Innovation sparks change. On June 18, local Newark luminaries, representing a diverse range of industries and backgrounds, came for fellowship, networking, and recognition of the area’s finest leaders at The Art of Business Innovation Experience at The Newark Museum of Art. Shay McCray, an on-air personality with iHeart radio, served as the event emcee, honoring nine honorees a day before the Juneteenth holiday.

“You all make us proud with the work you do every single day in the Newark community,” said Munson Steed, CEO and founder of rolling out, during his closing remarks. “What you do matters more than you know. We all have the power to change lives. We must vote, rest, resist, and repeat to keep the energy in this room tonight alive for our future work outside of this room.”

Alyssa Wilds, director of corporate and community relations at Reworld, and Munson Steed presented each honoree with their award, a framed and signed print of art by a Black artist.

“I want everyone in this room who has connections and is being recognized to think about how we expand this network so we can continue to shine,” said Wilds. “We can look for opportunities to speak the name of others in our community who deserve a chance, an opportunity, a connection. This event offers the opportunity for our team at Reworld to also network and connect with you to continue the work of community partnership.”

John E. Harmon, Sr., founder, president, and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey, delivered opening remarks. Harmon received an award at last year’s event in Newark.

Rolling out and Reworld recognized Karima Jackson, President and CEO of Exquisite Property Services, Inc., with customized art designed by artist Munson W. Steed.

What is innovation?

Business innovation is the act of introducing something new to a company—whether it’s new products, new markets, a business model, and so on—to reinvigorate the company and promote new value and growth. Innovation is all about business leaders coming up with (or listening to) creative ideas and then using strategic innovation management to successfully implement the new business ideas. (MasterClass)

Be a leader in workplace innovation.

Innovation refers to the development of new ideas or the improvement of existing ideas. Being innovative at work means that you contribute ideas and solutions to workplace challenges or problems. Innovators recognize when there’s a need for improvement, and they use logic, reason and creativity to come up with ways to meet those needs. They often structure systems, collaborate and build tools or products that add value to their environment or culture. They may work to improve productivity, increase revenue, or develop collaboration—and the effects are often memorable and impact change. (Indeed)

Innovation can be challenging for individuals and organizations, but the results are game-changing! Employees may resist innovative changes at first, so be patient.

The University of San Diego presents five recommended steps on how to foster innovation from within:

  1. Listen to your customers – The issues and problems of the people that you’re serving, whether they’re external to your business or a part of it, will highlight the things you should focus on.
  2. Keep asking, “So what?” – Not to your customers, but to yourself.  “So, what’s the real issue here?” “So, what’s causing this?” So, what do they really want?” It’s an interrogation to understand your customer’s functional or emotional problem, need, or task they’re trying to accomplish.
  3. “Think outside the box” – It’s a cliche, but it’s also fundamental to innovation. This is where you push yourself to explore new and unconventional approaches and techniques  of solving the “so what.”
  4. Experiment with new solutions – Bottom line, it actually has to work. Set yourself up in a safe environment and start trying out these new solutions to see what’s going to happen.
  5. Rinse and repeat – You’re going to fail. Repeatedly. This is the real truth about innovation: it doesn’t form from nothing but comes about through dedication, iteration, and perseverance. If you want to make this work within your business, you will need to create the right environment for it.

Innovation is good for the environment, our economy, and our businesses.

“Innovation, first and foremost, is nurtured by ensuring diversity of ideas and creativity. It is also important to be resourceful, collaborative, and embrace networking with other professionals to understand industry-leading trends/advancements. Innovation also requires having a full understanding of the scope of a problem and historical frame of reference. In this way, including research-based practices to expand and/or challenge existing thought is critical. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. It is part of the innovation process. Embrace experimenting with newly created solutions while collecting data and analyzing outcomes.” said Karima Jackson, President and CEO of Exquisite Property Services, Inc.

Karima Jackson, President and CEO of Exquisite Property Services, Inc.

As such, Exquisite Property Services, Inc. is more than a cleaning company.  Their core values include:

  • Sustainability
  • Affordability
  • Community Oriented
  • Convenient
  • Quality Custom Service
  • Safety First

Innovation is the tool and mindset needed to effect change in our world and environment. Community concerns regarding waste, recycling, water, and environmental damage require a concerted effort. In an article on, innovative ideas are happening in the waste management industry:

By the year 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.40 billion tons of waste annually. This means an increase of 70 percent from the 2016 levels. The World Bank, in their report, What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050, published these staggering numbers back in 2018, calling for immediate action to stop this from happening. This surge is due to rapid urbanisation, population growth and the rise of consumer culture. And unfortunately, not much has happened since to mitigate waste generation.

The report points out that sound waste management systems are essential to building a circular economy, where products are designed and optimised for reuse and recycling. As national and local governments embrace the circular economy, the report states smart and sustainable waste management practices will help drive efficient economic growth while minimising environmental impacts.

So, what can you do to innovate your home, business, and community?

Here are a few ideas from Exquisite Property Services:

  • Community-based approaches to water preservation deliver a powerful strategy for addressing the global water conservation challenge at a local level. By engaging local communities in initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, the restoration of wetlands, and the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices, these approaches harness local residents’ collective action and knowledge and build community engagement.
  • Sustainable ideas! Try gathering some friends or coworkers and cleaning up the community you live and work in.  According to Brightly, There are 5.25 trillion pieces (and counting) of garbage in the ocean. They suggest you gather some of your closest pals for a beach cleanup or host an open event for anyone in your area to participate. You can even make a day out of it and picnic on the beach afterward. Think outside of the box and have fun together. You could even make it a fundraiser, gather recyclables, and donate the money to your favorite nonprofit.
  • Composting is an excellent project for your family or community. Composting starts with a simple commitment, and it does not take much! Have some fun!

Contact us to learn more about how you can transform innovative ideas into sustainable and environmentally sound practices. Exquisite Property Services is a catalyst for change. Our services are delivered with a keen focus on innovation and its impact on community well-being. We are honored to receive the award and vow to continue to make our community, city, state, and country a better place to live.

Creating Clean Communities