Understanding the cultural components of change is a critical requirement to drive transformation. Among organizations and projects, diversity of skills, cultures and gender enables to better scope, analyze and create solutions that target specific, expert customer needs. By connecting communities through shared learnings and circular economy, partnership for sustainable growth and socially positive initiatives can result in resilient, unique transformation. Locally, this has led us to drive one of the most inspiring project we ever worked on to transmit the value of diversity to younger generations through a UNESCO initiative.
Group learning and experience sharing have long been identified and practiced to transmit knowledge and information. With regards to digital literacy, groups can help lower psychological barrier to use digital tools. Developing local digital learning groups can potentially have a positive systemic impact on inhabitants, infrastructure, economies and businesses.
“The research shows that neighborhoods participating in this digital literacy and outreach program experienced increased rates of Internet use, broadband adoption, and online activities, including job search”.
With the rise of CSR policies and social innovation, businesses missions now include a better impact on society and the environment. Not only did this change bring critical questions to management boards’ tables. They also enabled to define a new role for the economy.
“We believe that a reorientation toward seeing businesses as society’s problem solvers rather than simply as vehicles for creating shareholder returns would provide a better description of what businesses actually do.”
By interconnecting interests, such new economy could give birth to circular models where global impact would be improved through cooperation. Beyond the financial potential, cultural shifts and thinking frameworks are needed to fully benefit from the circular economy.
“The McKinsey Institute has calculated that shifting towards a circular economy could add $1 trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100,000 new jobs within the next five years – a significant reward for creating less ‘waste’ during work.”
Developing open strategies
By reaching out to external knowledge and partnering with different company cultures, businesses increase their market knowledge and experience. Partnerships also enable teams to reflect upon new usage, new customers and services. Eventually, open strategies foster adaptation and eagerness to change.
“Entrepreneurs and change makers across sectors pave ways to new management approaches focusing on ethics and open knowledge, adapting their influence tools to do so.”
In addition to opening strategies to ecosystem, a shift towards longer terms objectives widens the scope of sustainable business opportunities. Resilience therefore appears as a new competitive advantage that could be pursued by investors. Such attitudes brings the potential of socially positive business initiatives.
“Creating competitive advantages could be more sustainable if those support a long term and positive systemic impact on the market : capital that focuses on longer term impact, jobs that have positive impact on society, and resilience as a management field to explore through education.”
Beyond the technological impact of AI, IoT and Blockchain across organizations and sectors, it is a complete cultural turn around customers that need to occur. Interactions, discussions, relationships and levels of responsibility now need to align teams, products and management around common customer interests.
“The development of AI, Blockchain and IoT require cultural adaptations on management, customer-relationship and organizational levels that imply impactful transformations and change.”
Diversity as a connector
From learning as a group to identifying long term objectives, diversity of skills, knowledge and experience can only benefit companies. Such diversity requires an adapted selection and retention program focusing on cultural, gender, technical and “philosophical” equality.
“The idea is to identify empty spaces between knowledge communities and create, or embody, the link in between using systemic innovation. As further detailed in the operational plan, this is partly how to catalyze the exponential “us”.”
Creating “customer democracies” also requires to read and analyze diversity with a methodology that will enable a great variety of individuals to generate value. “Diversity as a success story” offers a step by step approach to identify, lead, coordinate and grow diversity programs that generate creative value for users and developers.
“Diversity is a key element in defining individual value within complex systems affecting and interconnecting a growing variety of ideas and issues.”
One “diversity values” are defined, management and strategy can be aligned by applying “dimensional diversity”. This flexible and circular process based on open innovation and a communicative environment shapes multiple angles of customer information across organizations to best answer their need through unique innovation and solutions.
“By breaking silos, confronting ideas and viewpoints, addressing commonly shared issues and creating synergies with customers, dimensional diversity adapts information shared across knowledge communities to include customers into daily interactions.”
The hyperlocal scale
Transmitting the value of diversity. One of the projects our marketing and design thinking agency worked on last year was “Neuvy sur les Chemins“, a tribute to Saint James Ways to celebrate their 20th anniversary as part of UNESCO World Heritage. Applying diversity oriented listening and planning enabled us to determine the core values of the project to better transmit it to a variety of audiences, including youth and children, which were key to the association we supported. As a result, we managed to:
- Help 12 different associations and related interests, social concerns, highlight essential cultural and natural values through inclusive formats and communications
- Include 12 local cities and villages in the making of a common story we wrote into a practical summer handbook for local children, supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO World Heritage
- Raise awareness within local governments and authorities around cultural and natural heritage, including Neuvy’s unique basilica, and activities needed to sustain the human links created through the initiative
Connecting dots is an story for changemakers and global citizens based on most read articles on weareinnovation.org