HBS Case Innovation and Collaboration at Merrill Lynch

Essay by eeun77University, Master'sA+, December 2008

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

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 the beginning of 1990s, the globalization overwhelmed the market and investor became to think that they should not just invest in the local market, but invest in the international market. With this change of clients' attitude, the investment bank became to feel the need of innovation of their working style. Under these situations, Merrill Lynch decided to create totally different style of research report, the capital structure report which was only possible with the collaboration of international-market, cross-sector, and cross-asset analysts.

The First Capital-Structure report about the U.S. Cable Industry covered seven companies. It was the first try of collaborative work in Merrill Lynch, so it didn't have any clear guide lines for the effective team work. There was no clear goal of team work, and also there was no motivation for the participant. Analysts from different sections were asked to get together one day, and asked to make a capital structure report. Without any clear goal, and without the structure and system of team work, the whole procedure proceeded very inefficiently. It took lots of time to get the final report, but the quality of report was not satisfied. In other words, its try to change was innovative, but the...