Getting (Green) Things Done
Years ago, I started a blog called Green Gurus where I summarised the achievements of some of the great green thinkers. After a while I lost enthusiasm for the project as a theme started to emerge. Many of the people I had intended to write about about were very good at producing and selling ideas (or themselves), but a substantial number left behind a trail of (expensive) failed projects, unproven solutions and unfortunate predictions. Could I really describe them as ‘gurus’?
In the meantime, I noticed that the people getting things done weren’t the green rock stars, but the ordinary engineers, scientists, business people and bureaucrats simply doing their jobs well, but in a greener direction.
At lunch after the Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group last Friday, I mused that some people who were thinking about joining seemed to believe they weren’t intellectually up to membership of such a group. One member joked that I did tend to present it as some kind of rarified Bloomsbury set salon rather than what it is – senior sustainability managers sharing best practice in a comfortable environment. Doers rather than philosophers.
My own consultancy has shifted from telling people what to do and focussing instead on asking them what they think they should be doing. In other words engagement and problem solving mashed into one and it works.
All of this points in one direction: a sustainable future will be delivered by a boring evolution of the actions of many doing their job differently, rather than man-the-barricades revolution led by a charismatic few gurus.