The Innovation Excellence post, The Open Innovation Integrator, discusses a classic issue facing many business sustainability cultures and/or their ongoing reformation programs. The article explores the question: how can a company balance the “openness” required for innovation while maintaining a level of respect for cultural diversity.
“Even if there aren’t major cultural mismatches, communication issues can arise. These may just be simple misunderstandings over terminology. If left unresolved, they can become issues that threaten the success of the venture.”
As a solution, the article introduces the concept of an “Open Innovation Integrator”. Like with most project or business sustainability implementations, there is often a need for a front-line facilitator of change. These “integrators” in this case act as an ambassadors for the various cultures being brought forth into an open and collaborative environment. Rather than allowing diverse backgrounds to clash directly, integrators smooth the way for enhance engagement.
Our sustainability consulting supports the belief that an open innovation approach to business sustainability offers stakeholders the opportunity to become engaged in the future of a business. By recognizing that key stakeholders have a vested interest the success of the company, business sustainability leads or “integrators” can open the doors to new ideas that promote business success and innovative ideas.
- Promote innovation as a competency: Innovative companies treat it as just another core skill.
- Promote innovation as a competitive weapon: Innovative companies use innovation to differentiate themselves.
- Promote innovation as a process: Innovative companies don’t treat innovation as special, unique activity. They see it instead as an ongoing “stream of effort” along with quality, leadership, productivity, and other imperatives.
- Promote innovation as both systematic and opportunistic: The most innovative companies flex between different styles of creating opportunity.
The business world too often approaches technological advancement and sustainable innovation from top-down and structured implementation processes. In contrast, our sustainability consulting finds that those who excel are those who step outside the traditional business structures with tools and resources to enable business sustainability strategies.