Social Innovation has been the talk of the town recently, so much so that The World Economic Forum's global has an advisory body for it. The Global Agenda Council, comprising practitioners and thought leaders, has defined a social innovation model as the application of sustainable, market-based, and innovative approaches to help society in general and low-income sections of the population in particular.
How is Social Innovation related to a business?
In the current scenario, the social innovation model can prove to be quite effective for every business; here are a few advantages of adopting it:
Allows the business to restore trust
According to reports, several businesses are facing a decline in trust levels. A business contributing to the growth of society will earn the trust of its stakeholders (both internal and external).
Reacting to scarcity of resources and sustainability concerns
With growing environmental concerns and the pressure exerted by various NGOs, companies need to focus on assessing the environmental and societal footprint of their activities. They need to adopt responsible strategies and ensure the growth of their key stakeholders, including local communities and small producers.
Modifying the performance metrics
Several investors and brand leaders have introduced social and environmental factors into the performance evaluation schemes.
An opportunity for growth
With the high poverty levels worldwide, there is a visible gap in the income levels. After the launch of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), the organizations can turn the growing unemployment and poor healthcare conditions into a business opportunity.
How to integrate the social innovation model with your business?
Maintaining a delicate balance between your financial and social goals is a critical step. Thus, you need to ensure seamless integration of the business model with the innovation strategies; here are some steps you can execute:
Ensure everyone's involvement
As a business leader, you can try to push innovation strategies and develop business cases to make sure everyone in your team is excited about the implementation.
Build strategic partnerships
Several big brands like Walmart and Google have established strong social partnerships to achieve various goals. Though a company might offer a lot in terms of infrastructure and capital, it can also gain a lot from the partnerships. Thus, it is integral to clarify the responsibilities of each partner.
Foster a culture of innovation
An integral part is to enable a culture of organization within the company. You should strive to build an environment that promotes and encourages an innovation culture within the teams.
Identify how innovation can create business value for your organization
You can also reap benefits from implementing a social innovation model. As an organization, you can look to identify opportunities to increase your profits and reduce your costs. Additionally, you can look at it as an opportunity to strengthen the supply chains and find new sources of revenue. Several companies use it as a tool to mitigate risks that might arise in the future. For example, experts predicted the shortage of cocoa in 2020 because of which companies depending on cocoa started working with NGOs to help out the farmers.
People across the world have started giving social innovation its due importance. In the words of Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the chairman of the board for Nestle, it is the society that has allowed them to operate. A business leader should devise methods to solve the current societal challenges. Without the above approach, a business can not be sustainable.
With so many global leaders voicing their support for social innovation, you can take up Innovation Courses that will help you evolve, reflect, and discover new opportunities for your business. MIT ID Innovation is one of the best platforms to take such courses and develop an innovative mindset. Navigate to the website to know more about the courses.