Leadership Case Problem : Sparking Innovation at Gap
This case illustrates the idea that even a company with a world-leading brand might struggle to find the right type of creativity and innovation. 1.
What steps do you think CEO Murphy should take to enhance innovation at Gap? Gap seeks innovation but within the framework of maintaining its identity and image. Murphy might enhance innovation by involving more front-line store associates and management in the innovation process. All workers might be encouraged to submit ideas for clothing, accessories, and store displays. Perhaps store teams could brainstorm product ideas. Awards might be given for ideas that result in profits, perhaps on the basis of small commissions. 2.
Is Fischer thinking too narrowly by insisting that Gap should stick to being grounded in khaki and denim? Explain your reasoning. Thinking outside the box is welcome in any business. At the same time, a company that loses its identity might disappear. Without khaki and denim, Gap would lose its focus and would become a general clothing merchant in the same manner as the clothing departments of Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Target. The counter-opinion is that if Gap doesn’t do something radical it might become extinct. 3.
What is your opinion of the wisdom of hiring a non-fashion expert to revitalize Gap? Here is a tough call. In Murphy’s favor, he has had considerable success at revitalizing other retailers. He is therefore a legitimate retail executive. However, Murphy is not a fashion specialist which could work in his disfavor. A probable key role for Murphy is to continue with the plan of having major fashion decisions made at the three company divisions (Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic), yet maintain oversight. 4.
What is your opinion of the statement that being too analytical and bureaucratic might have interfered with creativity at the Gap? Theory, research, and practice about creativity suggest that being too analytical and bureaucratic...
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