The Sustainable Company – Stage 1

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

In a previous post, we looked at the work done by Ram Nidumolu and M.R. Rangaswami in which they stated that there is no alternative to sustainable development. And they identified the five stage process on the road to sustainability. This post discusses Stage 1.

Stage 1 is labeled as “viewing compliance as opportunity” rather than as a burden. According to the authors, the central challenge is to ensure that compliance with norms becomes an opportunity for innovation. If we keep the focus on innovating new products, services and processes, then we will ensure that we have a competitive advantage.

In this stage, the competencies needed are:

  • The ability to anicipate and shape regulations, and
  • The skill to work with other companies, including rivals, to implement creative solutions.

The innovation opportunity for this stage on the path to sustainability is building a culture that uses compliance to induce your team and their partners to experiment with sustainable technologies, materials and processes – throughout the whole business model.

So again, the question is: Has your company reached stage 1? Are you beyond? What will you do if you find your products or services falling out of favor for those who are understood to be socially and ecologically responsible?