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EBay Designing Culture Change The Innovation Playbook Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2075 718 Words (4 Pages) Jennifer L Aaker, Stephany Yong, Jessica Dodson, Tina Sharkey, Dane Howard Stanford Business School : M364
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John Donahoe was newly appointed as the CEO of eBay in 2008. He had a major responsibility to shoulder, considering the need to transform the company following the financial turmoil experienced in the mid-2000s. He knew that a multibillion-dollar global company operating in the dynamic and cut-throat environment of the technology industry needs to fast-track on a strategy to ensure growth and sustainability. He decided to integrate design thinking across the organization and place it at the very core of a cultural transformation initiative across the firm and its multiple subsidiaries scattered all over the world. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction and Problem Identification

  2. Analysis

  3. Recommended Action Plan    

Case Analysis for EBay Designing Culture Change The Innovation Playbook Case Solution

2. Analysis

The ideology of using design thinking as the primary tool for cultural redesign revolved around the need to instill a customer-centric notion across the organization. Designers were given a front seat from the inception of the product development process while keeping in mind the various stakeholders of the company. Donahoe believed that this culture design transformation would improve products, enhance customer experiences, enrich the brand image, and improve the recruitment and retention of employees. He wanted to use this multi-year strategy to help eBay achieve its vision of "Connected Commerce," which was centered on creating better ways of doing business for everyone. 

The main challenge lay in introducing and implementing design thinking within the thousands of eBay employees working in diversified fields across the world. In 2014, Donahoe appointed John Maeda as the head of the Design Advisory Board. Maeda was responsible to empower design personnel while ensuring smooth harmonization of the design transformation within the workforce. An integral tool in accomplishing this goal was the “Design Playbook," which defined the company’s design approach and served as a record of how this cultural transformation helped shape the eBay community. This design-oriented cultural transformation also encompassed a vast array of stories shared by customers, reflecting the robust impact of the organization in their lives. 

A possible alternative available to the company is outsourcing this task by contracting with a third-party organizational development consultancy, to take charge of the cultural transformation. A core advantage of opting for this alternative is that Donahoe would have more time to focus on all the other things on his plate as the CEO. Moreover, the program would be in the hands of professionals that have precise expertise and considerable experience in facilitating organizational culture changes.

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