Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All the World's a Stage!

At least in the sustainability world. In his article, Five Stages on the Sustainability Journey, Vijay Kanal describes how companies progress through these stages to adopt sustainability:

  1. Grassroots - the first stage starting with a few employees taking the initiative.
  2. Functional - divisions or units such as operations get involved.
  3. Strategic - as more functional units get involved, a tipping point is reached.
  4. Ecosystem - external stakeholders are engaged and the system gets larger. DNA - sustainability is embedded in the company's mission, strategy and business.

Our involvement with a variety of organizations certainly backs up his theory--we have clients at each level. All of them working hard to move forward. In our observations, the toughest leap seems to be between "Functional" and "Strategic" for many firms. Here it is vitally important those passionate individuals and units are sharing their success stories (environmentally AND economically) with the rest of the company to get key stakeholder's attention and reach the tipping point.

Where is your organization in the sustainability journey? What can you do in 2011 to take the next step?

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