value is the value received by the end customer of a product or service. End-customer can include a single individual (consumer) or an organisation with various individuals playing different roles in the buying or consumption processes. Customer value is conceived variously as utilityquality, benefits, and customer satisfaction (Oh, and Kim, 2017).‍

Employee Knowledge

Employee knowledge: This is often an undervalued asset in companies and the area where there is the most discord in reporting. Employees are the most valuable asset companies possess and the one we expect the most from (North & Kumta, 2018), but they often receive the short end of the stick when it comes to values applied to them.‍

Supplier Value

Supplier value is an important element in the supply chain that assists the business in sourcing goods and services and establishing good relationships with key suppliers (Andersen et al., 2019). Supplier value is beneficial in developing an effective and sophisticated relationship with the supplier partners, which can provide mutual profitability to both businesses and suppliers. By efficiently managing supplier value, a continuous improvement process is facilitated between selling and buying partners under standard practices (Massingham & Al Holaibi, 2017).‍

Channel Partner Value

The value of a business underpins partner relationships in the business. Partner value stresses that it can be critical to a firm’s functioning (Almquist, Cleghorn, and Sherer, 2018). If partner value is diminished or lost, it ceases to exist or carry out business activities.‍

Alliance Partner Value

Alliance Partner value is the benefits given to the alliance partners of the business. Such value creates a mutual relationship between the alliances to develop a stable balance, maximising positive outcomes (Moody-Stuart, 2020).‍

Societal Value

Societal value is the value offered to society from the delivered goods and services. These values are respect, justice, freedom, and responsibility. These values increase the reputation of the business in public by providing quality and standard products for the betterment of society (Ashby et al., 2019).‍

Innovative Culture by Embedding Values

Studies of Direction (2016) and Jakubeic (2019) emphasised that values are essential for organisational culture. The values practised in the organisation assist the employees in understanding the vision and objectives of the business. Through business values, the employees demonstrate the responsibilities they have to accomplish to achieve the determined target (Andersen et al., 2019). Scholars have asserted that if the employees share the same values, they will contribute more to the firm’s interest rather than their own as a standard work behaviour (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). This can be supported by a recent study that showed that 82% of managers revealed that their employees share the same determined values in high-performance organisations compared to 45% of the managers working in low-performance organisations (Ranta et al.,2020).

Value can be created by different processes, amongst which cultural reform is very important. Based on the survey conducted involving the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of different firms, it has been indicated that cultural reform is very important for bringing necessary changes in the working environment and increasing customer satisfaction (Turró et al., 2014). However, it has been argued that changing the culture repeatedly creates more complexity in the organisation than satisfaction. It has been highlighted by Polding (2016) that embedding transformed cultural reforms in the working environment can consequently also lead to distrust in the employees. Umrani et al. (2018) argued that the more leaders try to embed changes in the culture, the more employee dissatisfaction arises.

This practice can be reflected in the case of Zenefits under the leadership of David Sacks, the fourth CEO, who, rather than integrating change immediately, focused on increasing communication and interaction with employees to gain knowledge about their needs (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). On the other hand, it has been noted in the case of CEO Antony Jenkins Barclays that it is important that leaders take immediate action whenever a change is required to achieve positive outcomes (Moody-Stuart, 2020). Antony Jenkins claimed that he needed five years to reform the organisation’s culture by integrating appropriate values; however, his leadership was unable to survive for more than three years (Rubin & Abramson, 2018).

In this regard, it has been stated that innovation plays an important part in supporting organisational cultural reform. For embedding standard values in the organisation, the organisation must be capable of accepting innovation within the working environment. According to Wallace (2017), innovation is defined as transforming an idea or concept into goods and services to create value for customers. Furthermore, it has been claimed that for the “mission-driven” sector, innovation is an effective approach for transforming activities, resulting in achieving the organisation’s mission and increasing sales and revenues. Therefore, Gursoy & Guven (2016) emphasised that leaders must integrate innovation into their organisational culture to embed values in the company.‍

Maximise Goodwill, Maximise Value

In broad terms, intellectual capital is reflected in the goodwill value. It can be considered as the “net value” of the business. In other words, it’s the value of the business, over and above its liquidation value (the amount that could sell tangible assets). A company’s goodwill value is where most of the opportunity for growth exists (Izmaylov, 2017). Because goodwill typically has minimal liquidity (meaning it’s hard to sell in and of itself), it is a buyer’s greatest risk factor. So, one of the chief concerns of prospective buyers is how long it will take them to compensate themselves for the goodwill they bought, using profits (discretionary earnings) from the company (Sadgrove, 2016).

The value of a business is usually based on two primary variables. The number of its discretionary earnings and the length of time those earnings are likely to continue once the business has changed hands. The greater the certainty, the lower the risk (Alzoubi, 2018). As with all investments, a buyer will look for a greater return on their investment when the risk is perceived to be higher. Conversely, all other factors being equal, a buyer will be willing to pay more for a business when the risk is perceived to be lower (Petersen & Kumar, 2015). Given a little time, the good news is that we can significantly improve these risk factors, increasing the value of nearly any business.

Goodwill is the intangible assets of a business that are not gained physically but rather gained in the form of the firm’s reputation. The amplification of goodwill is highly important for the business as it creates a positive image of the company in investors’ perception. The goodwill can be increased when the customers’ trust in the business increases (Negricea & Purcarea, 2017). Thus, the companies highly stressed the importance of the maximisation of goodwill. They are constantly struggling to increase it and opt for ways to create value in their operations (Ortiz-Villajos, & Sotoca, 2018). Organisations are highly focused on increasing the value of their business, which increases the goodwill of the business.

The maximisation of goodwill is highly important as it increases the worth of the business and provides a potential buyer with a way to analyse the business’s capabilities more profoundly. Goodwill increases brand loyalty because the more reputation the company has, the more its goodwill will increase (Jajja et al., 2017). The creation of goodwill with customers increases brand loyalty. The more interactive engagement a firm has, the more they are likely to increase goodwill. They are inclined to become advocates of the product or service. This advocacy by the customer increases the word of mouth of the company. Thus, the company’s reputation is created, which is perceived in the market (Pisano, 2019).‍

Importance of Goodwill

The importance of goodwill is crucial for the business. Due to it, the business can work on its efforts more easily. Furthermore, the organisation can compensate due to the positive goodwill, which is usually neglected by the customer if the organisation makes a blunder or if there is a slight error in catering to the customers’ demands (Carvalho, Rodrigues, & Ferreira, 2016). Thus, the customer tends to forgive the mistakes of the firm on the basis that the organisation has always created positive goodwill in the customer’s mind.

The essential importance of goodwill is the main source of creating value for the organisation. Investors are more interested in reviewing the goodwill of the company. The company’s more goodwill, the more value it seems to have, as goodwill provides a pragmatic reputation. As a result, the company is perceived to provide high value in the market. The organisation tends to gain more interest and potential investors if the company’s goodwill is high (Janowicz & Luty, 2019). The goodwill that the organisation creates helps the business to grow as well. The extra effort that the business puts into its activities helps it acquire a broader market share, increase its loyalty, and, in effect, maximise the organisation’s goodwill.

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Goodwill is an essential element of the organisation’s balance sheet; its presence and weightage that it has been highly dependent on the values, customer relationships, and conduct of operations of the business (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018). It is referred to as the company’s corporate reputation, and it is one of the essential components to consider when the business is up for sale. The company’s reputation is recognised as a key driver of risk governance and control. The company’s type of image is due to its conduct and performance in the market (Zulfan et al., 2020).

It serves as a corporate advantage for the business. It can be used as a competitive advantage (Danko et al., 2018). Hence the importance of goodwill can be easily assessed by the market share and the quality of word of mouth that the company has in the target market. Goodwill not only provides a competitive edge to the organisation but also depicts the company’s current condition, which is based on the previous conduct or reputation that sums up the current corporate reputation of the company. The greater the goodwill of their organisation, the more chance the organisation has to become a top candidate for investment or provide beneficial pitches when it is being sold in the market (Danko et al., 2018).‍

Maximisation of Goodwill to create value

The more effective and positive goodwill the firm has, the more value it gains. The organisation’s value depends on the extent of goodwill that the business possesses (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018). Several ways can lead to an increased value of the organisation. However, the organisation can attain value if it focuses on achieving worthwhile goodwill. Therefore, the organisation must be fixated on improving its goodwill to amplify its value. The process of increasing the organisation’s value is the whole process that requires the input and effort of the entire organisation, especially the departments that are directly dealing with customers (Ramadan, Farah, & Daouk, 2019).

One of the many techniques for increasing goodwill is improving the organisation’s customer service. The company can be a manufacturing business, but customer service is an essential element of any business (Jajja et al., 2017). This can be done by attentive and active listening skills whilst listening to customers and training the employees to make them fully aware of the characteristics of their services and products, which will help them communicate the information to the concerned or worried customers. The integral part is to provide the customer with a friendly and warm welcome while they are visiting or acquiring the service (Dmitrović, Radovanović, & Žarkić-Joksimović, 2016). The proper analysis of customer feedback is an integral part of customer service; the feedback includes angry and dissatisfied customers voicing their complaints and concerns regarding the company’s service (Ramadan, Farah, & Daouk, 2019).

The foundation of customer service is the bases of the future relationship with the customer; building sound and interactive relations with their customer is important to create goodwill for the company (Maroofi, 2016). The relationship should be based on friendly, professional, and better aspects that make the customer a regular business customer. The recognised customers help the firm promote its reputation, and the most effective way of doing this is to treat the customer like they are respected and recognised. The company needs to address the customers carefully; they need to communicate more interactively and respectably. Thus, when the customer leaves with a good perception of the organisation, they can spread a positive word for the company (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018); this increases the firm’s goodwill and initiates the value of the company in the market.‍

Optimising channels to increase value

The more disclosure the business has in its target market, the more it can retain customers (Caraway, 2020). This phenomenon is one of the key sources of increasing the company’s goodwill by working on the channels through which the company will target its audience. In the digital time, creating and maintaining the company’s website and customising it regularly as per the preference of the customers helps the firm build a more secure and retaining place in the market (Khin et al., 2016). The firm’s availability is reflected as an effective trait of the company in the customer’s mind. Digital platforms are the most efficient way of becoming available to customers, observing their needs, and cater it efficiently. All of this investment increases the value of the business. Happy and satisfied customers result in increased goodwill for the company, which eventually leads to the amplified value of the business (Carvalho, Rodrigues & Ferreira, 2016).

These channels are social media platforms used to create an influential relationship with the customer. It is embedded in the rate at which the customers are either satisfied or dissatisfied with the organisation’s service (Lee & Hwang, 2017). Therefore, the service provided to the organisation is related to the quality of interaction that the company has with the customers responsible for the word of mouth that they generate.‍

Improving the value delivery

To improve goodwill, the company needs to focus on the value that it provides to the customers, which improves the organisation’s value. The entire process of generating goodwill for the company is deeply related to performance. This process is filled with additional procedures that the organisation needs to perform so that every possible measure is taken that can achieve the aim of increasing performance (Khin et al., 2016). The organisations emphasise the idea that the extensive value provided to the customer can lead to good performance and attractive outcomes.

The organisation that is working on increasing its potential and efficiency can provide value by implementing innovation in its workspace. This innovation is part of the products and services and the constant change that the market experiences due to the changing trends of the company (Jajja et al., 2017). The additional values offered to the customers and the satisfaction that customers express is the true basis of creating goodwill. Due to the number of competitors present in the market, the market is filled with an abundance of companies that provide more or less identical types of products or services (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018). Still, the market leader is distinguished due to its ability to provide the customers with extra value and effort that makes the customer retain the company’s name.‍

Offering better quality

The delivery of value is a broad process observed and implemented by the customers. The companies focus their attention on the little details that the customers note. These little details serve as a guide for businesses to understand the elements that can attract more customers (Yu, 2017). One of these details is the quality of service that the customer perceives in the products or services they wish to purchase. The management of the quality of the products or services is highly focused on by the organisation. They are constantly working towards providing the best qualities to them to attract customers. Several scholars have researched that the impact of quality on consumer behaviour tends to remain in the customer’s mind (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018).

This phenomenon is highly regarded as the true basis of impacting customers. As discussed earlier, organisations execute these efforts to invest in their reputation to improve. Organisations aim to create value for their business in the market by aspiring to exceed their service quality and organisation management and ultimately acquiring such practices that can accelerate the value of their business (Ortiz-Villajos, & Sotoca, 2018). The customer service, the quality, and the added value provided to the customers by the organisation are embedded in the business’s internal operations. The management and alignment of each department and the achievement of the goals of the organisation lead to generating an attractive corporate reputation. Thus, the interval elements and operations and the standards of procedures help the firm become constantly working towards in creating value for the customers (Janowicz & Luty, 2019).

This strategy has helped several organisations become more aware of the customers’ needs and deliver those needs at the right time and in the right place (Carvalho, Rodrigues, & Ferreira, 2016). The more focused on serving creativity in their business and accepting innovation in the internal aspects of the organisation by implementing the kind of operations that improve the quality of service provided to their target market. Hence, the role of all of the procedures mentioned above and aspects helps build a base of creating a long-lasting relationship with the customers to help them ultimately create values and thus increase the organisation’s goodwill (Jajja et al., 2017).‍

The Innovation Value Pyramid

Managing Risk and the Innovation Value Pyramid
Managing Risk and the Innovation Value Pyramid

Studies have highlighted three important dimensions that the business leaders must evaluate before making an innovative approach (Adegbile & Sarpong, 2018). Ranta et al. (2020) argued that simply generating ideas and concepts cannot be referred to as innovation if they are not progressed to their implementation stage. Therefore, implementation of the innovation is considered the first dimension. Therefore, the senior executives of the companies must realise that creating ideas is not just innovation until and unless it has been implemented (Dembek et al.,2018). On the other hand, the second dimension highlighted is the implementation of the ideas without making necessary changes in the business operating system (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017).

Studies conducted in several companies have revealed that firms which do not improve their structure and culture to facilitate innovation face failure (Angeli & Jaiswal, 2016). Therefore, planning is very important, along with the employees’ contribution. Innovation and continuous improvement work side by side (Rubin & Abramson, 2018). Due to this reason, executives must develop effective communication and understanding with their employees to increase their engagement and collaboration to encourage innovation. At the same time, the third dimension of innovation is being aware of the developments occurring in the external environment. Therefore, the firm’s executives must assess their external environment to identify the market trends (Ndalamba, 2018).

The case study of Kodak can be referred to assess the impact of poor market assessment and collaboration on innovation. Kodak was recognised as one of the leading technology companies of the 20th century. Steve Sasson, the Kodak engineer, was the actual first inventor of the digital camera in 1975 (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). However, the company’s management had denied accepting his innovative idea in their operating system and soon suffered from severe loss with the revolution of digital technology, going bankrupt in 2012. Thus, it can be observed in this case that the company failed to collaborate with its employee, who suggested an innovative product and did not implement it (Tanwar & Kumar, 2019).

Moreover, the management team also failed to assess the digital revolution in the market. It has been argued that if Kodak were successful in implementing such an innovative idea of Steve, the company would be called a leading digital firm in today’s work in the field of photography, having its unique value (Turró et al., 2014). To prevent this situation, companies should adopt an appropriate theoretical framework or model in their organisational culture to prevent this situation. Several theoretical frameworks have been developed to assist business leaders in promoting innovation in the working environment. However, one of these models that particularly focus on creating value for the customers through innovation is the “Innovation Value Pyramid” (Ndalamba, 2018).

The Innovation Value Pyramid is a model for increasing the value of any business by transforming it into a thriving, turn-key operation. It has four stages of operational maturity that a business must move through to increase its goodwill value while simultaneously decreasing its operational dependence on the owner or key management (Dembek, York, and Singh, 2018).‍

Owner-Driven Innovation-Level One

A new business springs to life from the ideas and imagination of an individual or a group of individuals. So naturally, at its start, a business is like a young child dependent on its parents for absolutely everything. This level can be described as an owner-driven business. It represents the lowest level of the four business maturity stages on the innovation value pyramid because all the goodwill of the business, that is, all the intangible value over and above the value of the assets, is tied directly to its owner (Khin et al., 2016). If an individual were to remove the owner from the business, it would have no value in and of itself because the business is unsustainable. It’s ironic that the owner, who is the main reason the company exists in the first place, becomes the biggest limiting factor to its growth.

At level 1, aligning the staff with a mission is impossible because the mission – if there is one – is either not actionable, not communicated, or not understood. There is some accountability with staff, but it’s arbitrary, and there is little transparency between staff and the management. Many conflicts and competing efforts result in generally unreliable and distrusted data and multiple versions of the truth (Khin et al., 2016).

In business, this first level is associated with minimal changes in the workplace with low investment and low failure risk. Therefore, it is called a low-value innovation. For example, in the manufacturing firm, this low-value innovation can be a slight change in the colour of the goods or logos as suggested by the owner (Adegbile & Sarpong, 2018). Any firm can achieve such type of innovation level as it does not involve implementing any new technology or practices for bringing that change. Although products going through such change are not modified or evolved, they still benefit from increased value. One of the famous examples of this low-value innovation is Coca-Cola (Dembek et al.,2018).

The company has been continuously going through innovation in product packaging for years. It has been analysed that regardless of the introduction of different flavours and types of beverages such as Vitamin-Enhanced Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Vanilla Coke, the classic coke product has the same stable sales and demands (Polding, 2016). On the other hand, they have also supplied a limited number of old glass bottles for reminiscing nostalgia; this has proven beneficial in increasing the sales of the products in that period. Therefore, it can be stated that the company must innovate their products and services even at a small level to generate value amongst the customers. Without innovation, the company is at high risk of failure for the evolving market nature (Wallace, 2017).‍

People-Driven Innovation-Level Two

As a business grows and matures, it takes on key people who fill major roles and become part of the driving force of the business. This level is called a people-driven business. On the Innovation Value Pyramid, people-driven innovation is assessed as a higher value than an owner-driven business because the business is no longer dependent on one person. And yet the goodwill of this business is still tied up in a few key people. It only takes one of these key people to leave, and the business can retreat, becoming owner-dependent once again. People-driven businesses are also exposed to a certain amount of risk (Trinchini et al., 2019). For example, suppose a key person leaves. They may take their (undocumented) knowledge base with them (potentially along with the client base).

At Level 2, departments are starting to form and optimise themselves; however, while they are closely aligned with isolated functional and departmental goals, there is little alignment with the organisational mission. Accountability and transparency are improving within isolated functions and roles. However, they are still somewhat fragmented, creating an uncoordinated and narrow actions, often at the expense of others; this produces the appearance of cooperation on the surface, but in reality, it is an unprincipled settlement at the core. The availability and currency of the data are directed departmentally, causing organisation-wide confusion and common disagreement is to the conflicting, functional views of data (Trinchini et al., 2019).

This second-level innovation involves changes at a higher level. This level is facilitated to integrate the demands and expectations of key people (shareholders) associated with the business, such as customers (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). For example, to consider the customers’ expectations, the firm may either introduce the differentiated product in the same product line or incorporate new features into that same product. However, as compared to level one, significant innovations are performed; thus, it is associated with more investment and risk at a medium level. An automobile manufacturing company is one of the simplest examples, which can be referred to as understanding level two of embedding innovation level (Ranta et al.,2020).

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Many firms in the automobile industry have been involved in persistent innovation regarding the features and design of vehicles. For example, at first, these manufacturing companies introduce a standard model. Then, with innovation, some investment launches a deluxe version with advanced features (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). Although the deluxe version will be the same successful product, there is still a medium level risk that customers may prefer the standard model. It should be noted that regardless of the similar product, improving or adding features seems to generate a high level of value. Within the business environment, employees will be more aware of the changes that can be integrated for continuous improvement for the demands in the consumer market (Wallace, 2017).

Whereas, this improvement will increase the value of the business amongst the customers, leading to high productivity and performance (Turró et al., 2014). These automobile car manufacturing firms such as Honda, Civic, etc., are known to implement this level of innovation in their products and services. Studies have analysed that these companies, through medium innovation, introduces their standard model in different countries with additional features to satisfy the preferences of the consumer markets of Europe, Asia, etc. (Direction, 2016). Based on the survey conducted, it has been revealed that many business owners seem more comfortable with such a medium level of innovation as it will include medium investment and risk with the implemented changes whilst satisfying the customers’ desires (Jakubiec, 2019).‍

System-Driven Innovation-Level Three

The next maturity stage in innovation is in a system-driven business. Operating systems and metrics allow key people, even the business owner, to step away from the business while functioning successfully. System-driven innovation positions the business to grow or sell and is more attractive to investors because it can run independently (Chen, Yin, and Mei, 2018). For example, hiring great people, generating new product ideas, and building your products are all tasks that can be measured and supported through documented systems.

Level 3 of the Value Pyramid is where a performance-directed culture emerges, with a more aligned and actionable mission supported by top-down metrics (Chen, Yin, and Mei, 2018). Multiple functions and departments are putting aside their differences and starting to collaborate and become accountable as a team meaningfully; there is still some lacking of transparency, but it is improving, and conflicts are resolved on an impromptu basis. Trans-functional insights are now actioned in an impromptu fashion. There is an emergence of common data with provincial views to support specific positions. The information and data are available across the organisation, but there is an uneven value. In system-driven innovation, the implemented changes cause high business value in the market. This level is the initial stage of the innovations where a large sum of financial investment has been required (Rubin & Abramson, 2018).

For this purpose, the sale forecast has to be carried out for measuring the investment return of the determined capital levels. In addition, for progress monitoring, some business resources are also utilised for risk assessment throughout the development process of innovative products (Adegbile & Sarpong, 2018). Such innovation can be introducing an innovative product and service or creating a new marketing strategy. Examples of this high-level innovation in product development such as from station wagons to SUVs as they have more market share. However, such innovation requires additional resources like research and development, manufacturing, designing, market teams, etc. However, with the investment of large money and substantial resources, high value is generated in the consumer market (Tanwar & Kumar, 2019).‍

Culture-Driven Innovation-Level Four

At the top of the Innovation Value Pyramid is a culture-driven business. A culture-driven business has a strong team dedicated to innovation and continuous improvement. Not only are systems in place, but employees are encouraged to continuously improve those systems, including the innovation system (Laužikas & Miliūtė, 2020). With culture-driven innovation, at the end of each day, the business is better than it was at the beginning of that day. The outcome of all this is an “investment grade” business. This type of business is ready to sell for the greatest value when the right buyer comes along but not under any pressure to do so in the meantime.

The performance-directed culture is now realised at Level 4 of the value pyramid. There is close alignment with the organisational mission, supported, informed, and reinforced by metrics. Therefore, an environment where general transparency and accountability thrive and timely action is taken on any insights with closed-loop processes. Conflicts are resolved quickly with well-established and effective mechanisms, and data quickly provides a single source of truth. A rhythm is created within all functions that match the value of the data and metrics (Laužikas & Miliūtė, 2020).

In this innovation, the changes are carried out to embed the highest level of value associated with the business. These changes have a significant influence on the lives of the customers, achieving enhanced satisfaction as compared to the third level of innovation, which is called “evolutionary development”. The fourth level is referred to as the “revolutionary step” in the Value Pyramid (Turró et al., 2014). Culture-Driven innovation drives the business to transform its cultural and operational capabilities to integrate desired changes in the products and services. Through this innovation, the organisation’s culture becomes efficient where employees work for the common objective of providing optimum value to the customers. As a result, the organisations show great productivity and performance with stable sales and revenues. However, it must be noted that large investments and resources are optimised to maintain the organisation’s culture (Wallace, 2017).

This culture is promoted by the collaborative work of employees who function as the company’s main assets in reaching the firm’s determined goals and objectives. However, at this level, as such innovation requires large financial investment, there is also a large risk of bankruptcy. Therefore, the senior executives must have proper knowledge and understanding of the market to determine the impact of the innovation. One of the leading examples of culture-driven innovation is Apple Inc (Turró et al., 2014). Apple Inc. is recognised as a well-known Information Technology company that sells a wide range of products and services, including iPhones, MacBooks, AirPods, Apple Watch, etc. The company has incorporated innovation in its corporate structure. It continuously innovates its products and services to meet its customers’ expectations (Angeli & Jaiswal, 2016). For example, the company had released its first iPhone called iPhone 2G. Then, it innovated it to more advanced series such as 6, 6s, 7, 7s, etc. with the sale of 46.89 million products worldwide (Wallace, 2017). Recently, the company has announced the release of new innovative products like iPad Pro, Mac mini, iPhone S.E., etc. in 2020 (Jakubiec, 2019).‍

How to Climb the Innovation Value Pyramid?

In this stage, the owner needs to implement the procedure of performing the business activities; this includes the owner-driven innovation embedded into the organisation’s foundations at this level; the owner needs to communicate the innovative nature of the organisation that can help the firm promote an innovative attitude in the employees of the firm; this is crucial as it creates a perception in the employees’ minds regarding the expectation of the organisation (Jajja et al., 2017). For example, the CEO of Amazon has promoted innovation to its employees and encouraged them to be innovative without worrying about being right or expecting to achieve the prime results with one attempt. Due to this attitude and culture created by the CEO, the company has faced several failures, which is part of the process narrated by the firm’s owner (Janowicz, & Luty, 2019). However, the firm is one of the most successful businesses in the industry, which is believed to be due to this attitude that is acquired and promoted by the owner-driven innovation in Amazon.

The second level of the Innovation Value Pyramid focuses on improving the employees’ engagement for satisfying the needs of the customers (Adegbile & Sarpong, 2018). This innovation is triggered by the identified needs in the corporate working environment. The leaders or executives have to play a significant role in motivating and encouraging the employees towards innovation (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). High employee engagement and participation in the business decision-making contribute to identifying the improvement that can be adapted in the firm’s working environment. Employees play an important role in the continuous improvement of the firm by facilitating the change. However, for bringing these changes, it is necessary that the employees are motivated (Dembek et al.,2018).

Motivation can be stimulated by implementing different processes in the workplace. One of the most effective ways to increase motivation and engagement of the employees in the workplace is by allowing them to contribute to the decision-making (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). In addition, employees feel highly motivated and encouraged if their opinions are heard and acknowledged by the management team. This develops a sense of belonging amongst them, leading to high satisfaction. However, differences in opinions can also generate conflict in the team. Therefore, the leader needs to establish good communication and relationship with the employees. Such communication and relationship enhance understanding and respect for each other, ensuring fewer conflicts in the working environment (Ndalamba, 2018).

Another practice that can be adapted for increasing motivation is creating an incentive system for the organisation (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). Offering bonuses and incentives to the employees to apprise them for their efforts in reaching the determined goals and objectives is known to improve satisfaction and belong in the team (Rubin & Abramson, 2018). As a result, the team will feel driven and acknowledge their contribution in innovation to create value. This can be achieved by designing an effective incentive model. The purpose of People-Driven innovation is to incorporate idea generating and evaluating behaviour in the routine activities of the employees; this can be supported by employee incentives and bonuses to encourage them in producing innovative ideas to meet the customers’ needs (Ranta et al.,2020).

However, the manager or leader must create an idea evaluation team of 1-5 individuals who have comprehensive knowledge and understanding in that particular area of innovation so that one specific idea can be selected (Polding, 2016). The case study of Disney can be considered for analysing the role of motivation in facilitating change in the organisation. Disney is a well-established multinational entertainment and mass media company with £54.59 billion (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017). In Disney, innovation is integrated as the main cultural focus of the company. The company employees are encouraged to provide creative ideas to improve the company’s human resources, services, and products to achieve better performance and customer satisfaction; this has made the company highly competitive at the international level (Wallace, 2017).

This cultural characteristic of innovation in Disney has empowered the firm in addressing any arising challenges and gaining benefits from the opportunities in the media and entertainment industry (Angeli & Jaiswal, 2016). For example, it has been assessed that the company has integrated new techniques for implementing new trends for customers’ preferences regarding entertainment products, amusement parks, and movies. For this purpose, the strategies are focused on persistent innovation to regulate Disney’s long-term growth and success. Therefore, the company’s corporate culture influenced by motivation has assisted the manager in maintaining stable business development (Olmos-Peñuela et al., 2017).‍

Involve Everyone and Create Conversations

To make an innovation culture effective, involving every employee remains crucial. Innovation isn’t effective in isolation (Seelos & Mair, 2017). Bringing employees together, in the beginning, may stir a better chance for success. As mentioned above, crowdsourcing can be one of the best techniques to involve employees in innovation and generate a pool of ideas within the organisation (Pisano, 2015).

The best way to inspire innovative thinking isn’t to force a brainstorming session; it creates an ongoing conversation (Kalargiros & Manning, 2015). The quality of conversation is an important determinant impacting the quality of creativity and innovation. In addition, it provides an interactive platform to bridge the gap between senior management and employees during their ideation sessions.

This is the first level of the value pyramid, and its dependency on conducting the activities of the business is on its owner. The owner is responsible for carrying forward the business and setting the business’s base and values (Ortiz-Villajos, & Sotoca, 2018). At this stage, the implementation of innovation or the core effectiveness is due to the owner’s execution. As the company is dependent on the owner’s direction, the operations, activities, and standard of procedure (SOP) are all expectant of the guidance of the owner.

The owner of the organisation believes that it is essential for the firm to have the mindset of the invention, and the acceptance of failure needs to be promoted in the organisation, which will help the employees the liberty to try out various ideas that either be creative or result as a failure to the firm (Carvalho, Rodrigues, & Ferreira, 2016). Amazon has emerged in the market with different and various new and innovative products and services, which has led to the business becoming a market leader (Toszewska-Czerniej, 2018). This is the result of the owner’s regular communication about acquiring the innovative mindset in the organisation and to accept the adverse outcomes of the attempt towards achieving innovation.

94% of senior executives agree that employees and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation (McKinsey & Company).‍

Pull, not Push

Nurturing the internal side of open innovation amplifies participation. Forcing or delegating involvement may lead to weaknesses in due course of time. Involving employees in ideation makes them understand how their ideas will contribute to the organisation’s success (Bogers, Chesbrough, and Moedas, 2018). Explain the significance of innovation and describe their potential in improving the organisation’s productivity, individual growth, rewards & recognition, overall purpose, and values they get. Employees might get motivated by recognising these values and participate in innovation.

This is the third pyramid level, where the system is riven innovation is enforced in the organisation. The organisations are focused on embedding innovation into the core operations. At this level, the operation and performance criteria of the businesses based on innovation. As the businesses have surpassed the lower levels of the value pyramid, the organisation’s culture of innovation starts to build (Janowicz & Luty, 2019). This leads to the formation of a structured operation department that does not require the intrusion of the owner. Instead, the owner embeds the innovation factor by promoting more structured documents that can easily guide the employees on generating innovative products and ideas that promote the institution more automatically (Jajja et al., 2017).

The system-driven innovation in the organisation is implemented in the organisation by communicating and guiding the employees to be more vigilant towards their environment and to adapt the changes that are happening in the market to develop such products and services that can help the organisation in becoming more adaptive and inventive (NEGRICEA, & PURCAREA, 2017). At this level of the pyramid, the organisation is fully aware of the protocols and emphasis on innovation. Therefore, the owners can step back from guiding the employees. The documents related to the concerned procedure helps the employees in carrying out the procedure.

System driven innovation is profoundly embedded in Apple. The technological firm has focused on innovation from the start of their creation. The company has always inclined to create products that are beneficial for the people who are using them. The co-founder of Apple has emphasised innovation in the organisation’s environment from the very beginning of the organisation (Carvalho, Rodrigues, & Ferreira, 2016). The tech giant organised two meetings a week, one of which is called the right-brain creative meeting that aims to encourage the employees to brainstorm for ideas. The second is a regular staff meeting, discussing the weekly events of the company.

The meeting is based on the rules that the employees need to be free from any constraint; they should think beyond their barriers and develop innovative ideas. These meetings are still arranged in the organisation even after the firm’s Co-founder is no longer alive (Janowicz, & Luty, 2019). The organisation has adapted to the idea of innovation that was deeply embedded in the system of the organisation. At this point, Apple has developed a culture of innovation in the organisation that relies on the ideas, values, and vision of the organisation’s founders. It does not require the intervention of owners to remind the employees regarding the core values of the organisation.‍

Create Awareness

Creating innovative ideas that drive business growth doesn’t just happen; it requires a strategic orientation to adopt the culture and generate new ideas. It is a proven way to encourage the widest range of participants in innovating. Creating awareness by running campaigns is a proven way to generate interest to use the ideation space. This awareness directly influences capturing creative ideas, stirring enhanced productivity, cutting down operational costs, and driving improvements from the bottom up in a short period (Bridges et al., 2019). This campaign can be within your organisation’s social network via emails, news, events, announcements, posts, etc.‍

See also  Unlocking the Power of Innovation through Strategic Study

Innovation Management Tool

Employees might not have a separate place and time to meet to discuss ideas addressing a common challenge. Introducing an innovation management platform can create a digital workplace environment where employees can interact, collaborate & contribute ideas, and evaluate, select, and provide the best innovative strategies across the organisation anytime. According to Innovation Management Market by Function, Deployment Mode, Enterprise Size – 2025, it is predicted that the Innovation Management market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 421.6 Million in 2017 to USD 1,519.2 Million by 2022 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.2% during 2017–2022. Incorporating innovation management software or tools like Viima (an innovation platform transforming ideas into innovations) can play a major role in fostering employee engagement and involvement in innovation using techniques like gamification (Khalil Mustafa, 2016).‍

Honesty and Transparency

Transparency boosts the culture of innovation. It is essential that employees know the buzz around the ideas shared, challenges posed by the organisation, etc. Often employees are left in the dark, having no clue on further steps on the ideas posted; this may create chaos and trust issues in the entire innovation initiative (Zhong, 2018). In such instances, social collaboration tools can provide a platform to employees where they can collaborate, communicate, engage, and share the selection process updates in real-time. According to Deloitte (2017), millennials want to work where they feel empowered and accountable – where they feel they can make a difference and impact.‍

Recognition and Rewards

Building an effective reward and recognition system is key to maintaining and encouraging innovation. Appreciation and recognition are essential to an outstanding workplace. Employees want to be respected and valued by others for their contributions. When employees and their work are valued, they seem happy, loyal, and satisfied with the organisation. Therefore, developing an effective tool for rewards and recognition can encourage and keep employees to post their ideas to be recognised and rewarded for their effort (Daher, 2016). Elements of gamification in innovation management tools can help streamline the rewards mechanism. For example, awarding points to the highest contributor or bestowing the winning idea can fuel competitive spirits and active participation. As organisations strive to develop an innovative culture, it is necessary to consider implementing the right strategies to bring about transformation from the ground up. Integrating effective idea management software or tools into the digital workplace can collaborate, capture, evaluate, and pick innovative ideas that can help in business growth (Serrat, 2017).

Looking to transform the ideas into powerful business outcomes? Check out Viima or book an ideation workshop with Innovolo. At this stage of the pyramid, when the organisation has achieved all the other types of innovation and has emerged to embed the innovation in the organisation’s culture. The organisation is free from any further intrusion from the owner. At this point, the organisation has managed to capture a major share of the market; the customers are satisfied with the products and services of the organisation (Janowicz & Luty, 2019); this leads to the increased value of the business in the market, which, in effect, amplifies the firm’s goodwill. This level of the value pyramid is achieved by embedding innovation into the organisation’s culture. The entire film is based on implementing creative thinking into the organisation by motivating the employee at each part of the production and idea generation of the product (Jajja et al., 2017). The firm’s managers create the collaboration to work as a team throughout the design of the products. The company’s managers thrive on creating a decentralised environment for the employees to brainstorm ideas that fit the marketplace’s dynamic environment.

Implementing innovative culture also requires the organisation to be more receptive to the failures of creative ideas. Culture-driven innovation results from continuous attempts towards achieving optimal results and not to be demotivated if there is no success (Gursoy & Guven, 2016). The organisation’s management needs to adapt to the changing trends and encourage the employees of the organisation to be vigilant in adapting to the changes in the organisational environment.

Google is an organisation that has culture-driven innovation; the firm is focused on deriving innovation in the organisation’s operations. It organised Google events where different speakers are invited to encourage and generate open-mindedness in the employees (Gursoy & Guven,2016). It encourages transparency between the employees and the organisation’s owners to promote a more innovative way of thinking. The company has created a 20%-time policy, where the employee has to spend 20% of their working hours working on their pet projects. The outcomes of these projects include Google Maps, Google News AdSense, and Gmail.‍


The company develops such organisational culture where there is always flexibility to implement new changes concerning the evolving trends in the market to meet the customers’ demands. The employees are highly engaged and motivated to ensure the achievement of necessary activities to increase the productivity and reputation of the business. It is important that the senior executives carefully assess the innovation success rate in the market before implementing the required changes. However, it should be considered that collaboration and engagement of the employees are required to create values through innovation. Such transformation can only be achieved if the employees show commitment and positive behaviour towards innovation for the firm’s benefit.

Suppose the employees have a clear and adequate understanding of the values. In that case, they will reflect the same behaviour and attitude in the organisation to achieve the determined goals and objectives. Innovative ideas must achieve their implementation stage to generate desired outcomes and results. The need to capture and maximise that intellectual capital in a sustainable and sellable way can cause a sufficient increase in its value (Nimtrakoon, 2015). The challenge is, in most businesses, most of this value is stored inside the heads of a few key people in upper management. So, we need a method to get it out of those heads and bring it to life within the business itself.

The Innovation Value Pyramid is an effective framework for embedding value in the organisation through different levels of innovation. Cultural reform can be facilitated to support the productivity and quality of the firm’s operations. Thus, it is necessary that before embedding values in the organisational culture, the employers have comprehensive knowledge of the concerns and opinions of the employees. Leaders or executives play a significant part in making the employees aware of the need for innovation to embed value in the business. Although such innovation also seems to have high product risk in the market, there is also a large possibility of benefits for the business. Therefore, to determine the probability of the risk and success of the innovation, the executives must conduct a comprehensive market assessment. Such an assessment will help determine whether or not the particular innovative idea should be implemented for its value.


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