Sustainability stage 5

The Sustainable Company – Stage 5

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 5 of 5.

In this stage, the company is creating next practice platforms. Next practice platforms change existing paradigms. So the central challenge in this stage is to question the dominant logic behind today’s business models, but to do so through the lens of the sustainable company model.

The competencies required to manage this change of view will include:

  • Knowledge of how renewable and nonrenewable resources affect business ecosystems and industries
  • The expertise to synthesize business models, technologies and regulations in different industries

Needless to say, the pursuit of new sustainable business models and looking at the world through the lens of sustainability will provide innovation opportunities galore:

  • Building business platforms that will enable customers and suppliers to manage energy in radically different ways
  • Developing products that won’t need water in categories traditionally associatew with it, such as cleaning products
  • Designing technologies that will allow industries to use the energy produced as a by-product

Sustainability can lead to interesting next-practice platforms. One is emerging at the intersection of the internet and energy management. Called the smart grid, it uses digital technology to manage power generation, transmission, and distribution from all types of sources along with consumer demand.

Will your company be left behind? Will you take advantage of the new sustainability movement not only to make your business more efficient, but to develop your own next-practice platform?

Our final post in this series on this excellent article in the Harvard Business Review will summarize the thoughts around “A few simple rules” for entering into the fray on Sustainability.

Introduction, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4