“Most businesspeople are so busy working for their business or in their business that they never find time to work on their business. Thus they fail to anticipate what might happen or what they might be able to make happen”. –The Fast East the Slow
As a professional consultant, I've witnessed too often business models and strategies that have become stagnate with companies failing to take proactive or immediate action. Soon a once thriving business becomes out of touch with the consumer. Within our sustainability consulting practice, we have learned that one of the keys to business sustainability is a conscious and continuous effort for improvement.
Reviewing this past year: Has your organization delayed business sustainability strategies to see how the market responds before taking action? Has management been afraid to commit resources and capital to sustainability initiatives? Or, has your businesses harnessed the organizational power of sustainability to deliver top and bottom line results?
There is value in regularly scheduling time to work on the business and answer critical questions affecting the business and its stakeholders. The post, Steps to Business Sustainability, articulates how managing a successful sustainability plan is a continuous process that does not end with implementation. True value capture comes from strategies that continuously engage the expectations of key stakeholders. These ongoing touch points with key players creates a dynamic work-plan with periodic checkpoints of performance
1. What are the current and future dynamics of the market: how are consumers responding to sustainable offerings in the current economic environment, how will consumer behavior change?
2. What new market sectors are driving consumer behaviors for sustainable brands?
3. What sustainability differentiation do I have from the competition: demonstrations, measurements, labels or certifications?
4. How can I most efficiently and economically communicate my sustainable offerings using technologies such as social media?
5. Who are my business sustainability stakeholders and how do I engage them to create alignment across the organization?
6. How can I tweak my current business sustainability strategy to successfully balance short and long term company goals with the values of my stakeholders?
7. How can I partner to create shared value to drive deeper, faster solutions?
8. What is most likely on the horizon for me and what are the best actions to proactively respond?
Implementing business sustainability in today’s environment can be a delicate balance between planning for today and planning for the future. While many organizations are taking more conservative action, our sustainability consulting finds leading companies are reevaluating and retooling for the future. Kick start your 2013 success by finding out what sustainability can mean for your business. By anticipating and taking proactive steps to address change in the business world, your business will not only capture immediate value but define itself as a business sustainability leader in its industry.