Innovation Guidelines for Panera Bread

Innovation is the process through which companies use new ideas to develop solutions that meet the needs of their markets. In order to remain relevant amidst increasing competition, entities need to create a culture and organizational processes that promote continuous innovation. Panera Bread Company (henceforth herein Panera) faces such a dynamic and competitive market that necessitates it to develop products offerings that will help it to compete effectively with other food companies like Mac Donald’s. In this respect, Panera Bread can encourage and manage innovation by adopting organizational designs that support innovation, redefining its processes to enable innovation, creating success factors for people and innovation, and having metrics to assess the success of innovation.

Organization Design Models that Support Innovation

The current organizational design of Panera Company is inclined to the functional organizational structure. The company units are sub divided according to the skills of the personnel to increase their specialization levels. In this form of design, most of the company managers have a clear span of control through which they are supposed to execute their duties and responsibilities (Beckman, 2009). However, this structure does not provide the flexibility that the entity needs to develop empowered teams that can foster innovation.

To ensure that more innovative processes are established, Panera needs to adopt a matrix structure, which enables the organization of work into teams (Cohen, 2004). This will allow for the reserved use of the company’s personnel and thus retain their specialist reservoir for the execution of wonder recipes. Additionally, this will allow the specialists to be available to all the units and the sub locations of the company and not just at the main center (Beckman, 2009). This means that every location will be able to come up with its innovative recipe and not have to wait for the seasonal dishes developed at the company’s headquarters.

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