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Posts Tagged ‘sustainability solutions’

“People only see what they are prepared to see.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Business needs a model to integrate strategies with objectives, both business and sustainability, to collaborate internally, listen to external publics, effectively apply effort and resources that produce products and services fulfilling expectations of the customer. It promotes continuous improvement while recognizing stewardship for the environment, while benefiting the corporation.

“In a typical large change program, it is not a matter of sending out the new organization chart or the new budget or the new strategy with a few projects. It is about changing people’s behavior, often a lot of people, and this is not trivial.”           ~ Professor John P Kotter, Harvard Business School

Interesting enough, research shows there are at least two paths to Sustainability. Sustainability can be a voluntary, directed and focused initiative designed to transform the mindset and culture within your organization. Often times this is a culmination of a series of transformations that has brought your organization to realize that the next step should be long-term and more stable over time. Sustainability can also be an obligation from the central government to ensure environmental control of emissions that encourages best practices or driven by market or internal forces to survive the changing market landscape.

However, there is another perspective that acknowledges that Sustainability is the evolutionary “next step” of investigating internal and external opportunities. Not every company understands Sustainability, nor embraces CSR to implement it correctly.  Understanding starts with recognizing threats and accepting why change is necessary. Here are seven possible explanations of why a company would choose to be socially responsible:

Reason #1: Urgently Needed Fixes.  Often times, Owners and Executives will want to transform their organization, with a since of urgency, for immediate reasons. Many times this is triggered by a crisis or event that forces the need for change.  It may be a vacuum in the succession of the business leadership, market valuations, illegal business practices or environmental catastrophes. Owners and Executives, who are forward thinking, will recognize potential impact of their crisis and foresee the consequences and recognize the potential exposure from past practices.

Reason #2: It’s just the way it has always been[1]. Succession of leadership is an opportunity for change. This is especially true when the original founders of the Corporation past leadership roles to trusted personnel and family. Taking this transition creates an opportunity for change that could outline a number of reasons why executives would consider Sustainability as the next logical organizational change. The organizational mantra “it’s always been this way” should be a signal for leadership to look at areas of waste and applying Sustainability and Quality principles.

Reason #3: CEO interest[2]. A CEO may have a number of interests around Sustainability, but the two most important are based on tangible benefits in mitigation of external risks. Today, more often than not CEOs will rely upon their CFOs expertise and understanding of tangible benefits from Sustainability. From a risk point of view, CEOs must play the leadership role when confronted by NGOs. As Steve Fludder, VP of Ecomagination, GE said; “Let’s figure out how to take the world in a different direction and let’s all go there together.”

Reason #4: Reducing Costs To Stay Competitive. Good leadership will have costs as targets for business success. Would these cost savings have happened anyway without Sustainability?  Perhaps. Looking through Sustainability lens, identification and elimination of costs will be seen differently. Here are some examples of how costs could increase performance and profitability in an organization:

  •    Cut mileage out of transportation routes
  •    Reduce energy consumption
  •    Reduce water consumption
  •    Telecommuting to reduce employee carbon footprint and increase productivity
  •    Eliminate a variety of waste, internally and externally

Reason #5: Legislation Uncertainty. CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Astute executives are CEOs are wary of looming “anti-business” rhetoric and possible legislation that will increase government involvement in environmental processes and procedures. In this context, CSR is a mitigation tool against government over regulation of an industry. Further, CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international regulations.

Whether through court decisions, regulations, or legislation, companies and industries can be forced into social and environmentally responsible practices. They are also worried about possible legislation that would penalize previous behavior and increase future litigation and risk to business. Current EPA regulations monitor impact from air, water and land emissions.

Reason #6: Overzealous Marketers[3]. “Greenwashing” is recognized as the “yellow journalism” of marketing. It makes claims about a product or company that cannot be substantiated by actual business or environmental actions or records involving the protection of community, habitat or the entire planet. Overzealous marketers are essentially disingenuous storytellers who are not practicing social responsibility and not transparent. However, prudent leadership caught in “liar, liar, pants on fire” scenario may be compelled to rectify that behavior and improve their brand image through active Sustainability practices.

Reason #7: Third Party Intervention. A financial institution that has supported the business may seek improvements in the business performance to reduce a potential risk to their investment. This may prompt the business leaders to take improvement actions that were previously alien to satisfy the institution and reduce the risk to their own assets that may be held as a guarantee against the investment[4].

Reason #8:  Sales Decline. There may be a serious decline in sales. Competition, new technologies, a failure to meet the customer needs and expectations, a history of poor product development and introduction or poor marketing may all be contributory factors in reduced sales and be the catalyst for the business owner to change the approach to the business development[5].

Reason #9: Takeover. The business is acquired and the policies and practices of the acquiring business are adopted and introduce a proactive approach to the business. This may follow the appointment of new executive directors[6].

Reason #10: Lack of Internal Skills. The dearth of management skills within the business may trigger the appointment of an external senior executive who brings new methodologies, planning and enterprise to the business[7].

Reason #11:  Family Business ‘Turmoil’. The autocratic control of an owner may at times only be changed through the realization that permanent family divisions are undesirable. It may well be the opportunity for perhaps the ‘university educated next generation of family’ to demonstrate their abilities in setting and achieving sustainable growth strategies and managing the culture change[8].

Reason #12: Where’s The Beef? This a true “loss of face” predicament when your executives have promoted that the company meets or exceeds compliance to Sustainability principles and standards, but either have not fully implemented checks and balance, not completely institutionalized all employees, have not tethered executive incentives to behavior or do not hold Suppliers to the same standards. The most obvious example is British Petroleum [BP]. BP had engage its entire enterprise and committed to Sustainability for years. It was often highlighted as an example of making a carbon based industry leader into a paragon of Sustainability virtue. However, in 2010, that lofty status was dethroned when BP created the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sustainability is the holistic business model for the 21st century. From a business perspective, it is a long-term strategy that eliminates waste, both externally and internally, while supporting the survivability and transformation of the enterprise. The future is our’s to create now.

Footnotes:
[1] Epstein-Reeves, James; The Six Reasons Why Companies Actually Wind Up Embracing CSR,  Forbes,  The CSR Blog – Corporate Social Responsibility  10/17/2012
[2] Epstein-Reeves, James; Ibid.
[3] Epstein-Reeves, James; Op. cit.
[4] Willetts, David; DAW Consulting, UK; Retrieved; 12 Aug 2012
[5] Willetts, David; Ibid.
[6] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[7] Willetts, David; Op. cit.
[8] Willetts, David; Op. cit.

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“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford
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Learning how to adopt Sustainability principles to produce a corporation’s awareness of resource consumption like carbon, water, and electricity in order to run their businesses in compliance with existing laws and regulations is based on “lessons learned”.

Sustainability promotes awareness.
Awareness promotes learning and values.
Learning promotes forward thinking to anticipate the future.

If trends continue, Sustainability will be the new competitive tool for business in the 21st Century. It is an internal, external, and a forward facing conviction that embeds and integrates disruptive business practices and technology. Internally, it coordinates your Core Assets that are based on common values. Externally, it addresses externalities and builds outside relationships with those entities. As for forward facing facet, Sustainability always interacts in a dynamic environmental, economic and social environs. Last, but critical to success, is the evolution of innovation that is designed to fit you business needs. It should continue to adapt and provide services to produce products wanted by your customers and address marketplace opportunities based on Sustainability.

If ethical decision making is not part of your due diligence analysis, it should be. For it can be the bridge from your corporate values to the actual “go-no go” decision for a variety of projects and initiatives. It can help steer efforts into avenues that could otherwise be overlooked. Addressing Sustainability and Stewardship in context of approving funding would help ensure your strategic directions are met and align with other business constraints (i.e., ROI, cost reduction, new product development, etc.).

Understanding ethical standards, consequences in violating standards, and the impact on your core assets can have a positive effect on your corporate culture was implemented and enforced prudently. This regarding those values, can have an  underlying  perception that those values are not genuine. Regular discussion, execution for ethical issues in applying those issues and business cases are helpful in ensuring sustainable development and stewardship.

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
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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/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”  ~Paul J. Meyer
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According to Porter and Kramer, “shared value could reshape capitalism and its relationship to society.” It does not replace capitalism, rather it refocuses the areas of responsibilities and opportunities a corporation truly can have. Shared value is directly linked to how Sustainability, blended in Business and Government organizations will be the next wave of transformation. Our complete understanding of shared value is still in its genesis, but the potential is obvious and intuitive. It could very well open doors for efficiency and increased productivity.

It will leverage ingrained methods of innovation and productivity to stem the promote new growth in the global economy. It will be that magic moment, not by screaming “Eureka, I found it!” Rather it will be observed and when the analytical executives opens their eyes to immense human needs that must be met, large new markets to be served, and the internal costs of social deficits and then they will say; “now that’s funny!”

Then, shared value will be recognized as a catalyst for a competitive advantages available for the progressive corporation. Attaining it will require managers to develop new skills and knowledge and governments to learn how to regulate in ways that enable shared value, rather than work against it.

Porter has always thought through ideas and the concept of shared value was a very astute observation to our Sustainability paradigm shift. It is a very good article, well worth the time to read.  Please take a few minutes and read this well written article in the Harvard Business Review: Innovating for Shared Value

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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/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”~ Stephen F. Covey
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a framework and encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them, effectively. It does not replace your Strategic Planning system, rather it should be integrated into your existing one to address new business opportunities. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental ramifications. CSR also addresses relationships in all key spheres of influence: corporate values, the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.

CSR is a coordinated and structured approach for business, government and non-profit transformation. It is not a marketing campaign on a “green” product. It is not only a facility’s managers duty, process or procedure. It is not only a Public Relations, Human Resource or Procurement job. It is not only about philanthropy for non-profit organizations. It is not only about community involvement like building a playground for your local park. Rather it is a framework that focuses a lens on the tangible benefits that can be garnered from Sustainability and how company’s work within the sphere of the community. Businesses responsibilities and their roles, throughout the industrialized world, have seen a sharp escalation in the social roles corporations are expected to play.

CSR is also a long-term commitment based on an honest strategic effort, results, best practices and driven by transparency to the public. It is interwoven with business strategies and engages with external organizations. It is about measurable transformation, internally and externally, that extracts tangible benefits. Sustainability is more than platitudes and recycling efforts, for recycling is a beginning. It should be able to show financial benefits directly relating to waste reduction, conservation, improvement of internal processes and engagement with externalities (i.e., NGOs, Governments, Customers, Suppliers, etc.).

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. 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/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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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
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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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Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading US companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 13 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly 1/3 of the total value of the US stock market best more than $114 billion annually in research and development –  nearly half of all private US R&D spending. Those companies pay more than $179 billion in dividends to shareholders. The BRT companies get nearly $9 billion a year in combined her contributions. (Source: Business Roundtable for 2011)

Serve your Customers, for they are the driving force for survivability. Eliminate Waste, both internally and externally. Collaboration is vital communication. Focus on your Core Assets. Be Transparent and verify your Tangible Benefits.

Accurately measure effectiveness of your strategies. Provide the underpinnings:

  • Lean Accounting, Sustainability Accounting and aligning IT efforts to capture your data elements.
  • Engage you auditors and listen to their improvements. These processes are your company’s linchpins to the “golden thread”.
  • They must work in harmony with the marketplace to ensure success for new possibilities in the present and in the future.

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Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012 (Photo credit: marcoderksen)

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 21-25 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2013. Analysts presented their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 25.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives. Gartenr’s Top 10 include:

  1. Actionable Analytics
  2. In-Memory Computing
  3. Integrated Ecosystems
  4. Strategic Big Data
  5. Internet of Things
  6. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
  7. Mobile Device Battles
  8. Mobile Applications and HTML5
  9. Personal Cloud
  10. Enterprise App Stores

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As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

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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Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism — that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”

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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At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional “take / make / waste” industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.

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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