Sustaining Innovation

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

By Alvin Codner:

Social Entrepreneurship can occur in for-profit business but most certainly... in non-profit organization as well as the government(public sector). I believe elected officials whether on the local, state, or federal level, have thee ultimate duty to be innovative in making the objectives easier to accomplish for every day living people.

Throughout my research while I was in the Florida Atlantic University College of Design and Social Inquiry, I discovered the Organizational Capacity for Continuous Innovation (OCCI). This model was developed by Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair, who surveyed literature in non-profits. The OCCI model emphasizes the idea that innovations should be thought about as a process, rather than an outcome.

One of my goals for organizations in the City of Kissimmee is to increase the capacity for innovation. Some potential ways to acquire that initiative is to:

  • Create a “vision for innovation”, defining what it means to people throughout the organization.

  • Align innovation systems with organizational strategy

  • Listen and stay open, both to internal and external sources of possible new ideas

  • Engage in collaboration, since partners bring new perspectives and ideas

  • Maintain a flat organizational structure, facilitating communication and a quick approval process for new initiatives

  • Define jobs around innovation

  • Build a culture that embraces failure

The Future of Sustaining Innovation in the City of Kissimmee

Social Entrepreneurship has been adopted as a key strategy of the U.S. government to promote social goals both at home and around the world. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed by President Barak Obama in 2009, created a federally funded Social Innovation fund to ultimately provide grants to non-profit organizations that have innovative solutions with “compelling results”. There are already non-profit organizations in the City of Kissimmee and Osceola County that are being promoting social entrepreneurialism such as The Community Hope Center and Community Vision. There are many citizens who not only want to join them but they also want to cultivate sustainability here in Osceola County but there is simply not enough funds to do so. Which brings me to the counter side of what it means to be a true social entrepreneur. You can't strive to be an social entrepreneur without having a full understanding that you will not become rich off of it, you will always give more than you receive, and there will be a million selfish people, to your one person, who will be against every thing you are trying to do to better your environment.

If you ever decided to do a critical assessments regarding the impacts of social entrepreneurs you may believe that it will only harm your community and give false hope. Paul Light is the author of The Search of Social Entrepreneurship. According to Paul Light, “At best, social entrepreneurship creates the fantasy that solving intractable problems is only one mad scientist away; at worst, it reinforces the budget-cutters illusion that anything old cannot be worth saving.” Based on this, Light suggests that the term social entrepreneurship be replaced with the more traditional concept of public service.

By definition, public service is a service that is provided by the government to the people living within its jurisdiction, either direct (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. Per my perspective, anyone and any organization can provide public service and be change agents within their communities. If every community had numerous for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and simply your average capable citizen providing public service to others... this world would be a better place to live on.

Even with critical assessments like Paul Light’s, continuously improving living conditions around the world have made social entrepreneurship a viable option that is likely to continue as a growing movement. Social Entrepreneurship is important in the activities of the nonprofit and public sector, but it is not the same as non-profit/public management. However, the thinking of social entrepreneurs will continue to impact the management of most nonprofit/public organizations by further increasing emphasis on measuring performance and on developing innovative solutions.

#Innovation #Kissimmee #AC2020 #Sustainability

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