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Business Innovation and the Purpose Mindset


Business Innovation and the Purpose Mindset

In this podcast, Jared Simmons interviews Dr. Akhtar Badshah, Chief Catalyst at Catalytic Innovators Group, to discuss why he thinks innovation equates to a purpose mindset and how this requires balancing self, community, and work.

Dr. Badshah believes innovation often gets conflated with invention. Though true innovators ask the big questions, “Why are you doing this?” and “For whose benefit?” at the end of the day, the benefit has to be to the community at large.

Rather than tying innovation solely to growth outcomes, it’s critical to move a step beyond an effort mindset and reach the purpose aspect. Dr. Badshah says, “[Purpose] is the ability to pick the right thing to do, not necessarily doing things the right way. Intent becomes part of how you think about innovation.”

Corporate culture suggests that unless you’ve accomplished something, you have added no value. But everyone has value. Once you’ve discovered and articulated your strengths, values, and purpose, you can use this to prioritize what you do.

Operating from that lens, leading with a humanistic approach is more beneficial than an efficiency-driven solution. When you lead with the process (as efficiency-driven solutions often do), there tends to be more of a rejection of the solution, even if it’s the correct strategy. Because if it doesn’t spring from something people feel some ownership and buy-in toward, it doesn’t stick, and innovation is lost.

To further get to the heart of how this view of innovation can still glean meaningful results, Dr. Badshah shares his five principles of a purpose mindset, why constraints are an impactful part of innovation, and the importance of compassion as part of the recipe for success.


Key points include:

  • Capitalism as the way we live
  • Alignment between purpose and work
  • A people-driven approach vs. a process-driven approach


Access the podcast and transcript, What Is Innovation, on