Innovation in Teams
Organizing for a New Economy
We are living in a new strategic environment. Technology is distributing knowledge and power, and new markets are opening as the world grows more connected. At the same time, the earth’s ecological balance is fragile, social problems and systems failures are becoming increasingly transparent, and people are seeking an alignment of their productivity and purpose. So how can we create an economy that creates wealth, solves problems, and engages individuals with their full potential?
In Ashoka’s network, we see an emerging pattern of entrepreneurs building a new kind of powerful team, aligning individuals and institutions from different sectors towards a shared, reimagined future, while empowering them as changemakers and unlocking massive amounts of social—and often business—value. These are hybrid value systems, in which the common good and self-interest are mutually reinforcing.
We have been given a sneak preview of how the world’s economy can look when every person is recognized as a changemaker who can contribute to the good of all while realizing their full potential. It is an economy in which businesses, citizen sector organizations, and government actors collaborate to reimagine industries and find how they can achieve their organizational targets while pursuing a shared goal.
But most organizations in business, government, and civil society are not set up to engage in such open teams. The world is stuck in a dominant management model that was established in the industrial era, where people work in siloes and hierarchies, separated by walls, both real and imagined.
This means that organizations in all sectors are missing great opportunities that the new economy presents. Systems change is everyone’s game in an Everyone a Changemaker world, but you need to be organized for it in order to play.
Ashoka’s Network Provides a Framework for the New Way of Organizing
Over the past decades, Ashoka has developed a competency for helping businesses engage in social change by working with social entrepreneurs and corporations to design hybrid models that scale-up both business growth and social impact.
Through this work, we have seen principles at work that allow leaders to engage in a Changemaker Economy:
- A worldview that recognizes everyone’s innate capacity to be a changemaker
- An understanding of underlying systems
- A new model of empowering leadership
- A fluid, open team-of-teams model that allows changemaking partnerships
We want to ensure that every leader is equipped and every organization is empowered to be a force for change with these skills, mindsets, and structures.
Ashoka is a network of innovators. As we distill key principles from their work, our core work becomes framework change—helping people change the framework through which they perceive the world and engage in solutions. We accelerate the adoption of new principles by building powerful communities to trigger and spread them, such as Empathy in Early Childhood Education, or Changemaking in Youth Years.
We aim to accelerate the emergence of an Everyone a Changemaker world by spreading a new framework for leadership and management that allows leaders to transition their organizations from being siloed hierarchies to dynamic networks that engage in hybrid value systems.
To achieve rapid, widespread adoption of these new norms, we are working with business advisors and business schools as key partners. We also work directly with individuals and teams from institutions to help them adopt this new way of organizing so they become agents for rapidly scaling-up social impact.
Ashoka’s Co-Creation Strategy
Ashoka is pursuing this vision through three key strategies, working with and leveraging external partners and internal teams that have already established successful models globally:
- Create a Trigger Community
- We are building a global community of entrepreneurs and innovators who see and can help propagate a new way to organize that allows individuals, teams, and institutions to apply their full potential to create value.
- Co-Create a Market for New Way of Organizing
- We will work with select corporate partners with which we refine and implement a new way of organizing, preparing them to succeed in today’s new strategic environment and establishing tool kits and lessons learned.
- We will work with multipliers—strategic advisors and service providers—to develop products that will help their clients adapt to the new strategic environment—engaging both their clients as well Ashoka Fellows throughout the world.
- We will build an open infrastructure to share examples, tool kits, and lessons learned from making this transition and creating hybrid value systems.
- Change the Conversation
- We will aggregate and amplify voices calling for a new way of organizing, and work with publishers and networks to help bring the conversation to decisionmakers.
- We will work with pioneering business schools to shift the conversation and curriculum so they prepare students and managers to lead in the new strategic environment.
Our objective is to create exponential growth in the number of businesses and social organizations that are able to co-create hybrid value systems, generating social impact and systems change on a large scale.