Looking back over the last decade, the world has witnesses a dramatic increase in eco awareness, with a significant shift in business sustainability knowledge and action. Evidence of this shift can be seen in the ever increasing number of alternative products and services available to consumers today. To make these shifts requires not only innovated ides but proactive stakeholder engagement. Sustainable business leaders employ aligned business sustainability planning.
“The typical solution is to spend a lot of the corporate strategy team’s time and money on streamlining the strategic planning process and clarifying the accompanying instructions. This does make a difference, but strategists will be much more likely to help managers consider the long-term if they spend less time on planning process and more on counteracting executives’ operational mindsets.”
This quote was taken from the recent CEB Corporate Strategy post, Managers’ 3 Mental Blocks to Strategic Planning. Herein, the article examines business sustainability planning in today’s volatile market. The author outlines the challenges facing business, and the best ways to improve the business sustainability planning process. Here are three distinct hurdles to internal stakeholder engagement for which the author provides a solution.
- “I’m not really sure what ‘strategic’ means”: To establish a common language, meet with before strategic planning sessions begin. Use probing questions to help them distinguish for themselves which topics are “strategic” and which are “operational,” to prepare for a productive session.
- “This discussion is abstract and doesn’t seem relevant to my business, or even most of my goals”: Where strategy frameworks and outside experts at the planning sessions may seem simplistic or irrelevant, connecting long-term goals with more concrete actions and metrics better suits an operationally-focused mind.
- “This is a good opportunity to talk about our recent success at x”: The answer here is to identify influential peer role models to make presentations that can display and encourage strategic thinking. This will inspire other executives and help transform long-term thinking into a new norm during planning.
Our sustainability communications consulting does not prescribe to any one predictive method. However, we do believe in a long-term business sustainability outlook. We believe that each organization must find its own unique drivers of success based on a long-term and comprehensive business sustainability plan. For this very reason, Taiga Company provides its clients with tools and resources to build focused strategies and programs which span short-term economic volatility.