Advocating An Innovation Cycle for Sustainability


Milstein speaks to middle managers about innovation and sustainability while in Japan. 

In a recent visit to Tokyo, Mark Milstein, Clinical Professor of Management and Director of Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise spoke at GLOBIS, the newest and fastest-growing business school in Japan.  Milstein’s lecture, “The Rise of Sustainable Global Enterprise: How companies can make both business and the world better” was directed at high-potential middle managers from leading Japanese companies from diverse industries who showed a strong passion and interest in sustainability.

In this seminar, Milstein emphasized the importance of experiential learning – learning by doing.  He noted that only by stepping into unfamiliar territory can managers enhance their entrepreneurial mindset.  This in turn will result in proactive creativity and innovation.  He advocated an innovation cycle to develop new skills and incubate new ideas which will lead to new products and services for new markets.

In addition he shared seven principles by which companies can find solutions to social and environmental issues by strategically creating new market opportunities.   These are:

1.       Sustainability as a core business driver

2.       Long-term commitment

3.       Develop new systematic solutions

4.       Consumers are partners

5.       Try, learn, adjust, retry

6.       Failure is an opportunity for learning

7.       Look for opportunity in the unfamiliar

Milstein’s lecture can be viewed online.