Looking at the books at the airport I saw a whole session on the Harvard Business Reviews – some relatively old. Still it was clear the patter of the titles – “Managing change”; “Managing talents”; “How to manage…”.

In many occasions, managing does not make much sense, specially change, although we can be conscious of the changes. It seems that we should put our energy in what we want to maintain rather than what we want to change, at least when we are talking about more complex and emergent issues. We do change the details, but we maintain the mindset we feed. Most of the things we are talking about here are not about details, they are about mindsets.

I am calling this writings Sustainable System Innovations for a reason that is becoming more clear with time – coming from a conference talking about strength-based approaches for organizational intervention, I’ve been listening to the call for sustain change, change sustainably, and change in innovative ways, breaking the incremental pace.

Again I don’t think we need to sustain change, we need to sustain what we value as things change. We can only constitute ourselves as an organization if basic fabric is maintained – and the flip side of the coin – is only organizational culture that can really set the difference and, including, a business edge*.

But we can change things both in innovative ways and creating the steps towards a sustainable influence regarding environmental and social issues, all while generating value for our organization. Have the two together it’s like bringing the inventive designer and the precise engineer together for a great conversation. We need the technical and scientific together with the human and transformational to be engaged in things that create value for all. More examples of conversations like these are happening, and others will come, as they will show they are more innovative and last longer.

The mindset of solving my problem shifts for a mindset of co-designing our future. Imagine the possibilities.

* This comes from Volvo executive who said that they invest in a strong culture because other big players in the industry can have wonderful strategies and tech as much as they – most of the time the competitive edge comes from the strength of their culture. He presents the tripod Strategy / Organizational Structure / Culture.