What Everybody Ought to Know About Sustainability Leadership for 2013

image: leadershipConsider the following findings from the Hay Group: Research conducted worldwide shows that leadership contributes to 70% of corporate atmosphere, while corporate atmosphere contributes to 30% of corporate performance. Therefore, leadership can exert direct influence on 21% of corporate performance.  Sustainable business leaders are evaluating new markets, new products, and going after the most innovative people.  The new business environment presents a unique opportunity to increase company returns through a more proactive and response business model.  Today’s businesses are surrounded by an evolving set of market conditions and sustainable consumer expectations.  For some, the traditional top-down leadership models of the past just may not be the right fit.

 In the Innovation Excellence post, Innovative Leaders Still Wanted, the author explores the need for a change in leadership focus in the now recovering economy.  While tasked with survival actions during the downturn, today’s leaders are advised to re-center their business sustainability strategies on sustainable development and growth.

“No matter how turbulent times may be, organizational leaders are still tasked with creating value and profit for their shareholders (whether earnings per share for public companies or salaries for private companies), and overtaking competitors in their marketplace. Unless the business has closed its doors, organizational leaders should understand the importance of prioritizing initiatives – and innovation and creativity should not be stifled, especially in a down economy.”

Recognizing this shift, many companies are seeking to refine their business sustainability strategies, improve internal and external communication, and bring cohesiveness to their organization by promoting greater stakeholder engagement.

As we move forward, the dynamic model seems to be a dominating theme.  Our sustainability consulting foresees a new age of sustainable business, one in which organizations recognize the value in leveraging their human capital and business stakeholder feedback.   Traditionally led by executive management, we see leveraged leadership cultures will be enabling every role in the organization to:

 •    Create incentives and opportunities to lower costs, initiate process improvements, and stimulate innovation.

•    Establish expectations for redefining products and service attributes. 

•    Align business sustainability expectations within the organization and across the entire value chain. 

The ability to drive new levels of sustainable business performance requires more than executive leadership.  Our sustainability consulting provides information and resources to companies seeking to redefine traditional business sustainability strategies by enabling sustainability leadership across all areas of their organization. 

Rethinking business correlates to rethinking leadership.  Shared with the hope of inspiring new thought are post to spark sustainable leadership in 2013. 

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