What are you learning at the
Leading for Sustainability Workshop?
SoL's Leading for Sustainability Workshop is a synthesis of core organizational learning disciplines— systems thinking, mental models and col- laborative inquiry, personal mastery and building shared vision— and the practical know-how developed within the SoL sustainability Consortium over the past decade. A lot of these concepts and case studies are captured in the book, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. But on this page, we will briefly provide a few key concepts you will learn from this workshop.
Key Ideas You will Learn in the Workshop
1. From Reactive Compliance to Proactive Sustainability Creation
'The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World' by Peter Senge, Bryan Smith, Nina Kurschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley (2008)"Sustainability is not a problem to be solved. It is a future to be created."
GE reaped $17 billion in sales in 2011 from its "eco-imagination” product line, and has a backlog of over $50 billion in orders. Nike has developed a system for rating all new products based on embedded water, energy, waste and toxicity, across their entire value chain. Coca-Cola, along with competing drink manufacturers, is working with WWF to promote integrated watershed management around the world.
What are these actions by the major corporations telling us? It is that new products, new processes, and new business models are gradually becoming integrated into core strategies and delivering the concrete benefits for businesses.
These initiatives to create more sustainable world
Companies in every industry can successfully remake their reputations and brands through serious attention to increasing sustainability.
For more than twenty years, organizations within the SoL network have been building practical know-how.
In this workshop, you will learn why shifting from the reactive compliance to proactive initiatives to create the sustainable society benefits you and your organization.
2. Core Leadership Capabilities
"Leadership is not about position or formal authority but the capacity of human communities to shape futures that people truly desire." (Peter Senge)
What are the key competencies that distinguish the leaders from the rest of the pack? We use the metaphor of a 3-legged stool whose legs represent the core disciplines for building the core learning capabilities as truly effective leaders. These competencies are the following.
Excel at seeing systems. Leaders recognize basic system phenomena everywhere - limits to success, shifting the burden to the intervener, accidental adversaries. Effective leaders see systems, independent of organizational boundaries.
Collaborate across boundaries with ease. Leaders know how to get the whole system in the room and respect the different interests and perspectives of the representatives from all stakeholders. This makes it possible to build their social networks and realize breakthrough innovations.
Move easily from problem solving to creating. Fear and anxiety can definitely motivate action, but rarely does it encourage our best contributions or sustained effort. Leaders are pragmatic - they're always prototyping and experimenting. They are also oriented toward possibility, evoking inspiration and creativity throughout the system.
3. Why Systems Thinking for Sustainability?
|For most of us, the endless litany of environmental and societal crises is overwhelming, both emotionally and cognitively. It is no wonder that so many simply "turn off” when confronted with another story of climate change-related severe weather, water shortages, or toxic waste.|
Systems thinking simply means stepping back and seeing patterns that are, when seen clearly, intuitive and easy to grasp. In this workshop, you will learn the tools and techniques that help you understand the larger systems in which you operate, so you can implement effective change.
|we have gotten into our predicament today because of a way of thinking that focuses on parts and neglects the whole.|
|"The course offered me a very welcome opportunity to reflect on my personal leadership, be inspired and meet a great group of bright, engaged and open people. I gained a deeper appreciation for the dynamics of systems thinking and the application of a systemic view on sustainability which will allow me to take higher leverage actions in working on complex challenges in my organization.”|