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As the shift to more innovative and open workspaces continues gaining popularity, millennial-heavy trends are now influencing businesses to create a more "Google-ly" and open atmosphere that caters to the needs of different personalities in a quirky, fun and innovative fashion. Millennials are becoming even more central as they begin to dominate the work force and replace more than 75 million older workers who are nearing, or are currently at, retirement age (Twenge et al., 2010). These Millennials have high expectations of their employers and will quickly leave their job if these needs are not being adequately met . One of those expectations is a push for creating spaces that optimize creativity and collaboration among employees. Team n o o d l e aims to address this problem by tackling the issue of underutilized conference rooms that dominate traditional business environments. Team n o o d l e is introducing a product that aims to eliminate the inefficiencies of traditional brainstorming sessions, such as time spent prepping, sticky-note usage and clean up. Otlet is a multi-functional conference table that doubles as a recreational gaming center. Otlet combines work and play by creating an open and engaging environment for sharing ideas. It serves to enhance creativity and collaboration among workers, and in the process may be a catalyst to transform the culture of that workplace. Academic research has begun to validate the importance of fun in the workplace. A number of studies have demonstrated that fun relates to employee attitudes and affective states, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, engagement, positive mood, and positive emotions . (Fluegge, 2008; Karl and Peluchette, 2006a, b; Karl et al., 2007, 2008; McDowell, 2004). Today, a business's online presence is everything. A 2013 poll by AT&T revealed that 67% of businesses are using their website to market to customers . Additionally, 66% of small businesses are maintaining or increasing their spend on digital marketing . The rise in popularity of digital marketing and the Internet is, for the first time, empowering small businesses to compete with businesses of all sizes. The ability to reach audiences across the world has evened out the playing field and leveraged small businesses to compete on a national and global level. Otlet's success will be dependent on an effective and innovative digital marketing strategy. With that being said, I recommend that team n o o d l e implement an initial digital marketing strategy for Otlet that includes a website, paid ad campaigns, a search engine optimization strategy, landing page development, and content marketing.
The purpose of this thesis is to convince readers of the benefits of cross-functional collaboration and innovation within the W. P. Carey School of Business. Specifically, cross-functional collaboration is the "innovation" that is being discussed and will be presented. Written from the perspective of a current business student, this thesis incorporates secondary research as well as personal experience to explain why this would benefit the business school at Arizona State University. The research conducted stems from online resources such as the Harvard Business Review, Kai Nexus, Forbes and other websites and explains why the author decided to pursue this topic. Cross-functional collaboration is seen in the everyday workings of the business world and are a utilized by a multitude of successful companies \u2014 Dell, Intel, Amazon, Apple and other similar companies. Therefore, it should be taken advantage of within undergraduate education in order to better prepare students for what they may experience afterwards. In addition, a majority of the paper is dedicated to recommendations for how exactly cross-functional collaboration could be incorporated, as well as examples of successful cross-functional courses and teams. These recommendations will be beneficial to business and general faculty members and can contribute to positive organizational change at the university.
The Founders Lab is a team-focused, exploratory Barrett Thesis project that allows students the opportunity to discover and utilize their “inner entrepreneur”. This project empowers teams of students to come up with a business idea; create a strategic business model; conduct research on a target market; generate a brand style, logo, and other marketing-related materials; meet with business professionals as a way to receive feedback; and finalize a business plan with tangible deliverables. This project in particular focuses on the creation of an app that allows users to connect with others in competitive esports tournaments and participate in tutoring sessions for financial incentives. Throughout our experience participating in the Founders Lab, we were able to construct this business pitch entitled, Eventcity.