From the very bottom line costs to the increases in service speed and reliability that deliver greater value to organizations and their customers, innovation actually stands at the epicenter of the strategic approaches adopted towards success in the 21st century. Bolstered by the rapid changes in the market structure that powers competition from almost every corner of the globe, organizational emphasis on external as well as internal collaboration as a gateway in accessing the right mechanisms of expediting the incorporation of new ideas is fundamental in leveling the playing field with larger competitors and the numerous aggressive startups. Amway, a direct-selling, family-run organization headquartered in Ada, Michigan, is a perfect sample organization that has grown from a lean structure to operationalize its services in 100 countries courtesy of the numerous radical shifts of strategy that brings on board “consumer needs, technology and business value” in their search for competitive advantage over the years since inception. A multi-level marketing company with over five decades in business, Amway has built numerous brands within its core product categories [nutrition, beauty, and home], managing to increase its annual revenues from a modest base to a whopping $11.3 billion in the financial year 2012 (APQC, 2013).
At the heart of the company’s growth momentum is an innovation culture summarized as 5x5s. a “five minutes—five slide” presentation for all to showcase ideas for evaluation and further pursuit. Using an Open Innovation Business Model that majorly sources ideas from the external networks, Amway wields a great deal of freedom in pursuing powerful innovations that only serve to propel its strategic needs.