The Power of the Sustainability Workshop
I used to do what I now refer to as ‘clipboard consulting’ where I would tour the client’s facilities, interview key people, do some sums, write a report and present it to the client. The problem was what happened next – usually nothing, the report gathering dust on a shelf marked “someday”. A cynic would say “That’s their problem, you can lead a horse to water etc, etc. Take the cheque and go home.”
But I care passionately about making a difference – that’s why I got into this business, not for the money. Making a decent living out of it allows me to make a difference while supporting my family.
Making a difference means ensuring my clients have enough skin in the game to act on the results of my engagement, avoiding ‘not invented here syndrome’. The workshop is a way of making sure the client is bought into the results – because the results are based on their employees’ views, filtered through my experience and opinion.
I’ll give the example of a recent client engagement – I was originally asked to give a talk on employee engagement, but I persuaded them a workshop would give better value. We ran the half day workshop and got so much out of it, it has formed the basis of their sustainability action plan for the next two years. If I was clipboard consulting, I would only have been starting to get my head around the business in the same timeframe.
To me, the sustainability workshop is the epitome of true employee engagement and, done properly, harnesses the intellect and knowledge of the workforce to give you a veritable smorgasbord of ideas while identifying key ‘pinch points’ that need fixing.