Sustainability leadership or the art of bringing people with you

Sustainability leadership or the art of bringing people with you

Transforming organisations to be sustainable is an exercise in human leadership, but humans are not mobilised by strategies and reports. Here is how to create communities that will achieve ESG goals – and the role different people in your business can play in the process.

The rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives in corporate strategies has led to the parallel emergence of a new breed of C-suite executive – the chief sustainability officer. Yet expecting the CSO or similarly named business leader to singlehandedly deliver business transformation towards a greener, more responsible model is simply saddling them with an impossible task.

The motivational adjectives we often throw before the word “leadership” – “servant”, “inspiring”, “transformational” – do little to help us understand how to shape better leaders for today’s world. One thing people can agree on, however, is the palpable lack of leadership in the face of climate breakdown. Is a sustainability leader the solution? And if so, what qualities do they need to possess? 

In our work helping businesses address sustainability challenges, we at Change by Degrees have found that we live in communities of knowledge and depend on each other for information, referrals and expertise. Each of these communities has its own trusted leaders and we need to engage them, at all levels, to transform organisations from the inside out. These communities, or networks, are hotbeds of intuition, experience and trust. Networks with the strongest ties can create the strongest impact.

Read the full article on The Currency website.

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Tara Shine

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