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We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

Insight Thursday?

Peter Nicholson

Part 1: Innovation Imperatives
I’m still deleting solicitation emails. In light of the deluge “Giving Tuesday” has become, I challenged myself to identify elements I consider key to creating positive, meaningful change. Here’s the first three:

1. Collaboration: Easy to reference but difficult to practice, getting organizations to work together requires addressing prerequisites that are rarely, if ever acknowledged. To scale solutions to the magnitude of the problems, capacities need to be combined. I’m wary of entities that portray themselves as all-capable soloists. It will take a well-tuned ensemble to foster meaningful shifts.

2. Methodology: While many entities are content experts, few are equally conscious, and adept, with their process. Each new project requires expending significant energy to take the same first step up the ladder, handicapping the ability to ever learn to climb further. Following an innovation process is the only way to develop greater capacity for creating deeper, longer-term progress.

3. Capacity (vs Impact): While forging impact can provide more immediate edification, building capacity generates more enduring results. It’s the difference between providing someone financial assistance and a job. As a consultant, I find it easy to slide into focusing on the former, at the expense of generating more of the latter. When the budget is exhausted, short-term progress has trumped developing skills for longer-term success.