Posts Tagged ‘Management consulting’

“It isn’t just the low-hanging fruit we go after.” ~Ray C. Anderson

I have read that the Chinese symbol for crisis is union of 2 characters. In Chinese, ”crisis” is an interesting word and is derived from DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.  Whether it is true may be debatable, but in any transformation, executives must be open to new ideas and wisely choose people who will be a catalysts for change. Sustainability is a new mindset.  This new mindset promotes ethics, promotes stewardship recognizing that our planet has limited resources, and ultimately promotes elimination of natural and man-made waste. Therefore, the danger is the reduction or eradication of our biosphere in the next 30 years or the opportunity to preserve our planet for this generations and future generations.

Ray C. Anderson was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Interface, a global modular carpet company. He was also the first Sustainability pioneer who awakened to the fact that our business paradigms are based on a take-make-waste model. This model, created by Paul Hawkens, demonstrates how most businesses create revenue from poor business practices without considering any environmental impact and exploits society.  It rewards short-term performance without acknowledging long-term consequences.

As a pioneer and visionary, he recognized his short-sightedness and selected a team to help him transform his enterprise.  Anderson searched, not for one expert, but a team of experts to address his corporation’s needs (Dr. Michael Braungart, Bill McDonough, Paul Hawken, L. Hunter Lovins,  Amory Lovins, et al).  Each brought different experiences, different knowledge bases, different mindsets (e.g., architecture, law, environmentalists, chemistry, etc.), but each commonly promoted sustainable development. These team members are still thought as today’s thought leaders for transforming enterprises into new sustainability developed corporations.

In a recent LinkedIn discussion about “circular economy”, I made this comment: “The graphic is crisp, clean and tells an aspirational story, but I would have expected added thought / value from McKinsey. There are many models that have been developed over the last two decades and as you pointed out there are other references to a circular economy.”

The conversation did no reach a conclusion about the diagram, but my obvious problem with the diagram was twofold. First, it did not show how disruptive technology would be integrated tool formulating the solution for a  circular economy. Second, the ultimate goal for Sustainability is the elimination of wastes (e.g., emission: water, air, land). So why would landfills be noted?

McKinsey Global Institute discusses for “trend breakers” from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. In the 20th century, the great moderations (1980-2000) was based on demographics drove economic growth, capital was cheaper, resources were cheaper, government privatized and cut taxes, and each generation was better off than the previous. Trend breakers included: debt crisis, urbanization, aging and disruptive technologies (The term “disruptive technologies” was coined by Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen as the critical influence to innovation.)

As the Romans said; “Caveat emptor, Latin for ‘Let the buyer beware!’’ Be prepared and objective. Don’t accept web site “solutions” as the ultimate answer for your situation. In most cases, your environment is unique. Understand the basics and integrate your organizations strengths (e.g., commitment, change management, project management, LEED certified architects, IT specialists, etc.) to take advantage of opportunities and avoid the dangers. Be careful and understand what a diagram portrays, for it may not be the “silver bullet” you are looking for.

I would recommend reading Ray C. Anderson’s book, Mid-Course Correction, as I believe it laid out the foundation of Sustainability that is not too different today. When I taught a graduate class in Sustainability. I strongly recommended this reading to my students. Not only does Anderson identify areas of opportunity, but he visually represented an enterprise maturity model that could be overlaid in almost any enterprise. His vision and experience would be of interest to anyone who wants a better understanding of today’s consultants and their differing approaches.

My recommendation is to be educated about what Sustainability is. It is a shared value that considers business, environment and society. It is a long term mindset. It is best implemented by business, as government is often too slow and expensive to implement change. Include your stakeholders, for sharing sustainability objectives with your Customer, Supplier, etc., and it will ensure your corporate direction and provide them transparency as a tool for communication and negotiation.  (This approach was used as a mantra at Interface and leveraged by Walmart in its corporate transformation. All stakeholders need to be aware of the reasons for the transformation, its benefits and commitment by the company’s leadership.)


Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet if all men became just, there would be no need for courage.”
~ Agesilaus the Second 443 ~ 359 BC, King of Sparta 401-360 BC

I have had my graduate students ask what are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and why should they be considered as an externality to a corporate organization? A better question might be: Does a business-to-NGO (B2N) relationship exist and should we beware of outside agendas?

First, what is an NGO? The term originated from the United Nations, and normally refers to organizations that are not a part of a government and are not conventional for-profit businesses. In the United States, NGOs are typically nonprofit organizations. The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue wider social aims that have political aspects, but are not openly political organizations such as political parties.

Second, the term “externality” originated from an economic perspective: a side effect or consequence of an industrial or commercial activity that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved, such as the pollination of surrounding crops by bees kept for honey.

In a Sustainability context, it takes another meaning: Externalities occur when a third party incurs unintended consequences from the market behaviors of others. Externalities can be either negative (pollution, waste clean-up fees that a community must bear, rather than the generator of the waste), or they can be positive (The Clean Water Act generates positive effects for many who were not involved in enacting the bill).

Sustainability is in its infancy and understanding how to manipulate or replace one technology with another, or use a different best practice over another, or even find a better energy source that is reliable, safe, practical and cost effective can be very complex set of decisions and often require innovative approaches. Business must currently utilize existing energy resources to produce goods and services and create jobs and investments.

But, business is always looking for better ways of working. It now recognizes that energy will have a significant impact on our economy in the next 20-50 years. The 18 September issue of the WSJ states; “Companies are increasingly choosing to generate their own power, rather than buying it from a utility, spurred by falling prices for solar panels and natural gas, and fears of outages.”

Executives clearly understand that continuing to rely on local utilities is a risky decision. They also recognize that alternatives can produce significant tangible benefits for the corporation and energy efficiency is one of  those opportunities. So, when costs for alternative energy sources are available, business will migrate.

There is a raging debate about the importance of carbon energy usage. It is neither clear-cut, nor clearly understood. It is often a discussed in simplified terms, but in reality is interwoven into our biosphere and interacts with other recognized issues: global warming, climate change and increasing rise of emissions. But this is an issue that NGOs, like CDP, embrace and often distort to fit their agenda.

“Companies can only reduce their carbon emissions if they know how and when they are emitting”; says Frances Way, Co-Chief Operating Officer, of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). That may sound good, but as an executive of an NGO, her perspective is neither objective, nor recognizes what has been implemented and successful without her rhetoric.  She sees CDP as the one change agent for businesses and highlights the importance of reducing carbon emissions. The Guardian journalist, Jo Cafino wrote; “Shame on all of you and the other 90 of the 500 largest listed companies in the world that chose not to give CDP the data it requested.”

So, why didn’t business furnish the data? From an executive’s point of view, compliance is not an NGO-business (B2N) function or purpose. Compliance is based on laws and regulations within governments (B2G) that corporations are legally incorporated and obliged to fulfill. But the drum beat by CDP seems to ignore what many of these companies have successfully done. In many ways they are the leaders of change and have begun the journey of reducing their carbon footprint. Had Cafino and Way actually researched a few of the 90 who didn’t report to CDP, they would have found much more.

If CDP read between the lines, Business is saying you are wasting our time. Sustainability is eliminating all waste: waste from external sources, waste from internal sources and waste from external demands that have already been actively pursued. From a Business perspective, their time has already been expended to resolve all of their Sustainability issues, not only carbon. Here are the their top three and what I found through simple searches on the web:

Amazon’s has demonstrated their commitment to energy reduction, thus reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Energy efficient buildings – usually 35-40 percent of energy use is consumed by buildings. Amazon has constructed six new LEEDs Gold certified buildings.
  • Corporate offices in Munich, Germany have been Gold-certified as environmentally friendly by the German Sustainable Building Council
  • Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Arizona received LEED certification for their commercial interiors.
  • Beijing, China maximizes the use of natural lighting, saving thousands of kilowatt-hours of power usage each month.

Amazon’s program summary: http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=13786321

Apple: Since 2009, Apple has measured their Environmental Footprint, not only in their buildings, but they approach it systematically. It included their products, supply chain and end of life cycle. It was a holistic approach. A former executive from EPA was brought in to organize and develop those strategies that would effectively benefit Apple not only in terms of carbon reduction, but included benefits in cost reduction, waste elimination, sales opportunities, brand image and incorporating Sustainability into product development and differentiation. In addition, their data centers (which also consumes 25-40 percent of energy in most corporations) are now powered 100 percent by renewable sources (e.g., solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal). Apple’s program: http://www.apple.com/environment/

Facebook is often controversial. Its privacy policies and lack of transparency are often problematic. So, when the issue regarding carbon usage or even applying Sustainability is not clear; therefore, their organization is easy to target its brand image.

So, what is an NGO? CDP is an organization that pursues wider social aims that have political aspects. It could also be viewed as an organization with an suspicious agenda. In this case, it demands information without authority, one that duplicates efforts from the business-government relationship model (B2G). So, in this context, what is the value-added? Maybe CDP should be obliged to apply Transparency themselves?

For those interested in the original articles, their links are provided below:

Original articles

An NGO opinion: Report shows companies still don’t take climate change seriously – CDP analysis reveal lack of action on emissions by top FTSE Global 500 corporations


Another NGO opinion: Full disclosure on carbon emissions is the only way to save the planet. Shame on you, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. It is nothing short of a disgrace these three brands and 94 other major corporations refuse to divulge carbon emissions data to global NGO CDP. Read about the 97 brands, including Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which refuse to disclose their carbon emissions


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No other time in history has mankind seen the probable future of the planet and will be judged by his actions to preserve it.
~ Ralph Jarvis

I wanted to express my deep appreciation for those interested in the completion of my new book. Thank you so much for your interest for it, which often encouraged me to bring this second book to fruition. Here is an update to my publish timeline: I plan on publishing the book in the October – November 2103 timeframe.

It will be available on Amazon and compliments the first book, “Any Questions?!” That book was the first primer to address the union of Sustainability and Lean Six Sigma practices woven onto business strategies to eliminate waste.

I completed this first book, “Any Questions?!”, which is the first leadership primer that fuses Sustainability with the Lean Six Sigma. The book, available through Amazon and Kindle, is design to be used in lecture, web, or workshop environments. This is what others, who have reviewed the book, recommend:

“This is not a book on theory.  Rather,  “Any Questions?” is a leader’s reference for Lean Six Sigma application and the creation of a true 21st century, sustainable, and competitive organization.  ~ Walter W. Casey, PhD

“This is not a ‘how to of Lean Six Sigma’ it is a ‘why to of Lean Six Sigma’.  We are in a time when calculated change is necessary and inevitable. Taking a data driven concept and intertwining that with people and operations is Mr. Jarvis’ outline for success.  You might expect a typical ‘dry Lean Six Sigma read’, but instead you will find a book on effective leadership.”  ~ Traci Bernard, President

“For anyone tasked with the implementation of strategic plans, either for a whole organization or an individual business unit this book is a valuable resource.”  ~ David Sutherland, CTO

As mentioned previously, “Any Questions?!” was a ‘why to of Lean Six Sigma’. The new book is designed to provide an understanding to “why Sustainability transformation” of a company. Why change to Sustainability? What is the value for business to change its enterprise? Why change to Lean Six Sigma? Why would you want to combine both concepts? Why is Sustainability a long-term Commitment and why it promotes a better future?

Senior leadership needs to focus on a Vision that can be controlled and that can be affected. Elimination of waste is key for both Sustainability and Quality, regardless of your maturity level. Remember, Sustainability and Quality are long-term commitments, but benefit your enterprise for different reasons.

Deming’s original groundbreaking intellectual capital was a keystone to future growth and application of Qaulity. However, from Deming’s point of view, Quality initiatives are not simply dismissed after a crisis. Deming become frustrated with American executives when most programs for statistical quality control were terminated once World War II and government contracts came to an end.

However, the new book establishes the value proposition that the “spine” of Sustainability is fused with Lean Six Sigma to target and eliminate waste, internally and externally. The book walks you through CXOs perspectives to those targeted areas that need remediation. The final result is tangible bottom line benefits while improving brand image and recognizing corporate responsibilities in term of economic, environmental and social spheres.

More to come …
Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

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Published by TED. Doris Kim Sung is a biology student turned architect interested in thermo-bimetals, smart materials that respond dynamically to temperature change.

“[Skin is] the first line of defense for the body.  Our building skins should be more similar to human skin.”       ~ Doris Kim Sung

Modern buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows give spectacular views, but they require a lot of energy to cool. Doris Kim Sung works with thermo-bimetals, smart materials that act more like human skin, dynamically and responsively, and can shade a room from sun and self-ventilate.

Related articles

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Norman Marks, VP of SAP, considers himself an evangelist for better run business. He is a practitioner and thought leader in internal audit, risk management, compliance and ethics, and has led large and small internal audit departments, been a Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, and managed IT Security and governance functions. The following article was written by Mr. Marks and was published in Sustainable Business Forum (click on this link to read more).

Related articles

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Four Emerging Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility, published by TriplePundit, bringing you the latest thinking on CSR, social media, and more. Written by Alison Monahan who is a web developer, turned lawyer, turned entrepreneur. She runs The Girl’s Guide to Law School and co-founded the Law School Toolbox.

New Media and CSR: Communicating Corporate Good, moderated by TriplePundit’s very own Nick Aster, identified four major emerging trends in Corporate Social Responsibility in a free-wheeling discussion between:

It’s CSR 2.0 — rife with risks but full of opportunities.

Here’s the bottom line: Four Emerging Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility

Key notes:

  • Your brand is decreasingly under your control
  • Transparency is terrifying, but authenticity is the reward
  • CSR is a business imperative

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English: Art Buchwald, Miami Book Fair Interna...

English: Art Buchwald, Miami Book Fair International, 1989 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His column focused on political satire and commentary. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Outstanding Commentary and was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Clever, witty, and smart, he who would take swings at life’s inane behavior, whether public or political, with a salvo of words that usually had a twist of wisdom. Read what he said about our society:

“And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this Godawful mess.”  ~ Art Buchwald

Stop and think about it … you might want to read the next guy, being less verbose and more succinct, express a similar frustration.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another..”   ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Stop and think about it …

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Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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Shlomo Benartzi uses behavioral economics to study how and why we plan well for the future (or fail to), and uses that to develop new programs to encourage saving for retirement.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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