Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates (2018b) is a large law firm that was founded in 1948 in New York and currently advises “businesses, financial institutions and governmental entities around the world” (para. 1). Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates (2015) won multiple Financial Times awards for its legal innovations. However, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates [SASMF] (2018a) also introduces innovations that are pertinent to its inner workings, including those related to its diversity management. In the present paper, the introduction of Affinity Networks (ANs) will be analyzed to demonstrate that creativity, innovation, and foresight are combined in them to provide a strategically appropriate solution that assists in working with several management challenges.
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Demonstrating Creativity, Innovation, and Foresight in an Interrelated and Ethical Way
ANs are a set of networks that are developed for the attorneys of SASMF (2018a) to help them to find their colleagues who share similar backgrounds. They include ANs that unite people of the same race and ethnicity; also, there are ANs for the LGBT community, women, veterans, and parents. ANs offer a variety of benefits, including career development advice and opportunities; also, ANs host events that can be educational, recreational, or both. Being informational and empowering, ANs would be expected to foster creativity and innovation. Continuous creativity is visible in AN events: they can celebrate unique cultures (for example, the Lunar New Year event for Asian employees), disseminate civil rights information, or present workshops on common concerns (for instance, child nutrition for the parents’ network) (SASMF, 2018a). Thus, it can be suggested that ANs are a result of creative ideas that foster a culture of innovation and enable employees to become creative themselves. Consequently, ANs is a strategically significant tool.
Indeed, ANs illustrate the fact that the company understands the significance of foreseeing the potential implications of innovation and creativity. The key goals of ANs include offering the employees inclusive environments, providing them with customized opportunities for career development, acknowledging and celebrating diversity, and meeting the social responsibility objectives of the company (SASMF, 2018a). Given the significance of the human resource, as well as some of the modern trends, including frequent job changes (Puccio, Mance, Switalski, & Reali, 2012), the achievement of these goals is vital to Skadden’s survival and strategic development. Finally, ANs are explicitly aimed at social responsibility improvement, which is an ethical objective (Schumacher & Wasieleski, 2013). Therefore, ANs exemplify a tool that considers and focuses on its future implications while applying and fostering creativity and innovation within an ethical framework that is in line with the company’s strategic development and goals.
Management Challenges and Innovation
The grand challenges of management described by Hamel (2009) can be used to understand ANs better. ANs are aimed at expanding and, to a certain extent, exploiting diversity (challenge eight). In particular, they communicate the message that the management values diversity and welcomes the creative ideas of diverse populations. Consequently, it can be suggested that ANs also unleash human imagination (challenge twenty-one), fostering creativity and providing employees with the means to become creative (information, training, professional and personal development, and so on). Also, ANs explicitly humanize the practice of business (challenge twenty-four): they are focused on acknowledging and celebrating diversity while also assisting the diverse workforce in managing their unique difficulties, which is a socially responsible thing to so. Thus, ANs can contribute to the solution of the mentioned challenges, which explicates the reasoning behind ANs, illustrates their potential outcomes, and proves that their creativity and innovation are in line with the organization’s strategic development and foresight.
Multiple managerial challenges are connected to human resource management, especially diversity management. ANs are an innovative way of solving such challenges, which incorporates creativity, innovation, and foresight in an ethically appropriate form. As a result, ANs can be viewed as a strategic tool that assists in employing diversity, unleashing human imagination, and humanizing business practices.
Hamel, G. (2009). Moon shots for management. Harvard business review, 87(2), 91-98. Web.
Puccio, G., Mance, M., Switalski, L., & Reali, P. (2012). Creativity rising. Buffalo, NY: ICSC Press.
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Schumacher, E., & Wasieleski, D. (2013). Institutionalizing ethical innovation in organizations: An integrated causal model of moral innovation decision processes. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(1), 15-37. Web.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. (2015). Skadden again ranked #1 for innovation in North America by the FT. Web.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. (2018a). Diversity and inclusion. Web.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. (2018b). Overview. Web.