Tag Archives: Good to Great

Winning the sustainability game with Good to Great

In 2001, Jim Collins published his research into the factors that turned good businesses into great businesses, performing well above their industry average over long periods of time. The title of the book is “Good to Great. Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t”.

Collins described a cyclic process of 6 steps that – pursued persistently – significantly increase and sustain outstanding business performance.  He called this cycle of steps “the Flywheel”. The 6 steps are:

  1. Develop ” Level 5″ leadership. The process starts with  leaders who are smart coaches, not charismatic heroes.
  2. Focus first on WHO, then what. Build the right team and work with them in deciding what to do.
  3. Practice brutal honesty. Acknowledge what’s going on (and have faith you can deal with it). Create permission for the truth to be heard and dealt with.
  4. Find your hedgehog. Deeply understand the core drivers of the business you’re in – the place your passion, excellence and customer value meet.
  5. Develop a culture of discipline where everybody understands what the rules are for “our game” and how to play it well.
  6. Use relevant technology to accelerate business performance based on sound strategy.

This process is highly relevant to successful business sustainability programs. Continue reading

What’s YOUR sustainability scope? Keeping focussed in the face of overwhelm…

In a recent interview for The CO2 Manager, I was asked how I stay positive and focussed when sustainability can seem so overwhelming.

Thinking about it, what works for me is:

  • To remember that the fact that there are at least 150 million change-makers in the world.
  • To be really clear on my sustainability scope  – what I’m working on and why.

For all its downsides, a global population of  billion people means that I don’t have to do it all. Even if only 1 billion have the freedom and resources of the Western world, and only 15% of those are innovators and early adopters, that means that we have a talent bank of around  150 million change-makers.

To me, this means that I’m free to do “my bit” in the sustainability game – and concentrate on doing it well.  Continue reading