X-IDEA: How to Use a Systematic Innovation Method for Social Innovation Projects: Social Responsibility as Competitive Advantage

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In this chapter, we introduce X-IDEA, a comparatively new innovation process method and related thinking toolbox, and discuss how such a structured innovation method can be used in the context of social innovation and corporate social responsibility activities.

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This exploratory empirical paper is research-driven because it ventures into new territory: We investigate the learning experience of business professionals undergoing a training program in structured innovation. The paper tracks how the beliefs, feelings and competencies of learners of creativity and applied innovation evolve over the duration of the training program. We also examine the learners' perceptions of the efficacy of this systematic approach towards innovation. Part 1 establishes the need to elucidate the learner experience and efficacy of training programs in innovation. The second part briefly summarises learning theories as they pertain to the current context of learning creativity and innovation. After discussing the chosen research design in part 3, we present the empirical findings and map out what learners experience as they journey through a training in structured innovation. The final part discusses how these findings may provide guidance for innovation trainers and invite future research directions.
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X-IDEA is an awards-winning innovation process method enabling organisations to reliably produce meaningful deliverables in innovation projects. One key distinguishing feature of X-IDEA is its separation of the creative phase into two distinct stages, Ideation and Development. I structure my paper into five parts. Part 1 establishes the desire of organisations moving beyond conventional ideas. The second part reviews the literature on how selected innovation process methods approach the creative process phase. After briefly discussing the chosen research approach for this paper in part 3, I explain the creative stages of X-IDEA in detail in the fourth part, thereby describing how the two creative stages Ideation and Development distinctly differ and build upon each other to enable more novel, original, and meaningful idea outputs. The final part discusses how X-IDEA's approach of two separate creative process stages may inspire business practitioners and researchers alike.
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X-IDEA is an innovation process method designed to help organisations to reliably produce meaningful deliverables in innovation projects. Grounded in traditional models of creative problem solving , I developed the X-IDEA methodology and refined it over time through my work on real-life innovation projects with organisations, local, international and supranational. I structure the paper into five parts. Part 1 explains why there was a need to develop a new innovation process method. The second part reviews the literature on structured models for creative problem solving , innovation and design thinking, and identifies shortcomings of other methods. After briefly discussing the chosen research approach for this paper in part 3, I explain X-IDEA in detail in the fourth part, thereby elaborating on how its methodological design cures identified delivery gaps of other models. The final part discusses how X-IDEA may provide inspirations for practitioners and posits future research directions.
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In a recent study by IBM (2010), top executives of the world’s leading organizations ranked creativity as the most important leadership trait in the innovation economy (Canton, 2007); in a follow-up study one year later (IBM, 2011), however, top Human Resources professionals of the same organizations admitted lacking insights on how businesspeople can effectively acquire creative skills. This paper provides an answer to this open question by introducing the design and underlying pedagogy and methodology of a business creativity course taught to young business and management professionals. Purpose-designed, the course is part of the third trimester of a Master’s degree in Management. This paper describes the business creativity course, analyzes its contents and outlines key features from the perspective of the underlying pedagogy. It also notes novel and exciting features of the course and explains how these features relate to the course pedagogy and methodology. By combining theory and practice in an attempt to derive better theory and better practice (as advocated by Raelin, 2007), the paper offers guidelines for the design and effective delivery of courses in business creativity. As such, this paper follows a descriptive research design, which is deemed appropriate given that it reports of a new development in the field of designing courses to successfully teach creativity to business professionals (Zigmund, 2003). 1 The paper is structured into four parts. The first part introduces the context and concepts of business creativity. Part two discusses the underlying pedagogy and rationales required to successfully teach creativity to businesspeople, and then introduces a course on a master in management program designed to comply to the identified success criteria. Part three of the paper describes in detail how the said course unfolds over the 12-week timeline, thereby identifying its contents, special activities and assignments and elaborating on attributes of the course design and its inherent pedagogy. The concluding fourth part summarizes the key benefits of the chosen design approach, offers guidelines for designers and educators of courses in business creativity, and makes suggestions for future research to investigate the learner’s experience as well as the efficacy of the chosen approach.
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A growing body of research examines whether and how corporate social responsibility (CSR) leads to positive employee attitudes and work behaviors. While previous research suggests that CSR improves employee loyalty, motivation, satisfaction, and commitment, little research examines how CSR affects employee creativity. In addition, considerable skepticism remains regarding the significance of CSR in relation to employee attitudes and behaviors and of the potential contingencies that intervene in these relationships. In this study, we argue that the impact of CSR on employee creativity is contingent upon a focal firm’s corporate ability (CA), that is, its expertise in producing and delivering its products/services. Specifically, we argue that CA not only influences employee organizational identification, hence employee creativity, but also affects how employees react to CSR. We test our arguments within a sample of professional workers in the telecommunication sector in Spain and find strong support for the proposed model.
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Micro-CSR, or the psychological study of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) affects individuals, is gaining significant attention within industrial/organizational psychology and organizational behavior (IOOB). Although this research has the potential to offer insight into how CSR impacts individuals representing various stakeholder groups (e.g., consumers, shareholders), to date the term micro-CSR has generally been limited to describing research on employee responses to CSR initiatives. We argue that the taxonomic conscription of micro-CSR to employees alone exacerbates current friction within the field pertaining to the effects, utility, and importance of CSR. This review synthesizes the accruing research on employee-focused micro-CSR and summarizes current theories while addressing some of the concerns regarding CSR, particularly as it applies to other stakeholder groups. It repositions the study of CSR toward its ostensible ultimate purpose, reducing human suffering, and in doing so draws together theories and evidence focused on why CSR matters to employees and why the study of another stakeholder group-CSR recipients-is essential toward a valid understanding of the true micro-CSR experience (of employees, among others).
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This study explores the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) within the context of a specific component of CSP: corporate charitable giving. A model of the determinants of the extent of corporate charitable giving is estimated and used as the basis of a classification that groups firms according to the difference between their actual and their predicted intensity of gift giving. The financial performance attributes of the classification are explored. We found that firms with both unusually high and low CSP have higher financial performance than other firms, with unusually poor social performers doing best in the short run and unusually good social performers doing best over longer time horizons. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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In the second half of the 20th century, business education reflected the dominant theoretical paradigms that were aligned to a relatively stable and predictable socio-economic and geo- political environment. Business education was manager-centered, aiming to produce managers that focus on the most efficient exploitation of an already given value by optimizing the internal systems and processes within the corporation. The rapidly changing business world of the 21st century requires business education to become more entrepreneurship- centered and focus on creativity and innovation, and to offer courses that teach value creation of meaningful, value-adding products, services, experiences and innovative business models.
THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community.
“We're now hip-deep, if not drowning, in the 'experience economy.' Here's the smartest book I've read so far that can actually help get your brand to higher ground, fast. And it's written by people who not only drew the map, but blazed these trails in the first place.”ヨBrian Collins, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Brand Integration Group In a market economy characterized by commoditized products and global competition, how do companies gain deep and lasting loyalty from their customers? The key, this book argues, is in providing meaningful customer experiences. Writing in the tradition of Louis Cheskin, one of the founding fathers of market research, the authors of Making Meaning observe, define, and describe the meaningful customer experience. By consciously evoking certain deeply valued meanings through their products, services, and multidimensional customer experiences, they argue, companies can create more value and achieve lasting strategic advantages over their competitors. A few businesses are already discovering this approach, but until now no one has articulated it in such a persuasive and practical way. Making Meaning not only encourages businesses to adopt an innovation process that's centered on meaning, it also tells you how. The book outlines a plan of action and describes the attributes of a meaning-centric innovation team. With insightful real-world examples drawn from the Cheskin company's experience and from the authors' observations of the contemporary global market, this book outlines a plan of action and describes the attributes of a meaning-centric innovation team. Meaningful experiences-as distinct from trivial ones-reinforce or transform the customer's sense of purpose and significance. The authors' vision of a world of meaningful consumption is idealistic, but don't be fooled: this is a straightforward business book with an eye on the ROI. It shows how to bring R&D, design, and marketing together to createï¾ deeper and richer experiences for your customers.ï¾ Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences is an engaging and practical book for business leaders, explaining how their companies can create more meaningful products and services to better achieve their goals.
By focusing on strategies of competition in established industries, companies and researchers have overlooked the value of creating new market spaces where there are no competitors.These market spaces are called “blue oceans.” Although established industries (“red oceans”) are growing increasingly cluttered, few companies are currently attempting to create new markets. The U.S. wine industry provides an example of how various tools and frameworks can be applied in the creation of blue oceans.One such framework, the strategy canvas, captures the current states of play in the known market space.The four actions framework reconstructs buyer value elements by posing four key questions that challenge an industry's strategic logic and business model.When a particular wine manufacturer applied the four actions framework to the strategy canvas, it created a wine whose strategic profile broke from the competition and created a blue ocean. A third tool, the eliminate-reduce-raise-create grid, pushes firms to act on all four questions posed by the four actions framework and to create a new value curve.When expressed through a value curve, an effective blue ocean strategy has three complementary qualities: focus, divergence, and a compelling tagline. Embedded in the value curves of an industry is a wealth of strategic knowledge on the current status and future of a business. For example, when a firm's value curve zigzags, it means that the firm does not have a coherent strategy.(SAA)
Creativity in Product Innovation describes a remarkable technique for improving the creativity process in product design. Certain ‘regularities’ in product development are identifiable, objectively verifiable and consistent for almost any kind of product. These regularities are described by the authors as Creativity Templates. This book describes the theory and implementation of these templates, showing how they can be used to enhance the creative process and thus enable people to be more productive and focused. Representing the culmination of years of research on the topic of creativity in marketing, the Creativity Templates approach has been recognised as a breakthrough in such journals as Science, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. It has been successfully implemented through workshops in international companies including Philips Consumer Electronics, Ford Motor Co., Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Kodak, Coca-Cola and many others.
First there was agriculture, then manufactured goods, and eventually services. Each change represented a step up in economic value--a way for producers to distinguish their products from increasingly undifferentiated competitive offerings. Now, as services are in their turn becoming commoditized, companies are looking for the next higher value in an economic offering. Leading-edge companies are finding that it lies in staging experiences. To reach this higher level of competition, companies will have to learn how to design, sell, and deliver experiences that customers will readily pay for. An experience occurs when a company uses services as the stage--and goods as props--for engaging individuals in a way that creates a memorable event. And while experiences have always been at the heart of the entertainment business, any company stages an experience when it engages customers in a personal, memorable way. The lessons of pioneering experience providers, including the Walt Disney Company, can help companies learn how to compete in the experience economy. The authors offer five design principles that drive the creation of memorable experiences. First, create a consistent theme, one that resonates throughout the entire experience. Second, layer the theme with positive cues--for example, easy-to-follow signs. Third, eliminate negative cues, those visual or aural messages that distract or contradict the theme. Fourth, offer memorabilia that commemorate the experience for the user. Finally, engage all five senses--through sights, sounds, and so on--to heighten the experience and thus make it more memorable.
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