INDIVIDUAL SUSTAINABILITY-ORIENTED INNOVATION PROPOSAL

LEADING CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY: MODULE ASSESSMENT

INDIVIDUAL SUSTAINABILITY-ORIENTED INNOVATION PROPOSAL

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Content

The assessment of this module is a written proposal for an innovation which supports your adopted company’s sustainability strategy. This could be a product or service innovation, or an innovation in a process or business model, or a new way of organizing the business. The innovation should be new to the company, but does not have to be new to the world (i.e. it could be copying something in another company or industry). The innovation should deliver social and/or environmental benefits as well as supporting the core strategy of the business.

Your job is to propose this innovation to your company’s Sustainability Advisory Panel in the form of a written briefing paper. You are asking the panel to agree to some resource being allocated to research and develop the idea further. The innovation idea must be individual to you, however, you should refer to what you have learnt about the company and its sustainability strategy through your group work. You may also use feedback from the group presentation if helpful.

Format

A template briefing paper is attached. The briefing paper should contain no more than 2,500 words (including references), with an additional maximum of 2 pages for any appendices, single-spaced, all margins 2.5 cm (1 in). Use 12 point font size. The suggested word count for each section is for guidance only. A reference list must be included which sets out the source of any secondary data you have used.

Assessment criteria

The plan will be assessed on the following criteria:

Coherent, credible proposal (30%): Using mature judgement as to what actions will deliver the best social, environmental and economic returns

Application of course learning (30%): Appropriate application and plausible interpretation of material and tools and covered in the module

Use of data (20%): Informing the proposal with secondary data or the student’s own observation where possible

Quality of presentation (20%): Producing a professional proposal and integrating sections so that it presents a coherent and persuasive argument.

TEMPLATE FOR INDIVIDUAL SUSTAINBLE INNOVATION PROPOSAL (LCS)

CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

CRANFIELD SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

[STUDENT NUMBER]

LCS Individual Sustainable Innovation Proposal: [Company name]

CRANFIELD SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

[Course eg. Masters in Management]

Academic year: 2018-19

[Date]

[Wordcount: Must be 2,500 words or less inc References]

Strategy and Purpose (500 words – guidelines only)

Introduction

Very briefly introduce the company’s sustainability strategy, how it addresses the most material sustainability challenges / issues facing your company and how it supports the company’s core business and purpose.

Positioning the innovation

Summarise briefly the business’s current sustainability strategy and performance, highlighting areas in which it is strong or needs further development. This paragraph should set up why the proposed innovation is needed and where it fits within the overall sustainability strategy.

The Innovation (700 words approx)

Introduction

Explain briefly what the innovation is and how it will be implemented. It might be useful here to bring in a graphic or diagram to bring the idea to life (e.g. if it is a new product, an image of the product, or a mock up of a web page; if it is a change in production process, a flow diagram of the new process; if it is a change in packaging, a ‘before’ and ‘after’ diagram of the proposed packaging). Refer to examples of where this has worked elsewhere (other companies, other industries), if relevant.

Objectives and benefits

Explain what outcomes the innovation will achieve and the social and/or environmental benefits as well as the economic benefits the innovation will drive. . These do not have to be QUANTIFIED – but refer to the types of benefits (e.g. footfall, increased sales, customer perception, company reputation, employee engagement). What sort of goal would you set for the innovation to inspire support for it? Build your argument for why the panel should invest time and resource to implement your proposal.

Implementation Plan (700 words approx)

Stakeholder involvement

List the key stakeholders who will need to be involved in implementing this innovation, what their role would be, and how the innovation might benefit them. Start with internal stakeholders: Who in the organisation needs to be involved in developing this idea? Who needs to implement the plan? And who needs to monitor it? Explain how you intend to get these various departments involved, as well as employees generally). Then think about external stakeholders including consumers, suppliers, NGOs etc. [Note: You could use a table to display this information, but this is not compulsory]

Mention any work your sustainability team might have already done in terms of discussing the idea with stakeholders and what you have learnt from this (e.g. you have talked to the marketing team, you have conducted a customer survey, you have had a meeting with a charity) [Note: You don’t really have to have done this. Just imagine what you might have tried to find out so far]

Collaboration

Are there any organizations you would plan to partner with or work closely with to deliver this innovation? If so, discuss why you have selected this partner (if you already have a company or non-profit organization, or coalition in mind) or how you would plan to go about selecting this partner (if you know what type of partner you need but haven’t selected them yet – this is also fine). Explain why you would work with them and the benefits for both organizations of working together.

Success measurement and communication

Offer some ideas on how you would measure and report on the successful implementation of the innovation and communicate this to key stakeholders.

Next steps

Suggest some important next steps (if you Panel agree to move forward with your idea). Include what information (including financial information) you would need to get to take the idea to a next stage and how might get it. This could involve a trial or pilot or test.

[Note: We are not expecting a full plan here, just your thoughts about what you don’t know which in a real business you would want to find out next]

Leadership and Conclusion (600 words approx)

Project team

Propose an internal team that you would like to be set up to take the idea forward from this point (this should link back to what you have said about internal stakeholders).

Leadership support

Comment on what support is needed from the senior leaders in your company to make this innovation successful.

Start with what the current situation is. What leadership style is there? (Refer back to the leadership styles we discussed i.e. responsible leadership, ethical leadership etc). Is sustainability an integral part of the strategy, culture and ethos of the company? Do leaders engage employees in the sustainability strategy and create buy-in for sustainability initiatives?

Then comment on whether any of this would need to change or improve to make this innovation successful. Would it involve a change of leadership style? Are there particular things that leaders would have to do better or differently?

Conclusion

Provide a brief statement about how this innovation will support the organisation’s overall sustainability mission and objectives.

Conclude your argument for why the Advisory Panel should recommend allocating resources for the project to be researched and developed further.

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