Starbucks Innovation Competencies

Last year, I wrote to you that the company's improved operational foundation, invigorated innovative muscle, and heightened customer relevance presented us with an opportunity to build a different kind of organization. One that would leverage and extend our strengths both inside and outside our stores. I am pleased to report that in fiscal 2011 we delivered.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chair, FY2011 Annual Report -- Welcoming Message

Starbucks is often thought of as a nearly flawless company. Few customers worry about its survival and they continue to love what it is trying to do (Malkin 2007). This seems to be the case even when its record suggests it is going through some very challenging times -- thought to be related to its loss of individualized customer attention (Kwok and Rabe, n.d.). Starbucks, it seems, simply learned from early on how to ride the wave of innovation!

Why this...
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