A Systematic Approach for Making Innovation a Core Competency

Journal for Quality and Participation vol. 31 issue 4 - January 2009

Abstract: While seeking ways to respond quickly to evolving customer expectations, The Ritz-Carlton developed a systematic approach that taps into employees’ full potential to deliver genuine and spontaneous service experiences. The hotel’s four-step innovation process was developed by analyzing the currently available body of knowledge and adapting proven practices of organizations that have an established core competency of innovation. The environmental factors at the core of The Ritz-Carlton’s innovation model are inspiring vision, providing recognition, encouraging risk-taking, and fostering an atmosphere of employee empowerment. Implementation of the process involved integrating it with The Ritz-Carlton approach to winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice, in addition to training programs, company communication, and performance management systems. Additional information available online provides the bibliography of resources The Ritz-Carlton used to develop its four-step innovation process, a presentation of the process’ application, and photographs.

Keywords: Case study - Service sector - Customer expectation - Customer delight - Innovation - Employee involvement (EI) - Empowerment - Vision

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