The Benefits of Ethics-driven Innovation 

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Peet van Biljon shares a white paper on the benefits of ethics-driven innovation.

Is your company innovative? No doubt, you would like to say yes. Everyone wants to be innovative, which is why the word “innovation” appears frequently in annual reports and press releases. However, there can be a large gap between saying we are good at innovation and being truly good at it. How to close this gap is the topic of a multitude of publications on innovation management, and keeps many innovation consultants busy.

Is your company a force for good in society? Again, yes is probably your answer. Claims about how a company’s business activities benefit society are quite common, as evidenced by the promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in glossy publications, press releases, and well-produced videos. But again there can be a gap between words and reality, as seen in corporate scandals and day-to-day business actions that contradict claims of caring for stakeholders and communities.

Now let us combine these two questions and ask a third one: Do your company’s innovations contribute to the greater good of humanity? This is an important question that needs to be asked more often,  because innovation and ethics are deeply intertwined.

While it is possible to be “innovative” without serving a positive social purpose, and conversely possible  to be “socially responsible” without being innovative, most companies strive to be both. So how can a company achieve these values? This paper introduces Ethics-driven Innovation®[i], an innovation process designed to meet this challenge. The good news – as we shall see – is that knowing why you want to innovate, and whom you want to serve in society, will make you better at both innovation and ethics.

 

Key points include:

  • The inadequacy of traditional CSR
  • Portfolio of initiatives
  • Constraints-based creativity

 

Access the white paper, Good at Innovation or Innovating for Good, on EthicsDrivenInnovation.com.