Organizational Change

Bob Willard: “I’m Screwing Up as a Sustainability Champion.”

[Strong words from one of the most effective change agents in Sustainability]

“I’m screwing up as a sustainability champion. Going forward I’ve decided to change tactics and lead with a “burning platform” of environmental and social risks rather than the “carrot” of business opportunities.”


For fifteen years, I have been writing and speaking about how corporations can capture the 4 carrots of emerging business opportunities, while reducing their negative environmental and social footprints.  The good news is that, for whatever reasons, some businesses are making incremental progress on their sustainability agendas. The bad news is that not enough firms are making enough progress, fast enough, to get to where they need to be―and to where my kids and my grandsons need them to be. I’ve decided to click into a different gear and to lead with a “burning platform” of environmental and social risks―the stick―that businesses must mitigate if they want to be fit for the future. There are 5 reasons that it’s time for me―and perhaps other frustrated sustainability champions―to change tactics.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Culture and Leadership, Featured Articles, Leadership, Risk Management, sustainability trends, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?

future-fit-boards-copyIn a recent webinar hosted by Helle Bank Jorgensen, a panel including the Global Chairman of Unilever, the Chair of the CSR Committee from PVH Corp. and Managing Director of BlackRock was assembled to discuss the crucial board questions of our time. A general consensus was reached that a balance must be struck between long-term goals and short-term gains. Sustainable short-term shareholder returns will result from a clear, company-wide strategy for long-term success.

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A Clear Mission Can Be Incredibly Powerful: Lessons from Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation


Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Vermont governor Peter Shumlin unveil the Food Fight Fudge Brownie flavor in June, developed to support the state’s legal defense over its law to require labeling of bioengineered ingredients. | Image credit: Food Business News

All businesses value consumer and employee loyalty and the opportunity to shape the playing field in which they operate. Mission-driven businesses such as B Corps Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s are finding that having an authentic purpose that resonates with their customers opens the door to exciting approaches to activism that engage their base in powerful ways. The union of company and employee passions not only boosts loyalty but also can lead to successful advocacy for shared causes. Conventional companies seeking to emulate their successes should follow three key steps:

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Also posted in B Corp, Business and Sustainability, Culture and Leadership, Green Communications, Green Consumer, Green Marketing, Leadership & Culture, Organizational Culture, Sustainable Food, Sustainable Supply Chain, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Top 3 Myths of Why CSR Strategies Fail?

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”… right?

Failure of a businessman due to crisis

I used to believe that the right plan would always yield the right result. Just follow the steps, stay the course, and celebrate the win. I then learned that people are unwieldy; if they don’t have a say in the plan, they won’t see how it pertains to them, and they don’t follow through. Easy solution: start with an environmental scan, adjust the plan to the people, and then you’re back on track – stay the course, celebrate the win.

But even after all that, my plans seemed to fail. And still, the problem seemed to be the people. I gave them a great plan, so why couldn’t they just fall in line?

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Also posted in Behaviour Change, Business and Sustainability, Culture and Leadership, Leadership & Culture, The Hub | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Incrementalism is Too Slow. What Does Real Disruption Look Like?

disruptive-thinkingThe CSRwire community recently participated in a Twitter chat in response to this query: “What will disrupt your year?” Leading experts gathered to discuss CSR and sustainability trends in 2014. Over an hour’s time, a range of assumptions and common frames emerged. In spite of the challenge to explore the concept of disruption, please judge for yourself whether most of the responses were disruptive or best described as incremental.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Capitalism 2.0, Culture Change, Innovation, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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