what innovation creates prosperity-fostering organization?

#ebbf25 unity collaboration prosperity innovationIn a recent ebbf event, like-minded people from around the world joined an exploration of the question “what is a prosperity-creating organization? How can we create prosperity through our work?” That conversation sparked these ideas that offer us some ideas of the kind of innovation that creates prosperity-fostering organizations.

A good place to start is to ask oneself, what does prosperity mean in today’s business and what should it look like in an innovative, forward looking enterprise?

“definitions of prosperity in business and society are now connecting less and less with what people aspire to”

whilst currently the word prosperity immediately flashes dollar signs in our and society’s mind, what is actually good for us, what creates real well being is actually very different: health, access to opportunities, education, development of talents, achieving purposeful goals, even giving and receiving love, being of service are the acknowledged factors towards true prosperity.

So how can we evolve? It is clear that attitudes are not static but change and evolve over time, for example some 50 years ago one person mentioned how his mother smoked whilst he was in her womb, then it was accepted, today that would be totally unacceptable. In the same way as the growing dissonance between personal wellbeing and current drivers in business are getting greater, a shift is starting to occur in what is desirable and acceptable.

“A sense of purpose is way stronger than an objective.”

Most workplaces today operate with a driven-by-objectives mentality that misses a much stronger driver of motivation, of innovation and of success which is to become a purpose-driven organisation. A growing number of companies, new purpose-driven companies, show us the growing influence of these organizations that we can learn from, companies that use innovation to create purpose and a wider sense of prosperity Second Muse to Ben & Jerry’s , from Warby Parker to Patagonia.

These new companies often enjoy a culture of freedom of thought where open conversations are encouraged, a sense of service where individuals support each other, everyone help others to to succeed.

They create environments for discourse and dialogue, where people sincerely try to understand and learn from each other . most people have a journey to talk about which in most companies is locked up. An example was given about working in a bank with 12 high level directors who started with very diverging personal stories then finding convergence after open sharing was allowed thanks to a secure and safe condition. A condition where to explore, gain new insights, challenge our assumptions of how we live our life.

instead of the Xfactor it is the “we factor” that creates prosperity

We jokingly highlighted the key factor to create long lasting successful prosperity in organizations being the – we – factor, a wider awareness of who we are working for, of course ourselves, the families we support through our work but also seeing all the other individuals and entities that we can and should positively affect with our work, starting from our own colleagues.
We highlighted justice as a condition for prosperity, sharing amongst many and thinking of the good of many and not just of a few. As this imbalance also puts the – financially – wealthy in a difficult position always having to defend themselves from the majority who does not have privileges, meaning that not even they ultimately fully enjoy their prosperity.

“build and yearn for a vision of hope and not a vision of survival”

During the event we closed our exploration with a call for organizations and us, as the people who need to drive a new sense of purpose to move away from the constant survival, short term mode, to building visions of hope that can fuel our everyday meaningful work.

Why not start a conversation in your organisation to drive innovation with purpose, creating prosperity?


how can fusion and clusters allow organizations to embrace innovation?

clustersWith the hyper fast rate of change surrounding companies, some are understanding the need to bring adaptive innovation whilst others feel so strong that they fail to look (and be) out of their office windows and are failing to adapt and likely to disappear some time soon.

So how can organizations adopt a much needed innovative stance? How can a culture of innovation be created?

Fusion and clusters are two ways to move companies and their people from a traditional mindset to one that will be able to adapt and cope with the 21st century state of constant change.

FUSION in music is a mix of different styles, each company should also have a – head of fusion  – someone who is not only an innovative individual able to set up innovative practices in the company but more importantly someone who also understands the reticences and traditional ways of working and is able to accompany individuals in an organization from that old state to a new more creative, adaptive and motivating state. Special individuals able to both motivate into innovation whilst reassuring and creating a safe bridge to walk on to elevate people to the other side of the (often only perceived and not real) chasm.

CLUSTERS are currently being set up in countries who want to move to a more entrepreneurial and innovative culture: let’s take the example of countries where being an entrepreneur is not the first but the last option that parents suggest to their children such as South Korea or Spain. In these, and other countries, you see new clusters of innovation being built (e.g. Gangnam  or Pangyo Techno Valley or SCC in South Korea or Parque technologico de Bizakia in Spain), trying (rightly or wrongly) to imitate the “Sylicon Valley” culture and thus allow organisations to work in a geographical areas where everyone is immersed and influenced by an open and innovative mentality.

CO-WORKING CLUSTERS,

Hub-Madrid-300x225innovative and creative co-working spaces (for example the Impact Hubs or EOI’s own Coworking) are another option increasingly used by companies to transition to a more innovative model of work.
Organizations decide to move out of their buildings, going to and using co-working spaces.
Sometimes they hold some of their most creative meetings there, other times they engage with and decide to work on specific projects side by side with the diverse and creative people operating in these co-working spaces.  This allows them to break old patterns and refresh their thinking and learn of new trends thus allowing new innovation to emerge.

How is your organization moving from a traditional to an innovative model adapting to the need for adaptability and quick adoption of the new trends that we are faced with?


why is it important to unlock – meaningful – innovation?

innovationOver the next few weeks you can join here a dialogue, an exploration to better understand and harness some of the new trends and processes in the area of innovation.

Our rapidly changing environment demands that we and our organisations learn to adapt and innovate if we want to thrive or even avoid extinction.

Everyone agrees that innovation and change are needed but few know how to make it happen.
Many others are reticent to let go of safe old ways of doing things.

In this blog we will examine
. some of the most interesting new trends that are emerging,
. the processes that allow us to be innovative
. the kinds of meaningful innovations that are most likely to help us succeed in an increasingly challenging but also empowering new work environment.

So let’s get started: why is it important to specifically unlock – meaningful – innovation?

Just a quick glance at the synonyms offered for this concept of “meaningful”, offers you some idea of the strength of this word, and if we spend just a moment to stop, and read carefully each one of these terms, you will see how naturally attracted you and probably your team and staff will be towards this concept:

significant, relevant, important, consequential, material, telling, weighty, valid, worthwhile, purposeful

But beyond definitions, a meaningful organization, a meaningful job, a meaningful solution and way of working, is what will allow a totally new level of motivation, engagement and unexpected levels of productivity and progress to emerge.

So the next question is: what makes innovation – meaningful – ?

I start by offering that the form of innovation most likely to bring about incremental or even exponential benefits to an organization is innovation that is useful to society.
jamseti tataJamseti Tata, the founder of the giant Indian corporation TATA (now including 32 listed Tata companies and worth some $141.27 billion in 2014) looks more like a philosopher than the extremely successful business man that he was.

Back in 1868 he created Tata a company, an organization that, despite all the change surrounding it, is still growing and innovating by still keeping faithful to its founder’s  original thinking.

Back then Jamseti Tata stated:

“In a free enterprise the community is not just another stakeholder to business,
but is in fact the very purpose of its existence”

Tata’s great success is just one proof of a very simple and logical concept: that if you focus on being truly useful to the society that surrounds you, and to continuously innovate in a positive way, you have far greater opportunities for success. Additionally it will form a meaningful success that will motivate your staff and stakeholders to follow and support wherever they can, your meaningful purpose, thus further increasing your organization’s prosperity.

So have you thought recently not only about how your company can sell its products and services to society but to how your company can be useful to society, how can you increase society’s prosperity?



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