They argue that voluntary action is unlikely to be enough. Another group suggests educating and organizing consumers so that they will force businesses to become sustainable. Although both legislation and education are necessary, they may not be able to solve the problem quickly or completely. Executives behave as though they have to choose between the largely social benefits of developing sustainable products or processes and the financial costs of doing so.
Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns. Becoming environment-friendly lowers costs because companies end up reducing the inputs they use.
In addition, the process generates additional revenues from better products or enables companies to create new businesses.
Indeed, the quest for sustainability is already starting to transform the competitive landscape, which will force companies to change the way they think about products, technologies, processes, and business models.
The key to progress, particularly in times of economic crisis, is innovation. By treating sustainability as a goal today, early movers will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match.
That competitive advantage will stand them in good stead, because sustainability will always be an integral part of development. Enterprises that have started the journey, our study shows, go through five distinct stages of change. They face different challenges at each stage and must develop new capabilities to tackle them, as we will show in the following pages.
Mapping the road ahead will save companies time—and that could be critical, because the clock is ticking. Stage 1: Viewing Compliance as Opportunity The first steps companies must take on the long march to sustainability usually arise from the law.
Compliance is complicated: Environmental regulations vary by country, by state or region, and even by city. In addition to legal standards, enterprises feel pressured to abide by voluntary codes—general ones, such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and sector-specific ones, such as the Forest Stewardship Council code and the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool—that nongovernmental agencies and industry groups have drawn up over the past two decades.
Sustainability Challenges, Competencies, and Opportunities Most companies go through five stages on the path to becoming sustainable. This yields substantial first-mover advantages in terms of fostering innovation. For example, automobile manufacturers in the United States take two or three years to develop a new car model. Enterprises that focus on meeting emerging norms gain more time to experiment with materials, technologies, and processes. For instance, in the early s Hewlett-Packard realized that because lead is toxic, governments would one day ban lead solders.
Over the following decade it experimented with alternatives, and by the company had created solders that are an amalgam of tin, silver, and copper, and even developed chemical agents to tackle the problems of oxidization and tarnishing during the soldering process. Contrary to popular perceptions, conforming to the gold standard globally actually saves companies money.
When they comply with the least stringent standards, enterprises must manage component sourcing, production, and logistics separately for each market, because rules differ by country. However, HP, Cisco, and other companies that enforce a single norm at all their manufacturing facilities worldwide benefit from economies of scale and can optimize supply chain operations.
The common norm must logically be the toughest. A Few Simple Rules Smart corporations follow these simple rules in their effort to become sustainable. If the starting point is the current approach to business, the view of the future is likely to be an optimistic extrapolation. Once senior managers establish a consensus about the shape of things to come, they can fold that future into the present. They should ask: What are the milestones on the path to our desired future?
What steps can we take today that will enable us to get there? How will we know that we are moving in that direction? Ensure that learning precedes investments.
Smart companies start small, learn fast, and scale rapidly. Each step is broken into three phases: experiments and pilots, debriefing and learning, and scaling. These companies benchmark, but the goal is to develop next practices—not merely mimic best practices. Stay wedded to the goal while constantly adjusting tactics. Smart executives accept that they will have to make many tactical adjustments along the way. Although directional consistency is important, tactical flexibility is critical.
Build collaborative capacity. Use a global presence to experiment. Multinational corporations enjoy an advantage in that they can experiment overseas as well as at home. The governments of many developing countries have become concerned about the environment and are encouraging companies to introduce sustainable products and processes, especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Companies can turn antagonistic regulators into allies by leading the way.
For instance, HP has helped shape many environmental regulations in Europe, and it uses the resulting brownie points to advantage when necessary.
In the European Union told hardware manufacturers that after January they could not use hexavalent chromium—which increases the risk of cancer in anyone who comes in contact with it—as an anticorrosion coating. Like its rivals, HP felt that the industry needed more time to develop an alternative. The company was able to persuade regulators to postpone the ban by one year so that it could complete trials on organic and trivalent chromium coatings.
This saved it money, and HP used the time to transfer the technology to more than one vendor. In an extreme bureaucratic setting, acknowledgements for the innovative are extended to the heads of departments and administrative bodies.
This results in an environment in which the employees would have limited motivation to share their innovative ideas. The speed of the implementation of a creative idea greatly influences future innovative ventures and thinking. This is communicated to the general employee as a lackluster of the management in approaching innovative ideas.
Consequently, these individuals will not be challenged to review the market niches available in order to align the creative processes. For instance, if an innovation implementation process takes a duration of six months, the results will take longer to be experienced.
This will discourage future innovative thinking among the employees. The next step in enhancing competitiveness with innovation entails the instilling of a sense of ownership. Sense of ownership encourages loyalty and commitment to the betterment of the organization. When employees feel that they are part of the organization, they are likely to make a major contribution towards improving the efficiencies in the organization.
A sense of ownership encourages the participation of the employees in the development projects of the organization. The phenomenon encourages the employee to align their efforts towards the attainment of organizational goals since they will also benefit from the same. Consequently, the employees will be more willing to engage creativity which serves to ease the operations of the business and encourage competitiveness Burrus, Employee innovation ideas are boosted when they have an idea of how their efforts affect the organization.
To enhance a sense of ownership, the management has the role of showing the employees the importance of their efforts to the organization. This should include a demonstration that shows the indispensability of the contribution made by the employees.
One of the best ways through which this can be accomplished is by demonstrating the benefits of their efforts to the company. With such an understanding, the employees are likely to develop an active attitude, which is beneficial for the company Innovation Tools, This limits innovative thinking in the employees. The use of recognition and rewards greatly influence the innovative activities in an organizational setting.
Innovative ideas are a culmination of research, dexterity, and intrepidity. Given that the subject individual took their time to think about an idea and share it with the organization, they ought to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts Dey, The reward initiatives should be aligned towards compensating the subject individual based on the degree of success that their idea brings.
It should further reflect the investments that went into determining the innovative idea. Rewarding the responsible team through direct financial compensation or public acknowledgement fosters a competitive environment in the organization.
Competitiveness encourages innovative thinking, which results in more innovative ideas. This enables the subject corporation to sustain the innovation that is required to reinforce their competitiveness in the market.
However, in rewarding innovative ideas, there is need for the determination of each individual and team efforts that were extended towards the development of the innovative ideas. Individual rewarding in a team framework discourages future co-operation which is essential in the development of innovative ideas. In unit performances, the entire team should be rewarded Canadian Dairy Commission, In individual performances, the innovative party should be rewarded but so should all the other employees, albeit on a different degree.
Difference of Innovation between Multinationals and Small-to-midsize enterprises Many organizations in the modern world acknowledge the need for innovation in enhancing operational efficiencies. However, innovation processes differ for large multinationals and small-to-midsize enterprises. Several factors enhance the innovative efficiencies of the multinationals above those of the small-to-midsize enterprises. Furthermore, the two levels of businesses project differences on the motivations for innovations and the bureaucratic processes engaged in the innovation processes.
The large multinationals are aligned towards the supply-push theoretical approach in innovation. Alternatively, the small-to-midsize enterprises are aligned towards the demand-pull approach of innovation Pisano, Find help here. This enhances the efficiencies of the innovations that are developed by the large multinationals.
Large market research demands significant financial research. The researches serve the purpose of identifying the current consumer preferences and the prevailing data on market trends. This is not always affordable to the small and middle size enterprises.
When we think of sustainability, we tend to gravitate towards the environment and our preservation of it. This is because its rate of growth, links to other economic sectors as well as dependence on a relatively unblemished natural environment puts it into an inimitable position from an economic sustainability and development perspective.
In addition to contributing to sustainable innovation to keep the company relevant and successful in a competitive technology race around the globe. Now a twenty-four hours, sustainability has become a part of our everyday lives or in business sector. There are some laws and policy that every business administration must follow the triple tail course also known as sustainability account.
Employee innovation ideas are boosted when they have an idea of how their efforts affect the organization.
Life-cycle assessment is particularly useful: It captures the environment-related inputs and outputs of entire value chains, from raw-materials supply through product use to returns. Furthermore, large multinational innovations employ the use of several experts, which further enhances the efficiencies of the innovation ideas brought up Oracle,
They believe it will add to costs and will not deliver immediate financial benefits. Innovation in the large multinationals are aligned towards the integration of advanced technology. This is not always affordable to the small and middle size enterprises. Partly because of environmental concerns, some corporations encourage employees to work from home. What role does sustainability play in this relationship? As a result, environmental concerns take root within business units, allowing executives to tackle the next big challenge.
The trend has caught on more in Europe than in the United States. Companies can turn antagonistic regulators into allies by leading the way.