Earlier this month I attended the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) Conference in Chicago. I collected a few highlights to share with you about the growing edge of the field.
Best Quote of the Conference
"Sustainability is like winning a game of shuffle board on a sinking ship!" -- Bob Massie, President and CEO of The New Economics Institute
This quote got me thinking. At first I was rather startled he said this at a sustainability conference! Then I realized Bob's point is that we need to pull back a bit to see that corporate sustainability itself isn't the full story. We need to take in the bigger context that corporations exist within. If we don't take global climate changes and the state of the planet into account, we are missing the boat!
As I reviewed my notes from the conference, I realized this theme was evident throughout the conference as speaker after speaker commented on how the concept of sustainability is enhanced if explored in connection with other concepts.
Growing Edge of Sustainability
In a presentation entitled Making Sustainability Stick: How to Truly Integrate Sustainability, Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, listed a number of factors that are essential for successful sustainability initiatives. The factor that caught my attention was the mention of Change Management.
Years ago I realized that organizational development and change management would be an essential part of the transition to a sustainable organization, but I hadn't seen any evidence of that new phase of maturation. Wilhelm shared that it's imperative that you know how your organization navigates change. He noted that the culture may vary by department so this is not a one size fits all concept. He noted that organizations have various style of handing change:
- Control oriented
- Compete oriented
- Collaborative oriented
- Create oriented
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