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Sustainable Organization Performance

We look at three of the key ways to create and maintain a sustainable company

30Jun

Short-term thinking can be the kiss of death for an organization.

Problems should be looked at in the context of a company’s wider strategy, rather than in isolated incidents. This way, resources can be allocated efficiently and in a way that guards against failure.

Having said that, short-term decision making in a crisis is an invaluable leadership skill. It is however a skill that should only be used in a crisis. If a company wants to promote sustainability, it must always be looking to the future, and be aware that its current model, however successful it is at the moment, might one day become redundant.

We take a look at three of the key aspects of a sustainable company;

Leadership

A sustainable leader is one who takes calculated risks, even when a company is going through a period of success. They understand that a company’s ability to operate profitably can change at any moment. Due to the nature of innovation in today’s marketplace, the best leaders take nothing for granted and welcome any new projects which have the capacity to improve their company’s performance.

Being highly emotionally intelligent is also a must for any leader, but for one who wants to promote sustainability in their companies, it’s imperative. They must be able to engage their staff and drive them forward, even in times of upheaval.

Agility

If you want to promote a sustainable approach to business, being agile is essential. The CIPD call it a ‘change-ready mindset’ where management has the capacity to redefine how their company is operating when it’s faced with challenges.

Kodak, a company which was once a dominant player in the photography industry when photos still had to be developed, showed a distinct lack of imagination when they were faced with the threat of new entrants.

Although it’s easy to discuss in hindsight, Kodak should have had the expertise to identify that their business model was becoming redundant. If Kodak were an agile company, their fortunes would have been different as they would have identified that digital was the future.

A sustainable company never rests on its laurels, it expects change and plans for it accordingly.

Training

Although it’s a cliche, a company really is only as good as its employees.

Job-hopping has become the new norm. The average worker now spends 4.4 years in each role, a stark contrast to a couple of decades ago where people would commonly have either one or two jobs throughout their career.

This is a real headache for HR and makes employee retention a far more complex task. Training, however, can be the key to keeping your best staff for a longer period of time. Having your staff with you for longer means a stronger corporate culture and a togetherness that will allow a company to bypass difficult situations.

Sources

SOURCES: http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/sustainable-organisation-performance_2011-stf.pdf

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