Making Your Business Resilient with the Sustainability Masterminds
Last week saw the eighth meeting of the Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group. We rolled up to another top-notch venue, the Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland – a County Durham village recycled out of a monastery many centuries ago (is that upcycling or downcycling? discuss…).
The topic of this meeting was Resilience – how do we prepare for and deal with unexpected and sudden changes. The Group chose to focus on raw material security, legislation, NGO campaigns and changes in key personnel. Here’s a selection of the learning points generated:
- Unpredictable things happen – Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous ‘unknown unknowns’;
- Instability is the new business reality;
- Unpredictability makes risk assessment increasingly difficult;
- Too many people like to bury bad news or ignore ominous weak signals;
- Sometimes a bad experience is required to focus minds on preventative measures – do not be afraid to use it;
- Review each crisis – how did we handle it? What can we learn?
- Legislation can come over the horizon very quickly eg ESOS;
- Can spend a huge amount of time and energy reacting to legislation when proactive planning can be more effective;
- Turn trauma into opportunity via new product/service development;
- Clicktivism means campaigns can rise up the agenda very quickly;
- Develop a set procedure and script to deal with a PR crisis – don’t ‘do a Tony Hayward’;
- Warning signals on security of supply are flashing eg China’s monopolisation of rare earth metals or US food production problems;
- Develop long term supplier relationships for key strategic raw materials;
- Circular economy and renewable energy solutions may be more resilient to global risks;
- Have sustainability properly embedded so back-pedalling by a new executive is more difficult than moving forward;
- Work out what makes a new person tick and pitch sustainability in those terms.
As always it is how we got to these points that held the most value for participants.
The meeting concluded with a fantastic lunch followed by a circular stroll up onto the moors above the village and back along the river Derwent. Life’s hard sometimes!
If you want more information on the Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group click here.