Crossing HR Borders - What HR can learn from biomimicry?

'Don't think outside the box, think outside your industry.' For a lot of HR problems today, a different domain has already solved that challenge. It can be very inspiring to cross some borders to gain new insights. And we're not talking about just crossing country borders, but also the borders of your discipline, industry or other unexpected resources. These insights can lead to specific solutions of the challenges that you're facing today.

Explore these examples in this monthly 'Crossing HR Borders' series.

Corporate sustainability is an approach aiming to create long-term stakeholder value through the implementation of a business strategy that focuses on the ethical, social, environmental, cultural, and economic dimensions of doing business.

The strategies created are intended to foster longevity, transparency, and proper employee development within business organizations.

With this newsletter we are eager to give you inspiration on how some companies have strongly implemented this concept of corporate sustainability and their responsibility for the environment and human capital.

17 possible mindsets to increase your impact

Looking for a framework to set social or environmental goals? The United Nations did it for you: with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), the UN formulated 17 goals to be achieved by 2030.
At the core of the plan is the realization that fighting poverty and climate change requires good education, equality and cooperation.

>>> Look at your company's mission and values. Where can you increase your positive impact on the world?

Croque Monsieurs that will make you happy!

The mission of Happy Tosti? Selling tasty tosti’s. And offering a fun, valuable and paid job to as many people with disabilities as possible in a way that is as honest and transparent as possible. 65% of all hours worked at Happy Tosti are used by people with, for example, autism, borderline, physical disorders or hearing or visual impairments.

>>> Combining a commercial objective with a social one: it is possible in the hotel and catering industry. Could it also be possible in your company?

Learn from biomimicry

We do not seek to encourage women to eat their husbands after mating, but there are many strategies in nature that we can learn from. Biomimicry is the idea that nature can serve as an excellent benchmark, model and mentor in the design of products, processes and systems. For example, did you know that nature recycles everything? That cooperation and diversity pay off?

>>> Find out which one of the 9 biomimicry principles gives your plans direction. Forward to nature!


Those affected in disaster sites get aid packages that contain the most essential: food and medicine. Playing, however, is also a basic need for children.
The project Inside The Box by designer Lisanne Koning responds to this need: inside the aid packages she prints images of animals, DIY sets and board games. When you cut them out, they turn into toys.

>>> Are there resources in your organization that can be reused to respond to unmet needs in the company or in society?

'Crossing HR Borders' is the result of a co-creation between Marc Heleven - Innovation researcher and Cyriel Kortleven - Global speaker on the Change Mindset.

These articles were first published in the Flemish HR Magazine ZigZag.
More info: www.cyrielkortleven.com