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The Goal of this report is to present the business case and outline future action plans to ensure the sustainability of your developed initiative and develop recommendations.
CEMEX is the cement producer in Mexico and one of the main building material manufacturers in the world. CEMEX has been using a social network internally for connecting its workforces across fifty countries (Skibola 2010). During a worldwide depression, the company hit raging times. With the eagerness to innovate, the company started studying companies such as Best Buy, IBM, Dell, and Cisco, which had utilised social media for launching their new services and products. Finally, CEMEX moved on to produce a platform of social media, named 'Shift' (Garcia 2011). The innovation team of the company formed six areas of a topic which were pertinent to all the geographies and business units, including the ready-mix product development and environmental sustainability. The staff members that had leadership talent or expertise were selected as leaders of the topic. These leaders drove forward the conversations, till communities started growing on their own. The launch of 'Shift' took place in January 2010, then by the month of November, the total number of 17,500 employees had implemented this platform (Cemex 2013). Subsequently, the members of the platform increased significantly from 400 to a total of 43000 employees in 2016. In addition, the total number of virtual communities ascended from 6 to more than 2400 (Lombardi 2016).
The knowledge nurtured company-wide greatly by the creation of employee blogs, wiki pages, open discussions in forums to discuss ideas, as well as the best practice of free-flowing exchange of information between workforces situated in diverse countries. Another most important part of the strategy of the CEMEX innovation team was to not emphasise on the return on investment of 'Shift', yet in its place make the platform sociable by welcoming all conversations and ideas (Skibola 2010). This way, the workforces were encouraged to question directly to the community and topic leaders. However, the company faced several issues due to the implementation of 'Shift' such as general adoption while initialising usage, understanding the newness and innovation of the platform. Yet, the company faced these challenges and took various steps to overcome them. This report will discuss the innovation of 'Shift' in CEMEX, the issues faced by the company and further the report will provide a few recommendations for the initiative implemented by the company.
Innovation at CEMEX
CEMEX introduced a platform of internal teamwork named 'Shift', which was planned to aid in making the company more agile, efficient and innovative by letting workforces having similar ideas share thoughts, opinions, experience, information, best practices and knowledge (Skibola 2010). The company designed this platform of a social network that has a focus on business. When staffs practice 'Shift', suggestions, ideas, as well as recommendations, come up across the entire network. Interest communities are created to manage challenges that are mutual to their skill sets, markets and locations. 'Shift' is eventually intended for a new type of workforce, which is global, mobile, as well as empowered. After using 'Shift' throughout the company and changing the way by which CEMEX staff work organised, the company has proved that by controlling united skills and talent, added value can be formed more effectively and quickly (Skibola 2010).
The first instance of the way by which, this transformation in practices has greatly changed the way CEMEX achieved, is evident in the 'Construction for the XXIst Century Community' case. This community that has around 400 members were given the challenge of coming up with the premeditated topics, on which the company should emphasise to continue remaining as a significant share of the construction sector. Such method involves leaving the way in which such strategic issues were taken up previously, wherein the top executives of the company would get together for determining the strategic objectives of the company, and issue an instruction to the sub-ordinates (Garcia 2011).
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