The Sustainable Company – A Few Simple Rules.

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. In this, the final post on this article, I summarize “A Few Simple Rules” on the road to sustainability.

Smart corporations follow these simple rules in their effort to become sustainable:

  1. Don’t start from the present

If the starting point is the current approach to business, the view of the future is likely to be an optimistic extrapolation.

  1. Ensure that learning precedes investments

Top management’s interest in sustainability sometimes leads to investments in projects without an understanding of how to execute them.

  1. Stay wedded to the goal while constantly adjusting tactics

Smart executives accept that they will have to make many tactical adjustments along the way.

  1. Build collaborative capacity

Few innovations, be they to comply with regulations or to create a new line of products, can be developed in today’s world unless companies form alliances with other businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments.

  1. Use a global presence to experiment

Multinational corporations enjoy an advantage in that they can experiment overseas as well as at home.

While these “rules” may seem straight forward, there will undoubtedly be a ton of change management for the organizations moving in this direction.

I encourage you to read this article in full at the HBR site and to consider moving your company forward into the sustainability model of doing business. It is an opportunity to challenge yourself and your people to innovate along very exciting and ethical lines. It will help you to pay attention to the triple bottom line and have an “unfair competitive advantage!”

Previous Posts:
Introduction, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5