Corning Corporation was founded in 1851 by Amory Houghton in Somerville, Massachusetts and within 20 years the company, by then known as a producer of first-quality lead glass. Started with creating bulbs for black and white television sets and went on to manufacturing Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) bulbs for color televisions. By late 1960’s Corning moved onto electronic components and medical electronics, but they started to stumble due to a lack of expertise in the industry. During 1980’s Corning started manufacturing glass substrates for LCD displays and shifted attention to medical services once Jamie Houghton took over. ‘Innovation’ was stapled as a genuine philosophy when Roger Ackerman became the CEO in 90’s. Corning maintained its strong stance on innovation as they continued investing huge amount of money on optical fiber research. Corning strives to maintain a perfect balance and dependency between existing technologies and upcoming inventions while being ‘diversified’. All of Corning’s businesses were rooted in the same business model: invent a component that enables a complex system, protect it with IP, and develop world class manufacturing processes to make it.
This case synopsis is about Corning Incorporated being the most prominent innovators around the world. How assertive the organization take risk in emerging new possibilities in unusual products and unmarked business. Also, this case exhibits the techniques of Corning Incorporation’s organization development and their ability to anticipate progressive expansion, while gaining capital, in four distinctive business categories, that is Display Technologies, Telecommunication, Environmental Technologies and Life Sciences (Henderson & Reavis, pg. 7). Needless, to say, each innovation segments have been highly successful. Based on the unyielding research and development, Corning Incorporated are considered the trendsetters of new ideas, techniques, and approach to organizational expansion. Corning embraces the philosophy of “The old techniques are stagnating and discarded.” (Brown, Chapter 16, p 427).
Key stakeholders are designated to render decisions if the introduction innovation is implemented or not. The Corning Corporate Governance of Innovation Pipeline discusses neoteric inventions and how to ingratiate its products to clients and consumers. (Henderson & Reavis pg. 9). The group members consist of a governing committee: the management committee and operating committee and two councils: Corning’s Technology Council(CTC) and Growth and Strategy Council (GSC) (Henderson & Reavis, pg. 9). The premier constituent was the Management Committee who are liable for setting corporate strategy and company operation. Handling, the business current year performance year plan was the Operating Committee. Thereafter, are the two councils who are accountable for the entities innovation agenda and endeavors. (Henderson & Reavis. pg. 9)
The CTC which is under the direction of the CTO renders directives in Stage 1 and 2. Subsequently, the GSC regulates the entities innovations and growth plans. This unit is under the guidance of the CEO, COO, and the CTO. (Henderson & Reavis. pg. 9-11). The two council would recurrently convene about business and innovations, which also consist of showcasing new concept and the decision- making process of innovation itself. Should this new idea demonstrate a market demand and a capacity to produce a profit, it is transferred the GSC. (Henderson & Reavis. pg. 9-11)
It was essential for Corning Governance of Innovation Pipeline to be unwavering about the process for growth. “It was very imperative for them to generate a structure that is docile enough to permit for strategy-driven changes.” (Lawler Chapter 4 p 89).
The case study was written to provide a student insight into:
· a best practice in the way well-functioning senior teams with appropriate governance mechanisms can make informed tradeoffs about the balance between long-range and short-term investments.
Q1. Why has Corning been able to “reinvent itself” so successfully?
A1. From the beginning the company was founded, innovation was the core of Corning’s identity. Corning’s businesses were built around different glass technologies that served different markets. Corning’s businesses invent a component that enables a complex system, protect it with IP, and develop world class manufacturing processes to make it. Corning understands that markets are continually changing so corning it had repeatedly reinvented itself to become one of the world’s leading materials companies. For example, Corning’s 10 percent revenues goes to the R. Also, corning has some remarkable leaders, engineers, scientist who has helped it to reinvent itself so successfully.
Corning has been taking its inventions and turning them into successful products and services.
Donald Brown stated, “Organization development (OD) represents a major change from traditional methods of management development and training. Organization development is a mean for changing organization systems and revitalizing them in line with the needs of the individuals within the system and environmental constraints. (Brown, Chapter 15 pg. 426)
Corning have constantly reinvented itself since 1851. (Henderson & Reavis Inc. pg. 2). They are renown for being the originators of the railroad signal lenses, glass envelopes for the electric light bulbs, heat resistance glass baking dishes, color television bulbs, optic fibers for cable, liquid crystal display (LCD), motor vehicle emissions control systems, thermometer tubes for medical providers and apothecary tubes. (Henderson & Reavis pg. 7-8 ).
Corning’s effective organization development fosters innovative approach to reinvent itself through research as well. The Research and Development were committed to devote substantial experiments during the peak and declining periods to cultivate and idea.
Many of the competitors were not a suitable contender amongst the Corning’s Research and Development because of its an extravagant endowment. (Henderson & Reavis pg. pg. 9).
Joint ventures among B2change organization must be beneficial to each other and a combination competency and proficiency. (Lawler, p 109) Corning approached, American based, AT &T regarding a joint venture in developing fiber optics. (Henderson & Reavis, pg. page 4). Needless to say, AT& T decline the challenge.
In 1973, Corning reached out to the European company, Siemens to find out if they had any interest in the developing fiber optics for cable. Siemens was willing to pursue the risk of taking on the project in creating fiber optics for cables. (Henderson & Reavis., pg. 4). This was a vast investment for Corning. Thereafter, the company began to acquire other business and launch other joint ventures. Corning Incorporated was classified as a “leading company who envision an endlessly changing organization”. (Brown, pg. 420.). They were an effective organization that was continuously adapting to change in a domestic and global environment. (Brown, pg. 420). Not long, after the global fiber optic joint venture, Corning sold off the consumer business and decided to concentrate on fiber optic. Then, the Asian financial disaster caused the fiber optic market to spiraled downward. (Henderson & Reavis, pg. 4). Corning had to revamp after losing revenue on their prior business decision. The corporation took heed to its past fate. The senior management made modifications on handling its growth development. (Henderson & Reavis, pg. 6) The leaders acknowledged it was crucial to enhance risk management and strategic balance. Corning was in a recovery mode. But an analyst found it problematic to comprehend Corning’s corporate proprieties. This is what set Corning apart from other entities.
Corning hold a profound portfolio proving itself a changing organization and an innovator. Due to Corning Incorporated “re-engineered a goal sharing program” and extensive research and development have empowered its organization to be prosper and become eminent innovators. ((Hammer and Champy p 189).