IKEA is on its way to self-supplying all its energy with renewables in an effort to stabilize energy costs in a carbon-contrained world. They are bringing that approach to their customers as well.
IKEA is committed to ‘future proofing’ its company, and is proactively anticipating many of the challenges to be faced in the coming years.
Not only are the business results amazing, but the collective sense of higher purpose is bringing out the best in human energy, collaborative capacity across silos, trust across the top managment team, and inspired innovation.
I have termed this phenomenon, with my colleague Ron Fry, “mirror flourishing”–pointing to the powerful posiitive and collaborative psychology of sustainable value creation. Ikea demonstrates and confirms an observation that I wrote about with Ron in the Journal of Corporate Citizenship–a special issue we did on “the positive psychology of sustainability:
“Obviously, in these thirty years in the field of management, we have seen many developments: the birth of the worldwide web; re-engineering of the corporation; participative management; the quality revolution; and many more. Because of our social science background we’ve had a keen interest in how each particular management innovation affected the human factor—things like inspiration and hope, engagement, entrepreneurship and innovation, and collaborative capacity. And herein lies our number one observation from the real world that has been most striking: there is nothing that brings out the best in human enterprise faster, more consistently, or powerfully than calling the whole organization to design sustainability solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges. Read more
Imagine a world of nine billion people with clean water, quality food, affordable housing and education, top-tier medical care, ubiquitous clean energy, dignified opportunity, thriving economies, and global peace and security. Now, how might we get there? In this challenge, we’re examining the role that business – one of the most powerful, transformative forces in our world – can play as a driver of innovation and greater prosperity. How can business become an agent of world benefit and shape our society, our environment and our economy in positive, sustainable ways? David Cooperrider invites you to explore one of the most exciting and important projects he has ever worked on. In partnership with IDEO (go to http://www.openideo.com) the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University is sponsoring the challenge. David shares several of the early inspirations behind the project and then invites you to collaborate and actively participate in the prototyping for a Nobel-like Prize for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. Read more
Here is an article I recently wrote with Chris Laszlo published in The Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner, May 2012 at www.aipractitioner.com. I also just spoke about this at the Ai World Conference in Belgium. – David Cooperrider
Organizations everywhere are discovering the power and promise of design thinking and increasingly managers and management schools are turning to architects, creative artists, graphic specialists, product designers, open source communities, and performing artists as inspired models for innovation, improvisational leadership and collaborative designing. New volumes such as Managing as Designing (Boland and Collopy, 2004); Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work (Austin and Devin, 2003); Discovering Design (Buchanan and Margolis, 2000) and The Design of Business (Martin, 2009) are portraying the essence of management not so much as a science of rational decisions within a known and stable world but, instead, as the art of generating artifacts and designs of a better future, rapid prototypes, feedback loops, and agile interactive pathways embedded within an increasingly uncertain and dynamic world.