To build an effective plan for long-term sustainability, one must first understand that this activity involves more than just defining a vision, creating a strategy, implementing sustainability concepts, and managing the on-going processes. Our sustainability consulting has found that most organizations usually have to step outside of their traditional business structures to add an increased level of open communication and active interaction. This transformation often involves methods that more effectively engage business sustainability stakeholders in the process. In fact, our sustainability consulting finds that the best-in-class companies are promoting greater eco awareness and enabling innovative business cultures.
Building upon this concept, we leverage a recent GreenBiz article, 5 Ways to Double Your Odds of Inspiring Culture Change. Herein, our sustainability consulting finds great insight for any business sustainability culture change. Specifically addressing the need to engage resources on the front end, we take away the following tips:
- Talk to your people: Once your strategy and objectives have been determined, every line of business needs to understand how they will be impacted.
- Keep talking to your people: The biggest oversight when embarking on a change process is assuming that people will change simply because it is part of the new strategy and it is required. Continuous engagement and direction are needed to engage people impacted by the change.
- Talk to other people: Stakeholder engagement is overly talked about, yet underutilized. The key stakeholders for a company are usually the shareholders/investors, customers, suppliers, employees, and government.
- Listen to chatter: Every change has positive and negative aspects for employees. Behind many reservations are insights on how to better manage change. Asking for employee feedback is a critical success factor and a subtle tool for winning them over. Engaging individuals in the change process will create more rapid adoption. People own what they help create.
- Lead and engage other leaders: Leadership support is one of the most widely recognized critical success factors in any organizational change effort. When initiating organizational change for sustainability establishing a network of sustainability change agents throughout the organization is critical.
By allowing for flexibility and promoting innovation across the value chain, an organization captures the interests of its business sustainability stakeholders and increases the likelihood of their active participation in an aligned path forward. At Taiga Company, we maintain an open culture as part of our core values, and our professional consulting encourages clients to include creative expression, exploration, and active engagement as part of their business sustainability plan.