Leaders Act First In Pursuing Sustainable Development
3 yearsago 0 Comments 621 Views
Sustainable development is no longer a strange concept for businesses today. Many corporations around the world have set sustainable development goals in business strategies and actions to achieve that goal. As business leaders and capable of creating internal change for your organization, you need to be pioneers in the journey toward sustainable development. First understand the sustainability and benefits that it brings to the business, thereby applying reasonable methods to improve the sustainability of your business.
Sustainable development is an inevitable trend
Business and sustainable development goals
In the context of a market with too many competitors with similar products and services, sustainable development becomes a competitive advantage because it creates added value for customers and society. In particular, this goal also helps businesses grow sustainably, extend the life cycle of products and services, create values associated with consumers, optimize costs, minimize the operation, thereby enhancing product competitiveness in the long term. According to the CGS study in 2019, consumers want sustainable products and ⅓ of those surveyed are willing to pay an additional 25% if it is a sustainable product. This study also shows that, just behind product quality, sustainability and ethics of a business is the reason customers continue to believe in the products of that business.
Consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products
However, it is not easy to integrate sustainable development goals into corporate strategy. Sustainable development objectives require change and improvement of many different factors, directly affecting the enterprise resources. Therefore, this is a long-term process, cannot be completed overnight, and needs consensus from the whole organization. To successfully transform, business leaders must put sustainable development goals into the vision and mission of the business, and become “ambassadors” for this goal.
Pioneering development to create change
Sustainable development is an organization’s effort to create better values for society. To bring positive change to not only your organization but also the community, leaders are pioneers to change their thinking and create changes. This process can take time and is not easy, but it will certainly bring about the results you want. Practice following the suggested methods below to bring sustainability to your organization:
- Understand sustainable development and personal as well as the business goal: There is a fact that we cannot do something that is not our goal for a long time. That’s what goes against the definition of “sustainable.” Therefore, a leader must first understand sustainability (through self-study, workshops, reading, learning from others, …) and must be aware of sustainable development for yourself before applying it to the company. Only when the leaders share the same value as the organization can the employees be orientated towards the goal of sustainable development. This also shows the importance of self-leadership before leading the team.
- Lead the team toward sustainable development goals: instead of providing solutions, it is necessary to create opportunities for employees to give their answers. Because employees themselves will be the ones to implement these goals, they will be the ones with the most practical and closest solutions. Hence, the job of the leader is to well manage the other resources in the business following the vision and long-term goals towards sustainable values. Sustainable development is one’s own business but requires consensus from leaders to their staff. Leaders can utilize coaching programs to raise employees’ awareness of sustainable development, thereby encouraging them to live and work on these goals to make better and more sustainable solutions, which not only contribute to the company but also contribute to good values for the society
- Searching for support from stakeholders: to achieve the final three goals in sustainable development: (1) economic efficiency, (2) social engagement and (3) environmental responsibility, leaders need to know which stakeholders to connect that will support business in this strategy. Understanding stakeholders is also a way for leaders to build a plan and create the shared-values with the community. Find out about stakeholders such as environmental protection communities, non-governmental organizations that need the help of businesses to strengthen engagement with the community. Also, join sustainable development associations to meet and connect with leading businesses and leaders, to learn and quickly keep up with the latest sustainable trends. It is also noted that the sense of “belonging to a community” also increases the responsibility to commit to the sustainable development goals that businesses have set.
Leaders join hands with the team towards the sustainability goal
After all, “Leadership” is an influential process that brings a shared vision, aligning resources towards that vision and creating a commitment to overall success. The achievement of sustainable development is a cyclical relationship with the inclusion of goals, planning, implementation and supervising of strategies. This is also the responsibility of the leader in the process of sustainable development. The leader as the “ambassador” for this goal and the consensus of the employees and a complete action plan will help the enterprise achieve its goals of sustainable development.
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