London Book Reception (& other book stuff)
Another successful, if smaller, reception for The Three Secrets of Green Business in London last Thursday night. A slightly different mix of friends, colleagues, business folk, journalists and interested others showed up. Thanks must go to LBi for providing the venue, and publishers Earthscan for their contribution to refreshments and for tidying up afterwards (as I was dragged off for a celebratory Brick Lane curry).
Interesting questions again – the killer being “in what timeframe should companies act?” That’s a really hard one to answer as some sectors can re-invent themselves in a couple of years if not months (eg smart phones, web 2.0) whereas others take decades to transform (eg the energy sector). I usually suggest to clients that they aim to transform themselves over a 5-10 year period, as I find this to be far enough in the future to consider major changes, but not so far ahead that people make unrealistic assumptions about technology. The guy who asked the question pointed out that in Japan 30 year planning is perfectly normal and suggested that’s what we should be pursuing in the West. I’ll have to mull on that one as it asks all sorts of questions about culture differences.
I also found time in London to interview Jim Hagan, CSR supremo at GSK, for The Green Executive, and have a meeting with the organiser of the Business and Sustainable Environment (BASE) conference in March. I’ll be doing a couple of sessions at the latter and I hope to be able to offer a discount to partners and subscribers to The Low Carbon Agenda.
It was really nice to find 5 minutes to drop into Blackwell’s on Charing Cross Road and see The Three Secrets on the shelves for the first time (although I had to remind myself that they didn’t belong to me despite having my name on the cover). Blackwell’s had 4 shelves of green business/CSR books, so the competition is heating up. As an aside, now I’m in the market, I’ve decided that it would be a conflict of interest to review similar books here in the future – particularly as I can be a rather harsh critic. So book reviews will be limited to books related to business and sustainability but which have a different focus.
Lastly, the local press did a nice piece on the book (and me) on Saturday.