Value for business and society – S18.2

In a recent article in Rotman Management (Spring 2018), David Kiron et al. outline five principles that corporations can follow to build a sustainable business. They developed these principles following an eight-year study and, while they identify examples of progress in line with ESG (environmental, social, governance) goals, they worry that the global increase in populist and anti-regulatory leaders seriously threatens further development.

1. Focus on issues that are material to your business.

While encouraging employees to car-pool or ride their bicycles to work might sound like a positive social and environmental initiative, it is outside the core business of the organization and will have no impact on the sustainability of the organization. Instead, businesses need to engage in activities that directly impact their processes and products: reducing paper usage, recycling waste water, increasing product life, incorporating recycled materials into their manufacturing, and so on.

2. Innovate your business model.

Too many corporations view sustainability primarily as a function of risk reduction, regulatory compliance, and building their reputation as good corporate citizens. A more effective means is to look for ways to increase market share, develop efficiencies, and take advantage of competitive advantages. For example, Kraft found that even though one of their new package designs used 28 per cent less material and required 50 per cent less energy to produce, it was the overall design that appealed to customers, leading to increased market share and enhanced customer satisfaction.

3. Build a clear business case.

The main argument here is that even when you have people within an organization tasked with identifying and implementing environmental and social initiatives, all of which may look good in a corporate CSR report, unless these initiatives create value for the organization they are a waste of resources. However, the business case does not need to come first. Many times, it takes an internal entrepreneur to identify and act upon an opportunity that may or may not in the end produce results consistent with sustainability goals.

4. Develop a compelling value creation story for investors.

In many businesses and community-based organizations and associations, it can quite difficult for stakeholders to recognize benefit from activities centered on sustainability. It is incumbent of managers and those tasked with communicating with interested parties to learn how to package the sustainability message into their more traditional performance-oriented reportage. Assuming that stakeholders will understand the importance of sustainability in remaining competitive or providing an acceptable level of service is a huge mistake.

5. Embrace collaboration within your ecosystem.

No organization at any level operates independently. Genuine sustainability can only be accomplished through collaboration across a supply chain or value chain that can include entities spanning a broad range of industries and services, as well as be geographically diverse. Successful implementation of this principle requires the clear definition of roles and responsibilities, the establishment of effective channels for communication as well as expectations around reporting, and developing an overarching system of governance for partnerships.

Questions

What part, if any, does leadership play in developing or implementing initiatives consistent with these principles? Where in the corporation/enterprise/community should/could such leadership emerge and from whom?

 

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About Robert A. Campbell, PhD

Robert A. Campbell, PhD, teaches courses in change management, leadership, and organizational behavior, as part of the MBA program in community economic development, for the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University.
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47 Responses to Value for business and society – S18.2

  1. Tiara Dhenin says:

    Developing and implementing initiatives consistent with these principles should be considered a function of good management. It’s becoming an industry standard for corporations, communities, and enterprises to appeal to the sustainability message and take measures which align their business model with the movement. Among other reasons, there is a business case to operate a responsible and sustainable business both due to changing customer preferences and because greater access to sustainable technology can help make businesses more efficient. Whether and why sustainable objectives are implemented matters less to me than the fact that it gets done.

    The reason this is a question of good management as opposed to a leadership one is because a decent manager will have a bird’s eye view of these trends and can work with or develop teams to tackle sustainability objectives that align with a business environment. It likely requires good planning, organizing, directing, strategizing, a bit of luck and a lot of money but it is doable. Anyone on the team can and should participate given the right parameters. If it falls back to a question of leadership, or a lack of it, it’s too easy to point fingers in all sorts of directions about who or which team or what kind of government should be responsible for directing and introducing incentives or enabling factors to make the sustainability objectives a reality.

    All that being said, just to toot the horn of ye’ old MBA in CED, rather than reform an existing business model (which is time consuming and expensive and probably helps explains why more businesses have yet to achieve these objectives) I do think there’s a thread of leadership that emanates from studying and pursuing an alternative model to economic development since the practice of CED seems to internalize these principles quite neatly. Go team!

    • Xiaoyu Yuan (Leo) 20173133 says:

      Personally, I agree with the opinion that developing and implementing initiatives consistent with these principles should be considered a function of good management. Cause good management can cope with the complexity of a business. So, if the management ability could solve the issues and problems in these principles. The business can work effectively in sustainable development. So management is needed to implement principles in the business.

      However, developing and implementing initiatives should also be considered a function of good leadership. Changes are needed to have good sustainable development. Leadership copes with change. When we need renovation and creating values for initiatives, leadership skills are needed.

    • Mary Emma MacNeil says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I think it should be lead and demonstrated by management but employees should be encouraged to engage. One of the reasons I chose the CED program is because of it’s focus on the non-traditional business sector and its potential- reasons mentioned above, which is reflective of my own personal values.

    • Karla Winham says:

      Amen, Tiara! I personally wouldn’t be taking an MBA at all if it wasn’t so centered on these principles and alternative models.

    • Sarah O'Toole says:

      Tiara – I agree with your approach to sustainability via management. I think if we continue to look for Leadership around ESG principles it risks acquiring ‘magical unicorn’ properties that somehow appear more difficult and unattainable than they would if they are grounded in management and best practices and repeatable/scalable.

    • Sultan Ali Sadat 20174418 says:

      WellDone Tiara
      You summarized it really well, my concern is about big businesses and corporations’ action versus their words. They appeal, they promise to the public and convey sustainable messages but in they don’t follow through their promises. I feel the suitability message become a new marketing tool.
      There are many documentaries on this, just to name one in 2015 CBC W5 did trace Starbucks’ cups to see where it will end. At the end of the day, all those cups make in the same bin as all other plastic garbage’s.

      Who can fix this problem? who is the responsible, good management, a good leader or it is everyone’s responsibility?

      • Tiara Dhenin says:

        Hmm it sounds like better reporting and public accountability mechanisms could potentially help. There’s questions about accessing and validating information about whether a company is actually doing as it says but some watch birds are helpful in this regard. I will have a look into this to see if I can come up with some examples to pass onto you later.

  2. Xiaoyu Yuan (Leo) 20173133 says:

    In my opinion, the sustainable business and the five principles should be related to both management and leadership in a business.

    For management, there are three principles we should be followed by improving management ability. Firstly, focus on issues that are material to your business. This principle needs the manager has a clear view of the core initiatives of your business. And make an adequate judgment of the issues we face to have a sustainable business. Secondly, build a clear business case. The managers should identify which kind of initiatives and plans will be beneficial in actual operation instead of on the paper. It will need the ability of veracity judgment for management. Thirdly, embrace collaboration within your ecosystem. Managers need the professional skill to make workers or employees solidarity and cooperation which can improve the effectiveness of the business.

    For leadership, there are two principles. Firstly, innovate your business model. We will need leadership when we need to change. So good leadership skill is needed to innovate. Secondly, develop a compelling value creation story for investors. If we need to let investors understand the value of the sustainability. The creation of value story will need good leadership. Leadership is essential in motivating people.

    To sum up, in my opinion, leadership play in developing or implementing initiatives consistent with these two principles I mentioned in creation and value part. In a business, leadership will emerge in innovation and value publication sector. And the leadership comes from the managers of these two sectors.

    • Shengjing Wu( Silverdew) 20140381 says:

      I agree with your point that we need leadership to do the change. Even though there have many people who work in the organization and probably see the importance of change, it is difficult to have one stand up and start this change. Also, the leader has to have the ability to motivate his followers, and I think if a business wants to use the creative and impressive story to convince the investor, this story must be accepted and believed by the employees first.

  3. Mary Emma MacNeil says:

    I think I am most hung up on the Kiron’s first principle of Focus on issues material to your business. Though, I respect the idea that a company’s bottomline is indeed reliant on its processes and products, I would argue his definition of “core business” is a narrow one. Sustainability is a growing trend in business (and a great one!) but it is more than just materials. Sustainability at its best is an awareness and ultimately a value that companies are adopting. To uphold values, I believe you must live them and I think if a company is moving towards true sustainability then the initiatives they implement within their company must also spill over into the daily lives of their employees and their personal decisions (ie: transportation to work). Studies have shown that employees seek out organizations where there is personal and organizational value congruence because these values affect employee satisfaction, commitment, and cohesion. Lucky for us, the third sector does this particularly well!

    • Mary Emma MacNeil says:

      In short, I think that it is the role of management to demonstrate the organizational values both within the workplace and in their personal lives. Employees of all levels of the organization should be given the opportunity to participate and meaningfully contribute to sustainability planning and initiatives.

      • Tiara Dhenin says:

        I love the idea of a business living its sustainability values. Practicing sustainability outside of the organization may not increase profit margins but can set positive examples for broader community members – monkey see, monkey do!! Although the impact of this is tricky to measure it is still worth implementing while also introducing changes to the business internally such as through recycling. I am always and never surprised to learn how many businesses don’t recycle something simple as paper receipts (ahem, Starbucks!). But I also agree with Parvin that employees have to be engaged with the change process otherwise it could be a slow and reluctant movement to introduce changes even as small as recycling paper. Again, this is a management topic.

    • Karla Winham says:

      Exactly. Actions create culture, right?

      And who says companies can’t include things like car-pooling etc (which don’t seem related to the “core business”) into their reports to shareholders? Increasingly, people care about the impact that their investments have on the communities in which they operate. Granted, the majority of investors still might not care, but until companies start reporting these things as something that investors SHOULD care about, it’s not even going to be on their radar. Perhaps one of the ways to change the mindset amongst shareholders is to actually treat them as people who might care about something beyond money. Expect better of them. Maybe they’ll surprise us….

    • Edmond Michaud says:

      You summarize well what next step should be after my comment: what kind of change is prone to bring about sustainability, if the five principles outlined by Kiron are not inspiring to us? Probably the questioning of values, first. Then take sustainability by the horns, call it by its name, insert it into agendas, talk about it, and plan for it to happen. If sustainability is an awareness like you said, this will likely take time. But at present, I don’t see other ways to reverse the threat of increasing populist and anti-regulatory leaders.

    • Han Cao (Augustine) says:

      I agree with you that sustainability should be something embedded in the core values and enterprise culture, so those behaviors are not enough.

  4. Xiaoyu Yuan (Leo) 20173133 says:

    In my opinion, the sustainable business and the five principles should be related to both management and leadership in a business.

    For management, there are three principles we should follow by improving management ability. Firstly, focus on issues that are material to your business. This principle needs the manager has a clear view of the core initiatives of your business. And make an adequate judgment of the issues we face to have a sustainable business. Secondly, build a clear business case. The managers should identify which kind of initiatives and plans will be beneficial in actual operation instead of on the paper. It will need the ability of veracity judgment for management. Thirdly, embrace collaboration within your ecosystem. Managers need the professional skill to make workers or employees solidarity and cooperation which can improve the effectiveness of the business.

    For leadership, there are two principles. Firstly, innovate your business model. We will need leadership when we need to change. So good leadership skill is needed to innovate. Secondly, develop a compelling value creation story for investors. If we need to let investors understand the value of the sustainability. The creation of value story will need good leadership. Leadership is essential in motivating people.

    To sum up, in my opinion, leadership play in developing or implementing initiatives consistent with these two principles I mentioned in creation and value part. In a business, leadership will emerge in innovation and value publication sector. And the leadership comes from the managers of these two sectors.

    • Yunhe Li 20153186 says:

      Good point, leadership is essential in motivating people. I do agree with that. That is also where the leadership is required to emerged from, then they guide and motivate people to work on the shared values of the business altogether, the leaders also can make innovation on changes and that is also where leadership comes from.

      • Yi Fang 20174318 says:

        People are watching how others doing, a good leader can make examples to followers.

    • Huanran Zhang 20174356 says:

      In my opinion, I agree with your point that any organization needs to cooperate with other organizations. How to create a sustainable supply chain for every company’s goals. So how to build a trustworthy cooperative relationship is something that every company needs to consider.

    • Huanran Zhang 20174356 says:

      Meanwhile, The main goal of a company is to sell its products. So how to make a satisfactory product smoothly is an important goal of a company. The integrity of a company’s supply chain depends on whether the company can produce products. Therefore,to create a sustainable industrial chain is the goal that every company needs to achieve. It’s also something that leaders should pay attention to.

  5. Yunhe Li 20153186 says:

    I think that it is the role of management in developing or implementing initiatives consistent with these principles. Encouraging in activities that directly impact their processes and products, like reducing usage of papers and recycling waste within a business, or encouraging a sustainable life style to employees’ personal life, both of those are more about a good management process in a business. Innovating business model is more about a leadership which copes with changes externally. While an internal entrepreneur that mention in the third principles would also represent good leadership in the process, as he needs to identify and acts upon an opportunity whether it will make sustainable goals to be achieved in end for the business. Principles of number four and five both required communication skills highly when implementing. Good communications within or outside the company with external parties is very important part that good leadership might be responsible for to a sustainable business. Such leadership should or could be emerged from the top leaders and also from each stakeholder in the business, because each stakeholder has the responsibility on having a sustainable business, which is good for the society, everyone in the society would benefit from that. And I think this leadership will need to be initiated from the top leaders firstly, in a community or in a company, who guide followers to the direction of sustainability, like MBA CED students, leadership could be emerged from we students who learn to be professional in CED area then try to demonstrate what we have learned for a business of community.

    • Parvin Tasharofi says:

      Yunhe, Management role in developing and implementing new ideas should be consistent with the organization’s mission otherwise engaging employees would be difficult and hardly justifiable. Employees are engaged in activities once they know the feasible use of it such as recycling, how its benefits everyone. I agree that the internal entrepreneur introduced in principal 3 has plays an important role in developing and implementing new initiatives because it is born within the organization therefore, has a better understanding of the system and the workflows from within, but to call it leadership at initiative stage may be too premature, in my opinion. Although I believe that everyone should take initiatives and be the best they can in their personal and professional life so that they can manage their own personal life as well as helping others, but aim to be a leader is non sense based on the learning of true leadership.

    • Di Liu says:

      I think you are right! I agree with your opion. For the principle 4 and 5, indeed, a good communication and negotiation skills are required. The principle 3 compared with 4 and 5, it is comparatively esay way to achieve the goal of sustainability for the business. However, I think leadership no necessary to start from the top leader. Because you need to consider there may be have other active followers have high enthusiasm than the top leader. So, I think any positive member can be go first!

  6. Karla Winham says:

    The first of these principles really rubbed me the wrong way! Number 1, and to a certain extent #2 and #3, seem to assume businesses are operating in siloes that have nothing to do with each other, their communities or their employees’ lives. Sustainability seems to be viewed as Somebody Else’s Problem, and the attitude is that addressing it drains valuable resources from companies with no real effect.

    By #4 and 5, the tone shifts toward more collaboration with other companies and shareholders. I especially like the suggestion that shareholders need to be made to understand sustainability. Leadership for this would probably come from those who can find out what really makes their shareholders tick (beyond money) and relate the corporate messaging around sustainability to that.

    Until sustainability is seen as a risk reduction problem for the entire planet that we all need to solve together, it will be hard to resist the egoism and evolutionary “survival of the fittest” threats that support populist leaders. Leadership in this shift can come from many sectors, but it is most likely to arise from the third sector and those who focus on ethical investing. We can do this, CED peeps!

    • Xiwen Liang (20162800) says:

      As you said, I also question the first principle.
      I admit that actions like enhancing the environmental awareness of employees are not directly related, but it’s not completely irrelevant with the sustainable development of an organization. In my opinion, this is a kind of moral interaction with employees, which can reflect the values and moral principles of the enterprises. As an important part of a company, how can employees’ every action have nothing to do with the development of the organization?
      I assume David’s judgment is correct. Since the company no longer promotes similar environmental behaviors, will there be employees who will affect the company’s image and thus the company’s interests? There is no such situation in which the answer is absolutely no.
      It is too arbitrary to conclude that this interaction has no impact on sustainability simply because it has nothing to do with corporate interests.
      I think that might even sound like Act Utilitarianism.

  7. Sarah O'Toole says:

    The first 4 principles are very firmly set in the management of the business – not to say this doesn’t have any net benefit for ESG principles. Indeed, a sustainable and ethically operated business will have greater impact if it can operate for a long time. One of the key complaints about greener materials etc. is that there isn’t a stable market for them or that the costs are higher because they are a small producer.
    The 5th principle around Collaboration is where Leadership may play a larger role – when I am using this term I am speaking of vision and energy required to build relationships, and imagine new opportunities to be explored. Management continues to play a role in this activity because effective networks and collaborative projects require it. Leadership need not come from solely within the company, or a single company, and could be an interesting model to form sustainable advisory board or committee.
    What is key is that there are accountability mechanisms in place and a clear vision of not only who is accountable, but to whom. The fiduciary obligations of a business extend not only to the shareholders.

  8. Parvin Tasharofi says:

    1.Employees are engaged and inspired by the type of leaderships that share their vision to do activities relevant to the line of business. Active participation in these activities create a culture that help to sustain product and materials and remain profitable.
    Customer satisfaction is the key to all businesses success. Business should continuously consider their line of product and recognize the areas for improvement to satisfy the customer expectations in present time and for the near future. The leadership that challenges the process of practice to allows search, experiment and taking risks is consistent with this principal so that continues small wins are generated throughout learning experience.
    It’s a common practice in some organization that managers disuses with their team to present a solution that improves their current workflow as individual so that the producing results are noticeable. The leadership that can enable others to practice plays in developing or implementing new methods will strengthen the teams by increasing self determination and developing competent to make a change.
    Small companies and non-profit organizations are mainly focused on social issues therefore they may generate small profit margins, as a result they won’t showcase their sustainability messages with their competitors. However, reveling and sharing their interest with investors may attract them to invest into their business help them grow and exceed their social missions. The leadership that can touches the heart of people will encourage these organizations to more visible so that their contributions are appreciated within the community.
    Today, supply chain helps organizations to work collaboratively in partnership with their counter parts and government agencies to create opportunities. The type of leadership that can enable others to act practice plays in developing or implementing of this principle, is able to foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationship.
    2. The corporation emerges in principal 3 where an internal entrepreneur identifies the opportunity and act upon it regardless of its outcome.

  9. Huanran Zhang 20174356 says:

    These five principles will provide a direction for leaders. In my view, first of all, there is no need for the organization to focus on those problems that will not bring any benefits to the organization. Enterprises need to increase the impact on the production process, so as to have a direct impact on the organization’s revenue. Organizations should pay more attention to their direct business rather than those that do not bring any benefits to the organization. Second, innovate business model is also important for leaders. because when a commodity is sold out will reflect value and also benefit the company. Although reducing costs will increase profits, how to sell and earn profits is the goal pursued by every company. Third, any organization needs to cooperate with other organizations. How to create a sustainable supply chain for every company’s goals. So how to build a trustworthy cooperative relationship is something that every company needs to consider.

    • Fengyu He 20162979 says:

      I very much agree with you that every business should work with other organizations. Cooperation can make the supply chain more stable and complete. This is conducive to the sustainable development of enterprises.

  10. Xiwen Liang (20162800) says:

    1. In my opinion, in an enterprise, leaders and members jointly push the team towards the set goals, forming an organic system.
    Within the system, it should have the following elements (maybe more): leaders’ foresight, staff’s subjective initiative, positive interaction between leaders and employees, the formulation and process of the implementation of business goals, as well as communication ability with external resources, which I think are closely related to David’s five principles.
    The normal and sustainable development of an enterprise depends on the coordination of various elements. However, the key to coordinated development is the interaction between leadership plus management and other members. It is a necessary condition for initiative leadership to form a unified understanding, emotion and behavior activities during the process of leadership.

    2. In a sustainable business, leadership has nothing to do with position and legal authority. Any person, whether in a high position or no position, may have “leadership” due to personal charm or other reasons.

    3. I question David’s first principle.
    “While encouraging employees to car-pool or ride their bicycles to work might sound like a positive social and environmental initiative, it is outside the core business of the organization and will have no impact on the sustainability of the organization. ”
    I admit it’s not directly related, but it’s not completely irrelevant. In my opinion, this is a kind of moral interaction with employees, which can reflect the values and moral principles of enterprises.
    Good behavior will bring good results to the society and improve the corporate image.
    Therefore, it is too arbitrary to conclude that this interaction has no impact on sustainability simply because it has nothing to do with corporate interests. I think that might even sound like Act Utilitarianism.

    • Yingzhao Cai 20175313 says:

      Great minds think alike. The first principle is a little unreasonable. Enterprises encourage their employees to ride bicycles, which is the value reaction of enterprises. Values are the core of enterprise culture. The establishment of an organization depends on the leader’s persistence in values. Values are the motive force of the enterprise’s survival and development.These principles ignore the importance of corporate culture and corporate values.

    • KAIYI CHEN says:

      I do agree with your opinion that leadership has nothing to do with position. Leadership gets ahead in an organization because leadership sees the long-term interest and has a goodwill in the shared value. In turn, who makes the right decision and acts firstly can be the leader to play the role model in an organization.

  11. Yingzhao Cai 20175313 says:

    There is no denying that we must focus on those businesses that are crucial to us. But for some things which don’t belong to the core business, we also shouldn’t ignore that, such as business culture. The first point mentioned that encouraging employees to car-pool or ride their bicycles to work. Although it does not belong to the core business of the organization, I may classify it as the category of corporate culture. I want to add one point that corporate culture is the key to the sustainable development of an enterprise. The culture of an enterprise and the value of an enterprise are also very important, which will certainly affect the sustainability of the organization. The enterprise culture has self-discipline function to the enterprise itself. It can regulate the behavior of its members through the management system and moral style. Compared with the material resources, the enterprise culture is endless, and it will not be exhausted with the time changed. It is the gradual and continuous improvement. It is the basis for ensuring the sustainable development of the enterprise. Corporate culture determines the direction and goal of development for enterprises. The core values are the essence of enterprise culture. Enterprise culture can promote the core competitiveness of enterprises, and good corporate culture can collect talents.

    • Sherma Boudreau 20174186 says:

      I agree with you Yingzhao. I also see car pooling and bicycling as part of corporate culture and should be adapted wherever possible to decrease the emissions and plays a big part in environmental sustainability not to mention the value placed on the health benefits for employees that bikes to work. In many ways this also places value to a corporation.

  12. Yi Fang 20174318 says:

    In my opinion, business has a secure connection with society. Sustainable development not only a concept cater to people but also a way to help the firms run in long-time. Because of the resources on the planet are limited, using sustainable development can attract more attention from investors and customers.

    • Mingxuan Ma 20180981 says:

      correct, the connection between business and modern society becomes more and more closed. people not only consider their own benefits but also think about the whole environment. Firms can operate through the sustainable development strategy.

  13. Fengyu He 20162979 says:

    In my opinion, leadership has a great role to play in building a sustainable business. First, leadership can help build the culture of the entire enterprise. Innovation is very important to a company. So leadership is the key to creating a culture of innovation. Second, leadership can help companies focus on their main business. As mentioned in the article, it is much more effective to be environmentally friendly in the main business than to encourage employees to walk to and from work. In addition, leadership as an exemplary role can affect employee behavior.
    On the other hand, companies also need to create a good working environment for their employees. For example, companies reward employee innovation or companies often encourage employees to participate in innovative competitions.These can promote the sustainable development of enterprises.

  14. Edmond Michaud says:

    Much of what is described in the five principles prioritizes business monetary achievements. Although this is obviously a good choice to achieve sustainability, Kiron & al. should evaluate how their proposed general choice of orientation has common points with populists and anti-regulatory leaders! They worry that these will threaten further development in ESG, and at the same time the five principles that they outline tend to favor and support a traditional neoliberalist mindset:

    -Forget about employee satisfaction, focus on product efficiencies
    -Forget regulatory compliance and reputation, focus on market share and advantage
    -Forget about CSR reporting, focus on value creation
    -To talk of sustainability, don’t use the words sustainability or service, use the words performance and competition
    -Globalize your supply chain like a line of command

    I do not see much room for leadership in these five principles, because it does not create an environment that would favor discussion, reflection, the sharing ideas, or putting people in a state of mind where they can momentarily forget about their hierarchy, roles, duties and deadlines.

  15. Shengjing Wu( Silverdew) 20140381 says:

    Rotman Management is aimed to achieve ESG (environmental, social, governance) goal by adopting the next five principles, however, for my personal perspective, i think this management is for improving the business’ s efficiency and sustainability instead of emphasizing on the external social activities. In the # 1 principle, the business encourages their employees to make the direct impact on producing process instead of focusing on the outside social initiative. Such as reducing paper usage, recycling wastewater, etc. I question that is this business wants to achieve the real environmental or only want to achieve the efficient goal of business.

    It is no denying that these principles do help the business management because by clarifying the principles of the company, the employees get the chance to realize the company’s culture, share the same value, and execute the duty. However, I think the application of this principle is more like the change management rather than leadership. All these principles should apply to daily working life, and we can not measure how effective of these principles. constantly, leadership can motivate their followers to follow and achieve these and make these principles work more influential.

    In Rotman management, manager’s duty is to address these principles right, for example, the manager uses the method to complete the sustainable goal of the company. leadership is to identify which action should be taken by achieving the future success, and then motivating all the followers to apply it. So that collaborating the management and leadership are unavoidable. leadership is to predict the plan, management is to complete the plan. It is no matter the case is in NPO or for-profit, management and leadership are essential elements for success. leadership is for creating the value system and setting up the vision, mission, and direction for its followers, the management is to do all these processes step by step, at the same time, checking and reviewing all steps, in order to reach the final goal.

    • Zilong Zhu says:

      I think the idea “leadership is to predict the plan, management is to complete the plan” explains some confuse in these principles of sustainability. Take an example of principle 1 and 2, in my opinion, Rotman Management wants to remind business managers that what is really significant in participating sustainability business by making a clarified difference between incorrect views and efficient implements.

  16. Han Cao (Augustine) says:

    In my opinion, those five principles seem to rely more on the management methods. However, the leadership does not necessarily correspond to the principles. When we think about the implementation and development of those principles, leadership can play a role in the principle 1, 3, and 5. For the first principle, the manager needs leadership to get people to agree and be involved in the sustainability. For the principle 3, people need to identify the opportunity and act, this process requires the manager to have the leadership. In terms of the principle 5, collaboration and coordination demand strong leadership by the manager.
    On the other hand, I am still doubting the necessity of leadership when implementing and developing those initiatives. In other words, I think those initiatives and principles can still be implemented and developed without leadership.

  17. Sherma Boudreau 20174186 says:

    Good Management would be the driver of the complex issues involving sustainability or the process of putting the policies in motion. Managers are motivators in the organization, providing direction and envisioning the organizational goals. There is such a big push globally in all organizations to become environmentally aware, moving towards a responsible direction of sustainability while keeping the costs down and adhering to organizational goals on such an important issue. Leadership is in essence coping with changes and setting the vision for the future. Managers put the plan in motion.
    According to Kotter, Management is about coping with complexity and Leadership is about coping with change.

  18. Sultan Ali Sadat 20174418 says:

    Leadership plays a big role in the process from the initiating the program to the development of the program and until the business is in full operation and beyond. Leadership is required in every step and at every level. The leadership doesn’t have to emerge from the top layer of the management team, it can emerge at any level at any time.
    Every level of employees will do their part to positively contribute to the process by doing a small act such as riding a bicycle to work or share an idea on sustainability. The corporations may come up with an idea to comply with regulations to save money and their reputation. Frontline employees are the ones who are really carrying those day to day work. If frontline employees are not sharing the same value, the organization can promise anything but those promises will be empty. Leadership needs to ignite the light of sustainability within each employee. To have a personal touch and inner force, otherwise, it won’t work as successful as it should.

    I fully agree with point 5 that, “Genuine sustainability can only be accomplished through collaboration across a supply chain or value chain”. When people do not share the same values those sustainability programs are not genuine, and may not last long.

  19. Zilong Zhu says:

    Rotman Management identifies five principles of progress in line with environment, social, and governance goals. In my opinion, there is such important role that leadership plays in all of these five principles, because sustainability has been a trend of business awareness in corporations and enterprises, especially in communities. In principle 4, stakeholders need to understand the importance of sustainability in remaining competitive or providing an acceptable level of service. In principle 3 and 5, internal entrepreneur need to identify environmental and social initiatives, and each level in organization operate together. How to build a strong awareness and execution of sustainability depends on leadership. On the other hand, management is related to principle 1 to 3.

  20. Mingxuan Ma 20180981 says:

    In the modern market, the awareness of society is keeping development. Businesses need to adjust their business model through the real situation of the society. Sustainable development is required as a necessary method to adapt to the modern society. Building your own business case, and innovating the positive business circle is = the important task for the modern business.

  21. Di Liu says:

    After read this article, I consider that above these five principles are tend to the management approach. Indeed, leadership plays an essential role in developing and implementing initiatives consistent with these five principles. Especially in 1 and 5. For the first principle, focusing on the key issue could be regarded as the priority objective for the leader. The main responsibility of leader is to lead people to agree and implement with the positive sustainability of corporation. For the fifth principle, I totally agreed with the word of “collaboration”. Just like article mentioned, genuine sustainability can only be accomplished in terms of collaboration. In turn, a successful implementation is required that to be more specific the role and major responsibility.

  22. KAIYI CHEN says:

    These five principle illustrates a sustainable business in effectiveness, profitability and energy-saving.
    Incorporating with Luther Gulick’s POSDCORB theory, leadership plays the role of planning, directing and coordinating. Sustainability is a shared value in any organization. Sustainability business requires the leader having an elaborated plan, and giving the direction of development. I consider the five principle as change in a group. The leader deals with change and help people cope with it when they struggle through it.
    Leadership would emerge in the top of the company. The idea of building a sustainable business might touches the interests of decision maker or share holder. So, the leadership emerged from the top of the company can launch initiatives radically.

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