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Too many companies, non-government organizations (NGOs), government agencies and communities still fall into the trap of creating strategies for the future based on what has happened in the past. Scenario planning helps organizations create growth strategies by finding ways to prepare for an increasingly unpredictable future, and can even shape the direction of things to come.
As I sit in my home office I hear the thump of a bluebird flying into my window over and over again trying to get into the fichus tree inside. While this keep my cats entertained and off my keyboard, I shake my head thinking “crazy bird; you’re going to get hurt if you keep doing that.”
I was honored to be the lead-off speaker for Georgia Tech’s
IMPACT Series. Sponsored by the College of Management, the IMPACT Series provides an opportunity for students alumni and the Atlanta business community to learn from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and notable business and non-profit leaders.
Focusing on the technical and operational aspects of sustainability will only go so far. Companies need to apply a dual strategy where they simultaneously build organizational capacity while moving through stages of sustainable development. This means building the muscle needed to succeed in becoming sustainable. Organizational capacity is about enhancing leadership capabilities, acquiring and developing expertise, transforming the culture and applying organizational design practices to align the structure, processes and people practices
Conventional Approaches to Sustainability
When organizations consider sustainability, the emphasis is often on environmental aspects and technical expertise. These initiatives could be to measure the carbon footprint, design a LEED certified building, implement energy efficient systems, green the manufacturing process, enhance technology for patient care or prepare sustainability reports.