Eureka, with rigor

Large corporations know they must innovative to survive. But they approach the process with much less structure and discipline than they do more routine functions like sales or IT.

With Exelon, the country’s largest energy company, GreenHouse raised the standard for corporate innovation, helping develop a repeatable process for group ideation – which we tested together around the country with groups of corporate executives. The experiment produced new, actionable insights into the role Exelon and other utilities could play in building a better electric grid.

From our final report: “Many experts claim that they can guide companies toward new ideas and ways of implementing them. But such interventions often wither and die after the consultant’s contract ends or the organization’s leadership changes. To truly thrive in today’s world, organizations need sustainable means of innovating that are woven into the culture of the organization itself.”

Our findings informed applications of our original methodology for social innovation in similar tests with executives at Coca-Cola, entrepreneurs at 10.10.10 and doctoral students at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.