Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Building a business from a Green foundation – building from a Green strategy imperative

Posted in social networking and business, strategy and planning by Timothy Platt on September 9, 2010

There is a somewhat jaundiced expression “do as I say, not as I do.” You cannot be a Green and sustainable organization, or effectively promote or advance a Green and sustainable mission if you do not practice what you preach. Your strategy as you execute it in ongoing operational practice is what you actually stand for and believe, and your day to day practices constitute the true measure of your mission and of your professed goals. This posting is a third in a series on the Green and sustainable business infrastructure and it is about developing consistency between words and action.

You can find the first two installments to this in Social Networking and Business as:

1. Building a Business from a Green Foundation – avoiding the Green gimmick trap and
2. Building a Business from a Green Foundation – cultivating the Green aware employee.

The second of these postings looks at the Green organization in many respects from the bottom up and from the perspective of the myriad seeming everyday decisions and actions that take place throughout the organization to make it work. This third posting takes the alternative approach of looking at Green and sustainability in word and in action from the top down and as overarching strategy and how it enables or stifles effective day to day practice. Both approaches are necessary and they do need to mesh in mutual support if the business is to effectively function.

• Know what your overall mission is, but more than that know what it means as a proactively Green and sustainable statement. How would you add ongoing sustainable environmental responsibility into it as a source of unique value in the marketplace in what you do and offer?

Start with your goals and with your efforts to define, create and offer a unique value proposition. Make Green and sustainability an integral part of that.

Look to your operational processes as discussed in the first posting in this series.

• How would you formulate and present your overarching strategy so as to more effectively facilitate Green best practices?
• How would you best formulate overall strategy and translate it into operational planning so as to enable your employees to make Green and sustainable happen?

Think of “do as I say, not as I do” as a self-inflicted mortal wound to your business wherever it may actually apply. It undercuts your credibility and legitimacy in the marketplace and it undercuts your ability to effectively perform by creating and sustaining disconnects and inefficiencies. Here, green and sustainable represent ongoing efficiency and increased capacity to innovate and compete – if they are built into the organization and in both its strategy and its core operational infrastructure and in its day to day practice.

Green and sustainable are often and perhaps usually viewed as being good for the community and the context outside of the business and organization and that is a valid perspective. But they can be just as important and valuable within the organization itself in creating that competitive edge. So look for ways to instill them into the organization and from the bottom up in day to day decisions made and acted upon and from the top down too, in strategy and overall planning. This will make them part of your core profit centers and not just superficial cost centers.

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