Innovation, at the service of the “Raison d’être”.
In my previous article I presented how the Covid 19 pandemic had accelerated the responsible innovation movement. Behind this search for meaning by all citizens looms the need for meaning in business. According to an Ifop study, 95% of French people say they expect companies to commit themselves to social issues. Establishing a raison d’être is therefore not only virtuous in accordance with the Pacte Law but above all a guarantee of motivation for employees and commitment of stakeholders. As an expert in innovation, I see this search for meaning as an opportunity for each company to redefine its innovation strategy and develop a culture of innovation through openness and collaboration.
1) What role in the “New World”?
The uncertainty and constant change that characterize today’s world have heightened the need for meaning. Beyond the Pacte Law, companies have every interest in establishing and displaying their “raison d’être”. Today, this is a pledge to recruit and retain not only employees but also customers who share the same values. It is also a way to stand out from competitors who have not made this effort of empathy with their stakeholders. Like Danone and Michelin, which started the trend, all companies are concerned since the “raison d’être” has become a condition of performance.
2) Innovate: why and for what?
Innovating is no longer an option. Not only has it been observed that those who came out of the crisis were innovation leaders. So the Big Techs of Silicon Valley have seen an increase in their turnover (60% Facebook) and their market capitalization (record of 2000 billion dollars for Apple). Innovation is above all an ability to adapt. Today, innovation must be about progress, technology at the service of people and the planet. The company must strive to converge the axes of the company’s CSR strategy in its innovation strategy
3) Reason for “being” and “knowing-how-to-innovate”
For companies that already have a culture of innovation, it is easier to establish its raison d’être because the methods are those of innovation management, as I defined them in my book: respect the 4 steps innovation, align strategic CSR and Innovation axes, and create a mix of actions that will unleash initiative and confidence. To provide solutions to social and environmental concerns, it is important to develop soft skills such as empathy and questioning that will promote collaboration and internal and external partnerships. It is also common to see that innovative companies commonly create partnerships with each other. Let us quote the recent example of co-innovation between Decathlon and Bic which transformed the Easybreath diving mask into a filter mask for healthcare personnel in 18 weeks
4) Start with a diagnosis of innovation maturity Before launching the co-construction of your Raison d’Etre with your stakeholders, I advise you to establish a diagnosis of your innovation maturity. The proximity between innovation and reason makes it possible to optimize the innovation and CSR approach, when they have already started, or even to give them new impetus to make them a real intangible value for your company and show your ambition.
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