The Mobile & the Monk The Innovation Race Paradox Keynote Pt 1

A paradox all organisations are facing: A) Growth and B) Sustainability

The Innovation Race
SEAC and Stanford Center for Professional Development Keynote Speak
Andrew Grant

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The Monk & the Mobile represents a paradox all organisations are facing: A) Growth AND B) Sustainability

The need to EXPLORE outwards push boundaries, to innovate (race ahead). But this EXPLORATION needs to be balanced with the need to PRESERVE buy exploiting only what we already have. This tension either fuels innovation in organisations, or tears them apart.

The Mobile & the Monk introduces the paradox theory of innovation by looking at a story from Bhutan. A unique country trying different & bold approach to sustainable innovation. Many years ago the king introduced a new measurement in contrast to our GDP (Gross domestic product) called GNH (Gross National Happiness). They were determined to find a measurement that had meaning beyond (unsustainable) economic growth. They wanted to try a new way of measuring sustainable innovation & happiness. This is not a gimmick, nor a smooth PR exercise or simply a nice idea. “GNH is an aspiration, a set of guiding principles through which we are navigating our path towards a sustainable and equitable society” Bhutan has worked hard to maintain tradition in the face of modernisation, but they know they need both to survive.

The GNH is a genuine mission statement/values/vision that all people know and live by. Bhutan's GNH has 4 pillars, 1) Economic social growth, & 2) Integrity in leadership: EXPLORATION 3) Cultural preservation & 4) Environment conservation: PRESERVATION

Paradox Theory is about identifying potential paradoxes (exploration & exploitation /preservation) behind tensions that arise in complex situations in order to understand and effectively deal with the ambiguities.

It's not a choice of choosing: either one option / or the other, it’s a matter of choosing BOTH. One side and the other simultaneously: a choice of AND . The dynamic tension of the paradox theory applied to sustainable innovation is about balancing both sides in a way that fuels successful innovation. This known as The Innovation Paradoxical Pairings. (Gaia Grant is a researcher at Sydney University Business School, on the Paradox Theory. She is looking at how this can be applied to sustainable innovation. Gaia has delivered several academic papers on this and along with her partner Andrew Grant they have coauthored “The Innovation Race”. Andrew also presented this topic at the APEC CEO Summit (Vietnam) to the APRU forum. The Mobile & the Monk forms part of a larger keynote talk and workshop based on “The Innovation Race.”

The Mobile & the Monk presented by Andrew Grant to the Alumni of the Inaugural “Leading Innovation through Design Thinking” Program by SEAC and Stanford Center for Professional Development.

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