I often ask myself why sustainability has been framed within compliance – this don’t’ affect profits, increase competitive edge nor celebrate a distinct footprint.
The world is not perfect and neither is the way that companies address new opportunistic business by only getting on board with sustainability through compliance.
Sustainability is widely seen as the ‘new’ thing next to Lean, Glocalization and Retention. But it’s not – it’s so MUCH more than your usual buzzwords and kind of inevitable.
Nevertheless sustainability is anchored as sanctuary for dead fish already going down stream – not as the solution to gain new business or as profit generator in general. Why would companies otherwise categories sustainability as just a focus within compliance.
Sustainability needs to grow beyond compliance and in to highly creative development, like any profit center that wants to stay in business!
Think about how often upgrades to your computer are made available. How often new, faster and better systems are presented to us. If it isn’t Apple it’s Google or one of the other players, in or outside the Valley, which have seen ways to improve or revolutionize.
They are constantly developing – to win share of wallet the next 6-9 months. But what we have today will be made twice as fast in just 9-12 months.
The developers never stop exploring, and creativity blooms like never before – and today developers can be everybody from a 9-year old girl or boy with a great idea.
These developers are motivated by stock options, dollars and cents, market share and personal accomplishments that equal size of paycheck and attention. As many before them they sadly didn’t learn about creativeness. They themselves have to develop, secure and constantly improve on creative technical skills and are NOT motivated by taking part in sponsoring, in the world at large getting smarter!
They are always on the lookout for new inventions, and of cause have the budgets to do so, since the business’ know what would happen if they were to take out all efforts from innovation and development departments!
These business’ also recognize than “change is the only constant”, hence don’t applaud a common misunderstood say – “why change a winning formula”!
Whether they are seen as true future explorers I doubt, but I know that among our esteemed employees in sustainability, CSR and CSI we must find legitimate future explorers and innovators.
This is NOT the fact in 95% of all companies today! Here compliance rules only. They don’t invent and create as they do in Silicon Valley. Fact is that only few have the true skills to actually do so or claim the room to develop!
This is wrong! Because there is huge potential in turning sustainability into a reel profit center.
We should applaud these explorers, give them creative skills, room to operate and discover! Yet we merely laugh or get annoyed about the work they do – since they are NOT truly a part of the team, because they measure and regulate instead of developing. They are reactive instead of being proactive explorers and inventers like the ones in the Valley!
But sadly it seems like the older the ‘developers’ get the more restraint and non-creative they get, yet good employees since they were trained – or should I say restraint – to work within compliance!
And from this position they do only very little good!
We need to change this picture!
We need to start documenting that companies can profit hugely from sustainability and position themselves in a blue ocean zone.
Because then other companies will rise to the opportunity – since there have always been money in being between the first!
Just an example, I know about a company within work wear that went beyond compliance – they are today number one Internationally in the category!
I know that we kill peoples interest if we constantly and only talks about the devastation and how ugly our beloved planet is becoming – so please Al, stop talking about the problem and become part of the solution!
I learned from Anthony Giddens – a man of great expertise – that we should not wait for government or the international society at large!
So start to create before it’s too late – for your business!