Leadership is everything in CSR
I wrote The Green Executive in 2010 to provide both an inspiration and a manual for the new generation of responsible and progressive business leaders which appeared to be emerging from the ranks of the grey suits.
Therefore it is a bit depressing to see “engaging senior management” hitting the top of the 2degrees Network’s survey of corporate sustainability challenges.
Let’s get one thing straight:
Leadership is everything in Corporate Social Responsibility
Without leadership, you will not get the convergence of sustainability and business strategies. Without leadership you will find it impossible to change the behaviour of your employees (whether they’ll admit it or not, most look to the leadership as exemplars). Without leadership you will never get the organisation to stop environmentally/socially damaging practices voluntarily. Without leadership, you are pushing, erm, water uphill.
And if it doesn’t come within, it is very difficult to persuade indifferent business leaders to take on such an enormous challenge. But I’ll give you a hint. The key is not to try to hector bosses into submission, but to help them to work it out for themselves. And that’s green jujitsu, the topic of another book…