Human success factors for sustainable innovation

Innovation thrives on human interaction. Everything we use or will use in our daily life is the result of combined knowledge, experience and labor of others. Therefor human factors determine to a large extent what level of sustainability we are able to reach. These factors impact not only the way that we create outcomes but also the type of outcomes that we are able to co-create.

It is a well known fact that complex projects or situations need a deeper level of understanding, leadership and cooperation than the standard ones. A conflict between team members for instance might decrease the level of sustainability in a matter of seconds.  It will take them more time and effort to create a certain result. The result itself might not be the best possible, because knowledge transfer might has been insufficient to assure that it will last long.

My work as a social innovator has many collateral advantages. I meet many people in various situations and business environments. Diversity is my biggest asset. It helps me to understand common factors for success. The interaction with co-workers, customers and peer relations enables me to continuously improve my map of the world. This is what we (my co-workers at Ruysdael and I) see as the seven most important success factors:

  • Working a shared context;
  • Co-creation;
  • Co-Leadership;
  • Interpersonal communication;
  • Learning and knowledge transfer;
  • Adaptivity;
  • Authentic action.

In mathematics factors are numbers that can be multiplied to get another number. 4 times 25 is 100. But many different combinations of factors can create the same output. E.g. 10 time 10 or 5 times 20. The same is true for success factors. There is not one combination of factors that enables success. The trick is to find the right formula or combination. We have identified a ‘ desired state’ for each of these factors. This could serve as a frame of reference to find the best success formula.

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Research on Human success factors

More information is available in English, please contact me.

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