Disrupt Staff Routines to Spur Innovation: Study

LONDON, ON, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - According to a study from the Network for Business Sustainability, CEO's trying to encourage innovation should consider moving staff waste baskets rather than implementing a new HR policy.

The study, pulled from more than 13,000 academic and industry sources, reveals that workplace procedures like HR policies and performance goals equip employees to perform day-to-day operations and meet current expectations. But they don't encourage employees to test new ideas or figure out how to do things better.

"Executives should complement traditional tactics with less conventional ones," said report author Stephanie Bertels, PhD. "In addition to, say, creating codes of conduct and offering training programs, consider hosting product development challenges or having your CEO tell inspirational stories about how the company will look in the future."

One company that wanted to decrease garbage output removed wastebaskets from employees' offices, placing them down the hall. The resulting "walk of shame" every time staff had to throw away trash inspired employees to not only cut back on their personal waste but also devise new ideas for reducing the company's waste overall.

Bertels' report provides a useful planning tool for senior leaders responsible for inspiring innovation. The report was commissioned by the Network for Business Sustainability, a Canadian non-profit funded by academic research grants and private and public partners.

"This research takes a large and sometimes confusing body of information and synthesizes it into a holistic - yet practical - framework for building sustainability into a business," said Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer for TD Bank Group and a member of the Network's Leadership Council.

Bertels is an assistant professor at SFU Business, Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada) and a Topic Editor for the Network for Business Sustainability. Her study was commissioned by a group of private, public, and non-profit organizations that identified "Building an Enduring, Durable Culture of Sustainability" as one of their top priorities for 2010.
Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture: Systematic Review (73 pages)
Embedding Sustainability in Organizational Culture: Executive How-To Guide (20 pages)

About the Network for Business Sustainability
The Network for Business Sustainability is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that connects thousands of researchers and business leaders worldwide, with the goal of creating new, sustainable business models for the 21st century. The Network receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and industry partners.

Network Leadership Council Members

BC Hydro
Canadian Pacific Rail
Environment Canada
Holcim
International Institute for Sustainable
Development
Industry Canada
Pembina Institute
            RIM
SAP
Suncor
TD Bank Group
Teck
Telus
Tembec
Unilever

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD or the Bank). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 19 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD had CDN$620 billion in assets on October 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE NETWORK FOR BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY

For further information: For further information:

Stephanie Bertels, PhD is available for interviews at: 604-551-5832 or stephanie.bertels@sfu.ca
Karen Clarke-Whistler is available for interviews by contacting: Megan Hooper, Media Relations, TD Bank Group, 416-982-4725, megan.hooper@td.com

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NETWORK FOR BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY

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