Experiments – Enterprise Lab

The Enterprise Lab addresses questions about a firm’s pathway to sustainable enterprise by undertaking experiments about processes, products, structures, and relationships.  This experimental approach aims to produce both new knowledge and new firm capacity.

Baseline Assessment

An experiment can either follow and build on the initial analysis done in The Observatory, or a corporation’s relationship with GOLDEN can begin with an Enterprise Lab about a critical question it has already identified.  In either case, the experiment involves a collaborative development process with a focus on strategic issues for the company.

An initial step in either case is to do an assessment of the current status of issues, vis-a-vis the question being investigated.  If the Observatory analysis has already been completed, this assessment will be a sub-set of the data-gathering to investigate the particular issue in question in more detail.

Designing the Experiment

The experiment is a change intervention.  One of the assets GOLDEN brings to bear is a global network of thought leaders across issues and a skillful group of research designers.  They will design an experiment that addresses the strategic sustainability issue, and determine its shape in discussion with corporate representatives.  In most cases, either internal or external consultants will also be part of the actual implementation design, so they will also be involved.

The Change Intervention

An intervention may already be underway as a result of earlier company decisions; the company may chose to undertake other activities in response to their Assessments. The Assessments will help companies understand and prioritize activities, by presenting them in the context of company-wide capabilities and options identified across all the pilot companies.

Key products – Interventions will produce:

  • Confidential reports to each company on the strengths and weaknesses of the way it designs and enacts change at the cultural, operating and strategic levels, in order to integrate sustainability principles.
  • Anonymous comparative analysis across companies to understand how the strengths and weaknesses may vary by factors such as size, culture and industry.
  • Development of refined and new approaches through a meeting of member companies and research centers.

Impact Assessment

There will be a Post-Intervention Impact Assessment. It repeats key components of the initial assessment to identify the effectiveness of the interventions. When sufficient companies participate, this will afford comparative analysis. Through the global GOLDEN network, new and more impactful ways will be much more speedily developed.

Key products – Post-Interventions Assessment produce:

  • A confidential report for each company tailored to its strategic priorities, to assess the company’s dynamic capabilities for sustainability and prioritized actions to strengthen them;
  • Anonymous comparative analysis across companies to (1) understand how companies dynamic capabilities for sustainability may vary by factors such as size, culture and industry; and (2) identify leading practices and lessons;  and
  • Development of collective understanding of “the state of the art” and identification of how to advance it, through a meeting of member companies and research centers.
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