Sustainability or Survivability

So, what do you think of when you hear the term, “Sustainability Initiatives”? Many people think of the increasing flow of advertising that touts companies concern for the environment and our future. Indeed, the 2010 MIT Sloan Boston Consulting Group Sustainability and Innovation Survey revealed that 49% of executives thought the greatest benefit of sustainability initiatives is improved branding reputation. Executives, however, also identified benefits like reduced energy and material use and increased competitive advantage. The specific merits of sustainability varied by industry, but all executives pointed to the ability to make more money.

Diminishing supply of fossil fuels and global labor pools pose serious threats to US business; but government and regulators were identified by the MIT/BCG survey as the greatest influence on sustainability initiatives. The survey also found that larger companies were more prone to embrace sustainability programs than small companies. Perhaps this is because smaller companies need to be more agile in this economy are more concerned with survivability. Whether the concern is sustainability or survivability, there are two focus areas that all businesses should entertain:

  • Integrating Sustainability into Strategic Planning

Will scarce resources impact your future?
Are there disruptive technologies impending on your future?
Are there opportunities for new revenue streams?
Are there investments that can gain competitive advantage in your market?

  • Periodic Review of Operational Processes

Are there labor and cash savings to be gained from cycle time reduction?
Are there automation investments to improve price competitiveness?

It is in every business’s interest to observe and take notice of our changing world. Those who accept and plan for change will thrive in the future. Click on this link to take an assessment that measures your level of engagement with supportability initiatives.

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