Hbs Case Innovation And Collaboration At Merrill Lynch

2130 words - 9 pages

In a rapidly changing world, organizations need to continually identify new opportunities beyond existing competencies if they are to survive and prosper. Customers also increasingly want customized products. Customer service has become a hygiene factor and customer loyalty is now being driven by faster innovation, rapid concept-to-market and product co-creation. This has led to the extension of the collaboration paradigm to customer facing functions in the supply chain, namely the product design and prototyping phase. Collaboration is becoming a new and important source of competitive advantage.Historically, analysts in the investment bank tended to work independently. Especially, in ...view middle of the document...

The second Capital-Structure report about U.S. Utilities covered 5 companies. This time, it seemed like there were clear goals; "The idea from get-go was that people would be able to pick up this thing and start generating trades from it. That was goal number one. The second goal was to have the report sitting on people's desks for a good period of time as a reference guide to how different parts of the capital structure impacted each other and affected valuations and potential opportunities" In addition, the participants in this project worked pretty closely together already. However, these were not enough for the effective collaboration. They were still not motivated to the project a lot, and the more commitment might have been called for. This means that they still didn't have specific goal to head for. Absence of specific goal naturally brought lots of debates which slow the progress. When the team finished the project, the report got a lot of positive feedback from clients. And it seems that Merrill Lynch met its goal in the beginning. However, without the specific goal of what they should achieve, and with the lots of information they should mix all together, "it was a grinding exercise" to reach on the final result.The Third Capital-Structure Report was about auto companies. At this time U.S. specialists and Europe specialists worked together. Analysts did not need much convincing because they already knew the need for this collaborative work. There were lots of energy and enthusiasm already. In addition, this third project started with a plan; they knew what they want to achieve specifically and they also had the clear deadline. The whole procedure was progressed very smoothly from this step to the next. As a result, Sales heard from a client that "the value-added ideas contained in the report are original, differentiate Merrill from the rest of the Street, and give them another reason to pay Merrill commissions."Even though Merrill Lynch learned lots of things undergoing the upper three cases, there still are many issues remained. The project might have been more timely and had a clear leader. To achieve the further successful innovation and collaboration, there are many important things Browning as the director of the research department should have thought about.As a leader for change, Browning should set the theme by communicating inspiring visions, which provide a picture of the future combining poetry and prose, imagination and pragmatism, drawing on destination, dream, prize, target, message, and first step. So, first, as a leader Browing must be secure about team's charter, mission, goals and objectives to team members. And employees must believe a certain level of individual effort will lead to achieving the corporation's standards of performance. So Browing should set stretch goals which they energize people. And Browing must confront the key questions that must be answered and then communicate the inherent truth that inspir...


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