For today’s post I thought I’d introduce the first of a series of brief posts on the process I’m currently working through with the Aveng Group – this is the development of the Group’s first serious and genuine sustainability strategy, or rather more accurately the integrated sustainability pillar of the overarching organisational strategy.
So what have been my key observations so far?
(1) Make sure there is at least a somewhat solid working definition of sustainability agreed by the working group as baseline to refer back to as discussions progress. If full consensus is not agreed on details or there are some concerns about aspects of the definition for the organisation, seek to agree on a working definition that can be reviewed as work on the strategy progresses. Even if consensus is more or less agreed with respect to the definition of sustainability in the organisational context reviewing the definition as work progresses is not a bad idea.
(2) Similarly, ensure that the vision and key elements of that vision are understood and agreed upon within the working group. The “why” and the “what” – the overarching goals – need to be outlined before moving on to exploring potential initiatives and performance indicators, the “how”.
(3) Present information in a concise, logical and business-oriented fashion in order to win both the hearts and minds of the key influencers and decision makers in the group.
(4) Put forward ideas on suggested direction but don’t assume that that’s the direction the strategy will begin to take. It will wander, often organically, in the direction it ultimately needs to go in. In that vein, be open and receptive to the broad range of backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and ideas in the room.
(5) But at the same time be willing and ready to back yourself and robustly state your case for key aspects that you think are important.