Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Recently, I heard a President of fortune 500 company remark, "this company has a group of highly competent and talented people; however, as a group, they are not very innovative. Our competitors are winning more business because they are more innovative." At the same time, I was also learning about corporate social responsibility (CSR). Social responsibility is an explicit effort by corporations to help communities, improve employees' wellbeing, and contribute to a sustainable environment all while they are generating a profit for shareholders. What I learned is that some corporations make investments into developing more innovative products and services. However, for the company of reference, their idea of CSR was to make corporate donations to charitable organizations.
As a result of these remarks, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. research to applying the latest theories and concepts on team performance, innovation, and design to teams tasked with developing conceptual designs. Over the years I have evolved to expand my thinking to include how multinational corporations (MNC) can apply innovations to increase profits with more socially responsible approaches. In other words, how can MNC's become a better global citizen?
In our modern society, a complex system includes far more than technologies. The combination of people, processes, and technologies creates a highly sophisticated system; yet, the combination of these systems makes for a daunting challenge. However, if we ignore these abstract influences for the more tangible solutions, then we will likely fail ad providing innovations that benefit corporate profits while helping those that do not have the financial means to benefit from our innovations.
To address this need, I have applied my academic research and my years as a problem solver to develop a means to do both. This approach requires the use of interdisciplinary teams with methods and techniques to arrive a the best solutions. We discuss the complex challenges by understanding the interrelationships between social systems, economic systems, political systems, as well, technical systems. Integrating systems with these more abstract systems not only requires multiple disciplines but it also requires the right methodology. This method is called Social Systems Innovation Management. It uses emerging thoughts from design thinking, systems thinking, innovation management and virtual prototyping with social systems modeling & simulation.
In the blog articles on this website, I invite thought-leaders to contribute and I will share my thoughts and lessons learned with my readers. Readers have the opportunity to learn about social innovation concepts, methods, techniques, use cases, and best practices. As well as understand some of the root causes of social issues. I look forward to your comments, feedback, and suggestions.