Generativity in companies
We can define a generative enterprise as a company that looks to long-term planning for its goals, with an innovative vision and embracing social and environmental values. Generative enterprises aim at a future vision and at a generative role that has a positive impact on the outside world.
Social generativity is an initiative, whether personal or collective, that contributes creatively, productively and responsibly to the empowerment of others, promoting the renewal of economic, social, cultural and institutional life.
When and why can a company be defined as generative? Let us look together at some of the elements that characterise this term.
Social actions: sustainability
A concept to which generativity is very much linked is that of sustainability. Sustainability has been in common use for some time now in various areas and contexts. When we talk about sustainable development, we mean the conscious growth of companies and organisations of various kinds that aim to protect society and the environment.
In a 2022 report, ANSA reports on a study into sustainable futures: 44% of companies have quantitative sustainability targets and 35% have defined realistic timeframes for achieving them. The companies that have not yet adopted this tool are about 15%, but they declare a development in the near future.
However, after the global pandemic of the last two years, 20% of companies have accelerated their transition towards sustainability.
The research method
In order to understand what generativity is and which enterprises can be defined as generative, the researcher has to carve out time for observation. We can see the most used procedure, until recently, was to go and see in the field what is considered generative in order to understand how to identify it in a certain category of behaviour at a social level. The basic criteria to be taken into account are creativity, innovation, and above all which ones gave consistent results in a process that brought value not only for themselves but also for others.
However, the initial model was very standard, i.e. based on interviews and subsequent reports. However, this was difficult to convey and had several limitations. Thus, the narrative dimension was born, which became a real process in which the narrator and the recipient share a story. We can highlight several steps in the narrative-based analysis of a generative company. First of all, the sitographic analysis; the study of documentary materials; exploratory observation interviews (first visit); videos recorded by a videomaker with interviews and images (second visit); post-production; approval and publication on the website and related social networks.
Generative enterprises have specific characteristics which make them easily recognizable. To list a few of the main ones we have the use of eco-friendly materials, reducing pollution and waste, creating social initiatives (charity events, donations) and respect for employees, extra bonuses and fair wages.
Generativity in fashion: the example of Brunello Cucinelli
Social generativity is an innovative phenomenon but at the same time very close to the present day. It is very important for companies to move in this direction in order to promise a better world to future generations.
Several brands from disparate fields have taken the commitment to generativity seriously, making substantial changes to production techniques to reduce the negative impact on the environment.
One extremely positive example is the Brunello Cucinelli brand, named after the designer of the same name, which has been promoting core values, including sustainability and sociality, for years. The boutique has put a small Umbrian village (Castel Rigone, PG) back on track by relocating its business there and creating a workforce. Despite enjoying tax relief due to numerous donations, it has never used its name for advertising purposes. The positive impact on the environment is very high, not to mention the creation of company business and economic advantage. Indeed, revenues have risen to 712 million in 2021, a +17,2% increase over 2019.