Is your non-profit organization ready for sustainable innovation?

Is your non-profit organization ready for sustainable innovation?

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In this context, some 80% of the 145 managers of non-profit companies supervised by the Bridgespan Group consider that innovation is much more than a catchy slogan, it genuinely is, for them, an urgent imperative.

The problem lies in the fact that only 40% of the aforementioned would-be innovators really believe their companies are capable of that kind of innovation.

The answer to the question about how to increase levels of  proactivity and efficiency in the field of innovation in non-profit companies lies mainly in taking a continuous and consistent approach. Most organizations require the introduction of systematic research; establishing a process of experimentation and constantly carrying out trial and error exercises to work towards a structure that, in addition to pursuing progress in itself, also pursues innovation.

The research results conclude that groundbreaking companies that apply a policy of continuous innovation can be very different. It could be that they operate in totally different fields and pursue diametrically opposed objectives; and also that their assets can differ as widely as their capabilities. Nevertheless, the study made it possible to identify six common factors among non-profit companies with the willingness and great ability to innovate:

  1. Inspirational leadershipthat motivates staff to find solutions to key problems.
  2. Curiosity. When staff look beyond their daily obligations, they question both themselves and work issues, with energy and in a spirit of constructiveness and common sense.
  3. A team comprising people from different backgrounds, with varied experience, attitudes and abilities. A perfect breeding ground for coming up with truly revolutionary ideas.
  4. Permeability that opens up a free flow of information and comments both about the company and emanating from it.
  5. Channels to enable ideas to flowand that can be identified, tested and transformed into ongoing solutions.
  6. Resources to support innovative action( funding, time, training and tools).