Avoiding the Hang-ups of Business Sustainability Definitions

image: no hangers“Got innovation? Just about every company says it does.  Businesses throw around the term to show they're on the cutting edge of everything from technology and medicine to snacks and cosmetics. Companies are touting chief innovation officers, innovation teams, innovation strategies and even innovation days.  But that doesn't mean the companies are actually doing any innovating. Instead they are using the word to convey monumental change when the progress they're describing is quite ordinary.”

This commentary taken from the Wall Street Journal post, You Call That Innovation, argues that companies today are using their terminology too loosely.  Referring to ‘innovation’ as a new business buzzword, as if it was a bad thing, our sustainability consulting has a contrary opinion.

Similar to the exploration of the terms ‘sustainability’ or ‘business sustainability’, there is a tendency to get hung-up on definitions.  In contrast, our ‘business sustainability’ consulting appreciates any effort that stimulates progressive change.  Whether it is blazing new ground or simply dusting off a once forgotten idea, ‘purpose’ and ‘action’ are what matters.

Following this line of thinking, we promote the idea of an open culture to stimulate eco awareness, idea generation, and (Yes) innovation.  But companies already investing in this path often ask: What is the optimal balance between ‘free’ and ‘managed’ innovation?

Experience has shown an important step in this evaluation is determining the appropriate amount of guidance and structure to enhance the engagement process.  Leveraging the supply chain as critical source for innovation, the Corporate Executive Board advises companies to focus on three key priorities, which our sustainability consulting finds applicable to a broader set of stakeholders.

  • Provide suppliers with the right amount of direction 
  • Involve business partners in the ideation process
  • Enable effective intellectual property (IP) sharing

Each business responds in its own unique way to market dynamics and business sustainability challenges.  We understand that finding one’s bearings can sometimes be a difficult.  An optimum balance of key stakeholder engagement can provide needed feedback and a healthy stream of new ideas.  Open the corporate board room doors to the leveraged value of your sustainable business resources today.

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