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Core Concepts

 

Our program prepares leaders to position sustainability as a powerful driver of engagement, innovation, agility, and change-capability so that the triple bottom line really can become a reality.

Click here to view our short 3 minute video of past participants discussing the power of the ideas and content they encountered in this program. Click here to view a 2 minute video of our program director discussing the focus of the program.

What is sustainability?

We define sustainability as the triple bottom line enterprise of achieving economic and social wellbeing derived from a mutually regenerative relationship with our planetary life support systems. We also define sustainability as the ideal adaptive challenge for building your organization’s fitness for the 21st century.

The single most unique leadership demand of sustainability is the sheer pace, volume, and depth of change it requires. To rise to this challenge there is a profound and immediate need to provide senior leaders across all sectors with sustainability-centric executive education that empowers high-impact sustainability leadership.

To date, the most prevalent senior leadership response to sustainability has been the adoption of goals and metrics associated with environmental impact reductions that amount to simply ”doing less bad.” There is an urgent need to go beyond this incremental “command control” approach. It is failing to produce the pace, volume, and depth of change needed because it is failing to produce the engagement, innovation, agility, and change-capability needed.

We are looking for senior leaders and sustainability professionals ready for a new kind of high-impact sustainability leadership dedicated to driving sustainability into the core of their mission and business by unleashing new levels of organizational effectiveness. This will place new leadership demands on senior leaders and sustainability professionals, as well as on the very structure and design of their organizations.

We welcome leaders who are new to sustainability, and those who are already fluent in it. We are seeking leaders with an appetite for mastering a new kind of high impact sustainability leadership that will transform their organizations into agile, innovative, and profoundly change-capable enterprises. The crucial mindset we seek is that of wanting to go beyond positioning sustainability as “doing less bad” and moving towards the triple bottom line of economic and social wellbeing based upon a mutually regenerative relationship with our planetary life support systems.

To this end, the critical leadership conversations encountered in this program will include:

  • Unleashing human potential across your enterprise through purpose-driven engagement
  • Creating clear pathways for good ideas to come from anywhere and to take root
  • Leveraging positive social dynamics and social learning to increase engagement, idea flow, and organizational learning
  • Revolving loan funds and other mechanisms to ensure finance and accounting processes enable innovation and engagement
  • Engaging millennials
  • Working with the strengths and weaknesses of your command control operating system to advance change-capability
  • Decision-making agility to allow for good ideas to be scaled up quickly
  • Change management as a practice of reducing risk and instability

By preparing leaders to generate the right organizational fitness for the sustainability triathlon (social, economic, and environmental), many other complex 21st century problems will also become easier to address. From this viewpoint—and with the right leadership application—sustainability can be the “problem that solves your organization.”  The value proposition of this new kind of sustainability leadership is enormous.

To learn more, contact us at SustainabilityLeadership@hsph.harvard.edu or call (617) 384-7276.