What’s your mood these days, in this world of tumult and change? How is your mood affected by events in the world, events in your life, and the assessments you make about them? How are the assessments you make affected by your mood? I’ll have more to say about mood in coming weeks, but meanwhile I offer these questions as food for personal thought for you. (I’d be interested in your observations if you’d care to share them. Exploring mood, assessments, and the tangle they can make—and release—is a key element of my coaching work with leaders and emerging leaders; you can find out more about it here.)
The ESG debate comes in two flavors. (ESG, for those who may have missed it, is the current investment term of art for assessing and managing companies to Environmental, Social, and Governance goals and criteria.)
One is the political posturing that’s insisting that companies and asset managers violation of fiduciary duty to shareholders by ignoring material risk (because some people apparently consider it wrong to pay attention to the future and care about other people). We’re not gonna talk about that here. Been there, done that.
The other flavor is the fierce love coming from folks like Bill Baue of R3.0 (disclaimer: Natural Logic is an Advocation Partner of R3.0) decrying The Street’s enthusiastic but shallow conflation of ESG with sustainability. Lots of electrons have been sacrificed at this altar, but I think Stuart Kirk offered an unusually succinct take on the matter in the Financial Times. ESG must be split in two, he wrote. “Two completely different meanings then. [Between ESG investing and ‘how most people think of ESG.’] One considers E, S and G as inputs into an investment process, the other as outputs — or goals — to maximise. This conflict leads to myriad misunderstandings.”
What does this mean for your company? Attend to both, of course, but don’t confuse or conflate them. And don’t let the tail wag the dog; prioritize the results, not the management processes (or even worse, management of managment processes, and metrics for management of management processes). Report on the management processes if you have to (and increasingly The Street says you do, but aim those maagement processes at results, not reporting. Oh, and results in context, please. Keep score if you must; deliver breakthrough results because that’s what you’re really here to do!
Quote of the week:
Any time one or more things are consciously put together in a way that they can accomplish something better than they could have accomplished individually, this is an act of design.
You’ve probably seen my posts about my Trimtab4Trimtabs coaching program, and my thought leader in your corner “thinking partner” offering. These are both designed for individuals and teams. But what about for your company?
For more than 30 years, Natural Logic has been pioneer in value-driving strategic sustainability. We’ve helped companies launch their sustainability journeys. We’ve helped sustainability leaders “reset” and elevate their sustainability strategies. We’ve helped clients identify billions—with a B—of dollars of hidden value, disclosed not by their management systems, but by our “ecological lens” and deep listening. (Weve doen these for clients ranging from Odwalla to HP, Equal Exchange to Levi Straus, Coca-Cola to Steelcase, Avery-Dennison to Sunpower, and many others.) Now, with the sustainable/regenerative business field exploding, we’re reevaluating and reinventing where and how we can add the greatest value. Let me preview one new offer with you here, before we make it public.
For a maximum of three companies this year, we will offer a three-phase program, in which we will:
• Conduct an intensive discovery and design process (with your senior leadership team and ours) to examine:
• your company’s deepest purpose;
• the biggest brand promise your company could make;
• the business value that delivering on that promise could unlock.
• Lead a skunkworks project, with your cross-functional team, to:
• assess—and identify the gaps in—your business model and initiatives:
• uncover the massive leakage in your value stream;
• delineate the business strategy and systems design that can capture it.
• Work shoulder to shoulder with you to:
• develop and activate a strategic roadmap and action plans (year by year for each functional area);
• engage, train and support your people in commiting, communicating, and coordinating to implement those plans;
• provide “clear line of sight” connecting actions, impacts and mission.
You set the pace and level of investment. You assess the value you receive at each stage. You decide whether it’s worthwhile to take the next step.
The new web page providing more detail on this process will go up soon. And we’ll start calling our CXO friends soon after. But we’ll only extend this offer to three companies this year—so if you might want your company to be one of them, I suggest you give me a call and jump the queue.
And, as always…
Thank you for who you are, what you do in service of “a world that works for the ongoing well-being of the living world to which we belong, and the beings with whom we share this world, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense, or the disadvantage of any.”
PS: The fourth year of our Living Between Worlds webinar series begins next Wednesday January 18th, and continues every third Wednesday. Register here, and be there!—and bring a guest. We’d love to have you join us! (You can find the recordings of the last 25 conversations are right here.)
Gil Philip Friend • Trimtab4Trimtabs™ coaching
CEO, Natural Logic, Inc. • Founder, Critical Path Capital • Global Keynote Speaker — Book me now!
Tel: 1-510-248-4940 | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mastodon | Facebook | My YouTube channel
New: Access the world’s largest sustainability expert network — A joint initiative of Natural Logic and Solved!