Chapter 1: overview
Re-energize the Sustainability Dance
How can your enterprise achieve sustainability, especially in a world focused on reducing emissions? This is a complicated issue for private, public and non-profit sector leaders. Drawing on examples from the energy and agricultural sectors, this chapter will explain how enterprise teams can apply A Measure of Integrity tool to set their own sustainability targets. The history of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is explored; and the ESG (environmental, social, governance) approach, the latest in a series of strategies to better define enterprise purpose and values, is introduced.
Chapter 2: overview
Go for the Moon Shot
The second chapter focuses on your enterprise’s strategy for rebuilding: will you choose incremental, revitalizing or transformational change? In my experience, an incremental change approach is not adequate to rebuild enterprise. In fact, in today’s environment, revitalizing change or transformational change should be the goal for any organization that hopes to survive. The Enterprise Onion tool is introduced to guide your organization’s engagement with the range of stakeholder perspectives required, to help design and implement a more sustainable future.
Chapter 3: overview
Move Beyond Polarity
The third chapter focuses on the vexing challenge of polarization and entrenched positioning, which creates the conditions for black-and-white thinking and sometimes conflict. Enterprise leaders have to manage many competing dualities—efficiency versus resiliency, and collaboration versus competition, to name but a few—but these aims don’t have to be opposing or mutually exclusive. What this chapter recommends and explains is how to shift from making either-or binary choices to more inclusive options. If you continue to create the conditions for fragile monocultures to flourish, you are putting your enterprise at greater and greater risk of extinction.
Chapter 4: overview
Get to a Fair Deal
Stakeholder and public calls for greater fairness are gaining traction, and enterprise is increasingly expected to play a role in closing fairness gaps of societal, ecological and geo-political proportions, many of which were exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter four will take a closer look at how enterprise leaders can navigate these emerging expectations. This is a tall order, and it is tricky. Fairness is in the eye of the beholder.
Chapter 5: overview
Re-imagine Your Business Model
Chapter five looks at ways to redesign your enterprise processes and structures in order to enhance your organization’s ability to make better-quality decisions and deliver more value to more stakeholders. This chapter encourages you to ask more critical questions about your business model. Who is really making the decisions that impact your enterprise, and how are those decisions made? How do you integrate ideas from stakeholders outside your core team? Who really has skin in the game?
Chapter 6: overview
Make Stewardship Part of Your Enterprise Story
In this sixth chapter, I will explain why it is critical for organizations (and their people) to know and tell their enterprise story. You can try to control the messaging all you want, but media in all its forms—mainstream, social, documentaries, citizen journalism—also shapes how people perceive your enterprise. Authentic stories of enterprise that aim for multi-generational, regenerative and stewardship values are also shared in this chapter.
Chapter 7: overview
Rebuild for the Storm After This Storm
Even organizations with state-of-the art risk-management strategies did not foresee the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s not certain that any enterprise will accurately predict the inevitable storm after this storm. What’s essential for survival and enduring success is rebuilding your enterprise by imbedding practices that challenge assumptions, anticipate risks and equip the enterprise to weather future storms with resilience. This chapter explores provocative questions like: What can be left behind? When is more not better? What constitutes “value” for your enterprise? What will be different, this time?
Chapter 8: overview
Dance Together Toward a Better Future
In the final chapter, a story about a green energy project is shared to challenge conventional thinking about sustainability as the holy grail. What might motivate you to think differently about sustainability targets, perhaps to even contemplate stewardship and reciprocity as a higher-order way of thinking? Much of this future-thinking is uncharted territory. How can you build the internal capacity required to trust your own intelligence and imagination? As I’ve learned, understanding how others do enterprise is useful, but shoehorning your experience into someone else’s model is self-limiting.