Make sustainable change Part 3/3 — distributed leadership
In PART 2 of this Make sustainable change series we discussed the ego and how to prevent it from getting in the way of change. In PART 1 we discovered prime drivers and what we love to do. In this article, PART 3, a formula for making sustainable change happen (and last) will be put forward.
The climate crisis is a huge subject with lots of moving parts. From a business point of view, it’s the responsibility from top to bottom of an organisation to operate sustainably. If it’s not at the top of a business’s strategic plan, alongside mental health, time is being wasted.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, in the next five years over 2/3rds of the planet may have water shortages. This is just one of many crisis examples that will have monumental effects on everything, including how businesses operate. Think about your supply chain as an example — what might happen to it when a large chunk of the world is underwater?
If I’m honest, my passion to help sort the climate crisis hasn’t been triggered by the effects on the planet itself, yet. I know it should have been and I can see it will affect me but, like many others, it hasn’t impacted my life physically (to date). My embodied, emotive reaction (my prime driver — see PART 1 of the series), at this point, is the loss of the potential of what could be done with time, i.e. wasting it. When the planet is the way it is, fixing only economic problems in business is fast becoming that.
From PART 1 and PART 2 of this series, we’ve determined that sustainable change requires individuals to discover their prime drivers and acknowledge their egos, but there is an element of serendipity to those methods.
Current innovation consulting methods help because they allow space for people to shift their mindsets towards their jobs from BAU to B-e-A-Utiful. The autonomy which is encouraged is liberating and exciting. Productivity levels increase, things get done, and change happens. But businesses often find that once they decide to “go it alone”, the enthusiasm wanes, and they fall back into past behaviours.
Therefore, to create the level of change needed to tackle the climate crisis we need people with a bit of Extinction Rebellion level passion distributed across an organisation to lead the charge.
How to move people from intellectual thought to authentic feeling around a specific subject…
This is where the business world can learn from mindfulness.
There are mindful practices that help make space for feelings to surface. By helping people understand what the effects of climate change might mean for the organisation and their role, then providing time and space to uncover what they feel (not think) they need to take responsibility for, personally and professionally, we can begin moving their responses from head to heart.
Through experience, I consider myself an expert in helping to enable companies to explore genuinely new territories in the face of disruption. I don’t know the solution to the climate crisis, but when exploring new territories, we need to look at ways to innovate and evolve our approach.
The formula for Sustainable Change (it looks complicated but it isn’t, promise.)
SC (Sustainable Change)
PD (Prime Drivers): Unearth what a person loves to do. What really makes them tick. See PART 1 of the series.
AE (Acknowledging Ego): In my experience the main blocker to progress is ego. Being aware of it enables a person to truly communicate how they feel and move forward despite nerves that might crop up. See PART 2 of the series.
AHRW (Authentic + Honest Response Workshops): Making space for honest feelings on a certain subject enables individuals and teams to highlight what they really care about. They unearth what they feel they need and want to take responsibility for — their prime drivers on a specific subject.
Once the above is harnessed, it creates a potent driving force. The hypothesis is that if we add that fuel into the current RIP (Rapid Innovation Process) it will be an explosive catalyst for change — like nitrous oxide in a fuel tank. The output being, not only actionable propositions to test on the challenge of becoming sustainable but also passionate people distributed across your organisation primed to continue driving change once the consultants have gone.
If you, or someone you know, would like to know more and/or would like to partner on this journey, let’s go for a coffee…