Innovation Tip: How Companies are Driving Sustainable Innovation Within Their Walls.

Sustainability and the general acceptance of it globally is very varied. In business, it is even more so imbalanced.

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Sustainability and the general acceptance of it globally is very varied. Between the increasing knowledge that we are vastly depleting the world’s resources, and the lacking basic human needs in developing economies leading those populations to focus on ‘more critical’ needs while ignoring the planet, has left the world to give unbalanced attention and care to the pertinent issue of sustainability. 


In business, it is even more so imbalanced. Due to how relatively ‘new’ the topic of sustainability is in the developing world and how controversial it is globally, many businesses aren’t fully convinced what the benefits of pursuing sustainability are. Even though some companies think sustainability poses a threat to them in business. Yet, sustainability, which is the consideration of natural resources to benefit human, social and environmental entities, is a lucrative strategy any company can adopt within its walls.
Sustainable innovation considers the environment while looking for opportunities to protect and preserve it while pursuing common business goals. It’s about defining economic development as the creation of private and social wealth to ultimately eliminate harmful impacts on ecological systems, human health, and communities.


Contrary to popular belief that sustainability isn’t lucrative rather costly, sustainability paves the path for innovation (and competitive advantage) within companies. Businesses with successful sustainability strategies are profitable because they integrate consideration of clean design and resource conservation throughout product life cycles and supply chains in ways that make economic sense*. And with the growing trend of environmental sustainability, companies can gain immensely in the are of customer engagement, an example is Everlane, the clothing brand that has used social platforms to showcase its fight to reduce waste, turning it into beautiful and highly functional, high-end wears. Method, the eco-friendly cleaning product company, has created a fun and colourful brand founded on reducing and repurposing waste while creating some of the most well-made cleaning products in the world. 


Companies can start embracing sustainability, beyond the usual Corporate Service Responsibility (CSR) Initiative, as an avenue to devise innovative new business models while considering environmentally-friendly and cost-effective (Everlane used plastic bottles to create jackets) materials and leveraging science, governmental support, and citizen demand as they go. Reference: https://saylordotorg.github.io

Innovation Tip: Best Ways Your Team Can Identify Opportunities for Innovation

It is commonly said that everyone is creative.

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It is commonly said that everyone is creative. Regardless of the popular opinion on this point, there’s no denying that when placed in certain situations, human beings can devise some pretty ingenious outcomes to challenges.  

For businesses, creating avenues where innovation happens is not just a mere desire, but it is incredibly critical to growing and succeeding in the long run. 

Here are 2 great ways your team can identify opportunities for innovation:

  • Incorporating innovation into the culture of the company from the top down, may seem like a difficult initiative, however, it can be as simple as taking little (and calculated) steps that pose very minimal risk to the organisation, but are able to show the value of creating an atmosphere where new and lucrative ideas can blossom. Companies such as 3M and Google are regarded as two of the most innovative companies in the world. They are both well known for taking steps within their companies to foster an  environment where innovation thrives, one is by encouraging employees to spend a percentage of their time on projects they choose, companies that go this route see the immense rewards, For 3M, it was the Post-it note*.
  • Another way opportunities for innovation can be identified is in an environment of collaboration. Allowing team collaboration, by breaking down departmental silos, reducing bureaucracy and facilitating the cross pollination of individuals from different walks of life and backgrounds allows people (and most importantly) ideas to intercross, birthing novel solutions that people wouldn’t have conjured up otherwise. 

*https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/five-ways-to-make-your-company-more-innovative

Innovation Tip: Leading Your Industry the Coca-Cola Way

By being consumer-centric and responding to consumer demands, Coca Cola has been able to bring cutting-edge solutions to customers. Cola Company, after 134 years, is still leading its industry in innovation. With multiple beverage brands under its belt and a large market share in the segments they serve, Coca Cola continues to lead the way.  […]

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By being consumer-centric and responding to consumer demands, Coca Cola has been able to bring cutting-edge solutions to customers.

Cola Company, after 134 years, is still leading its industry in innovation. With multiple beverage brands under its belt and a large market share in the segments they serve, Coca Cola continues to lead the way. 

In achieving this, Coca Cola has leveraged an indispensable tool to build winning products and staying ahead – a way to gain insights into their customers’ needs and an understanding of their demands. Coca Cola’s President and Chief Operating Officer James Quincey rightly said, “to thrive today, companies have to keep aligning products to meet consumer preferences while being innovative in doing so.”

Thoughts: How is your product or service performing in the market? Are you aligning to consumers needs and changing preferences? 


Tip: Make understanding your customers a part of your overall strategy to help your teams better serve your audience and stay ahead in delighting them.

Innovation Tip: Innovating Without Technology

It’s no denying that technology is important to innovation, however many business leaders make the mistake to think of technology as innovation. Others think innovation can’t happen without technology. This is a commonly held belief that Innovation leader Gianfranco Zaccai debunks in his sit down with us.

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It’s no denying that technology is important to innovation, however many business leaders make the mistake to think of technology as innovation. Others think innovation can’t happen without technology. This is a commonly held belief that Innovation leader Gianfranco Zaccai debunks in his sit down with us. Sometimes, innovation happens without technology or innovation happens and then is enhanced by technology. Cases such as when providing solutions to the poor, illiterate and population facing the technological divide?

Not every opportunity for innovation requires technology, sometimes it requires removing technology- Gianfranco Zaccai

From healthcare to finance to agriculture, innovation happens with all people groups. An approach to take when seeking to serve the most remote users is to think first and foremost of meeting their needs, before seeking out if and only if technology can enhance the value being provided. While companies are seeking ways to solve challenges of meeting the needs of customers, innovation can sometimes happen without technology.

Your turn: How do you intend to design a new service or product to be valuable and usable among poor, illiterate, least digital savvy populace in your context?