A book review of Adam Werbach’s Strategy for Sustainability

“Don’t drive a Hummer if your asking the company to act like a Prius”

POINT 1 // WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY:
Sustainability is made up of four equal parts:
1. Social // acting as if other people matter —>
 actions that can affect all members of society
2. Economic // operating profitability—> 
actions that affect how humans meet their basic needs
3. Environmental // protecting and restoring the ecosystem —> 
actions that affect earth’s ecology
4. Cultural // protecting and valuing cultural diversity —>
 actions through which communities manifest identity and preserve and cultivate traditions and customs from generation to generation

Each of these parts needs to be paid equal attention to when creating business strategies in order for your company to suffice as truly sustainable.

POINT 2 // B.H.A.G’s VS North Star Goals // Mapping STaR goals:
B.H.A.G.’s:
Clear, compelling, imaginative, tangible, achievable, and bold; take revolutionary steps forward; guide strategy development and unify efforts, fuel progress, rally staff, and require real stretch
North Star goals: Optimistic, aspirational, achievable in five to fifteen years, and personally actionable; connect to the core business and a larger purpose; ignite individuals’ passion in the organization; are incremental steps to solve a global human challenge; and align with organization’s strengths (39-40).
How to map your Social, Technological, and Resource Goals (STaR Goals):
You need to start by looking at challenges through the lens of sustainability. A good way to start is by incorporating categories of sustainability into companies SWOTs. The purpose of the STaR mapping is to sense changes in the external world and find solutions internally.

·      Mapping changes in Society = “The ancient Greeks said that a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”

·      Mapping changes in Technology = technology requires design, it is value-dependent, and it shapes a society as much as society innovates technology.

·      Mapping changes in Resources = “What is the use of a fine house if you have not got a tolerable planet to put it on.” – Henry David Thoreau

It is important to remember that internal organizational qualities are far more important than any absolute goal. Along with your STaR goals you need to enforce a TEN cycle, which stands for Transparency, Engagement, and Networking: “Transparency of information and communications (nature is transparent), engagement of managers and employees at all levels (nature works systemically), and a growing network of sustainability partners (nature forms groups)—makes for a sustainable organization,” (83).

POINT 3 // TRANSPARENCY // ENGAGEMENT // NETWORKS:
Timberland’s CEO Jeffrey Swartz is extremely passionate about sustainable business practices he believes, “Our Industry can become carbon neutral as fast as we demand it. We have the ability to say I won’t buy fashion where the chemicals are used to pollute the environment… It will be the most powerful, popular uprising that corporate America ever saw,” (p. 110). In order to allow consumers to begin this uprising it is the corporation’s responsibility to ensure that consumers are provided with honest information about their products and services so that costumers can begin to pick and choose based on sustainability factors. This is where our talks of greenwashing come into play; Werbach briefly discusses greenwashing and its effects and provides an outline of phases and signs to greater transparency for companies to follow to ensure NO greenwashing //
1. Transparency:

·      Blind Spots: “Even when you’re only beginning to recognize your blind spots, you’re beginning to build a culture that recognizes that you might not be as smart as you think you are,” (96).

·      Awareness: you begin to catalog and assess blind spots to understand whether they are episodic or systemic.

·      Compliance: compare former blind spots with relevant laws, regulations, and industry behaviors and work to meet those standards.

·      Transparency: by widely sharing info about the failure, company will ensure that employees learn from the situation, it will gain the trust of its employees, and it will be able to tap the innovation resource of everyone whom you’ve engaged. (101)

·      DO MORE, TALK LESS… people will take note if your business is practicing sustainably from within, without the company having to spend thousands on advertising. “In striving for the good, you invite hope and demand the creation of a new path,”  (114).

2. Engagement: “The organization’s task is to make transparency not just a procedural point, but also a part of its culture,” (p. 117). By making transparency inherent in a company’s culture it allows engagement to happen at all levels of employment. The most innovative strategy that a sustainable leader could provide is engaging their entire workforce in their companies goals, “The best ideas come from where real social, economic, environmental, and cultural problems are actually solved, which is not necessarily at the top,”(p. 130). The best way to engage your workforce is by creating personal connections that empower individuals to participate in corporate strategy towards sustainability.

3. Networks: Twenty-first-century companies need to use networks to drive down their costs, increase their accountability, bring themselves closer to customers, and closer to a sustainable planet (152). A healthy network has five dimensions: protocols, activity, strong nodes, transparency, and administration. Each network is only as strong as its nodes.

POINT 4 // LEADERSHIP // GO PAST GREEN TOWARDS BLUE:
“Transparency empowers the trust that helps create engagement,” (168).
Green Manifesto
à Blue Manifesto // the differences:

·      We have strong environmental values VS we have strong social, economic, environmental, and cultural values.

·      There are limits and constraints VS there are possibilities and opportunities.

·      We must make food organic VS we can all eat sustainability.

·      We need government action VS we need government, market, and community collaboration.

·      It is our obligation, our responsibility VS It is our passion, our aspiration.

·      We have hope for the planet VS we have faith in people.

·      We must stop the madness VS I will change my behavior and invite you to join me.

·      The world may not survive for our children VS we can act now and do something for today and for the future.

“Consumers are up in arms. Power has switched from brands to consumers and the Information Age has liberated all of us so that no brand can hide now behind its packaging or its positioning,” Werbach concludes his book by providing proof that sustainable business strategy is both positive and very profitable. The power—thanks to transparency—is now in consumer’s hands as long as the corporations and advertisers (us) perform ethically, honestly, and responsibly and work very hard today for a better tomorrow.

Be engaged. Cause engagement. 

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TED Radio Hour on NPR: Africa: The Next Chapter

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NPR dedicates an hour of radio to discussing TEDTalks and then interviews the people from those talks. The first radio hour I listened to was titled Africa: The Next Chapter.

NPR outlined this talk into 3 parts, the first part had clips and interviews from two women’s personal stories; Ory Okolloh and Chimamanda Adichie.

The Danger of Single Story

Chimamanda Adichie’s talk was on The danger of a single story, where she puts in perspective, in a comedic way, a very serious problem. The biggest misconception about Africa, is that it is only one place, with only one people, and only one government, with the same problems. This awful perception of Africa as only one story, a story of helplessness, despair, disease, and poverty. People in the 21st century still often refer to Africa as a country which is one of the biggest problems with the flawed perception of Africa, its MANY COUNTRIES, and its many diverse populations. She believes that the people of Africa need to narrate their own stories so that it is not a white male author from a western country, mis-shaping the opinions of a mass of people. If people from Africa were supported and encouraged to tell their own stories, the world could see more of a place we’ve truly never known, and change that one dangerous story to an enormous library of books. 

"The ability to create is the most powerful thing that can happen to an individual" - Patrick Awuah

The third TED talk was Patrick Awuah’s piece On Educating Leaders, and his belief that true change cannot come from outside help but from homegrown leaders that have been educated on the best way to lead. He lived in the US and worked for Microsoft and it wasn’t until he had his first child that he realized his responsibilty to his home, to his people, to Africa. He knew he had the power and oppurtunity to do something about education in Africa. Patrick Awuah deeply believes that by bringing a Liberal Arts school into each country in Africa that leaders of tomorrow would have a more ethical, innovative, responsible knowledge of how to lead their country— ultimately how to lead humanity. He said that current education holds very little emphasis on ethics rather the typical graduate has a strongest sense of entitlement versus responsibility. Patrick Awuah’s belief is that by establishing liberal arts higher education institutions through-out Africa it will create a new generation of ethical leaders who have the ability to confront complex situations, ask the right questions, and find workable solutions. I completely agree with his philosophy, that addressing the problems shouldn’t start by solving each one individually from the outside but by truly looking at the root of the all the problems together and seeing that innovative, empathetic, and courageous home-grown leaders could set the ground for change in Africa. 

This has become a challenge of despair when it needs to be a challenge of hope…

The last section was Andrew Mwenda’s talk A New Look at Africa, where he addresses the G8 summit, the Aid Industry, and what the media has done to convey prejudice rather than convey truths. The G8 summit believes that a massive aid plan will save Africa, while that is a nice thought this aid / charity isn’t actually solving any problems rather reinforcing the corruption that currently exists. These rich countries that make up the G8 need to focus on investments not aid, an example would be by investing in building schools like the liberal arts universities mentioned above. By donating—not through tax dollars from one government / politician to the next—but from person to person true change and progress can happen. Mwenda says we have reached the dark side of compassion… PITY. Media has constantly conveyed a singular stereotype of Africa being helpless not hopeful. “Western ideology creates charity, it creates the wrong framing producing Africa as a place of despair and in the process Africa has been stripped of self initiative.” He argues that in order for Africa to regain footing and fiscal survival it needs to do so from within, not through dependency on aid from government to government transfers. A refocus of Africa’s government to make “fiscal survival dependent upon its own people” is where solutions are found. The aid industry is a billion dollar a year industry, but who is profiting from it? It is a “high moral idea but on a lopsided plain” where the money from aid never goes to where it is intended rather it gets wrapped up in aid bureaucrats and corrupt politicians. “Whenever you have resources flowing in from outside to the government, and the person giving the money is not a citizen of that country, it is reinforcing corruption.”

When opportunity is created and Africa’s youth believed in, citizens can provide money for their own countries and break the cycle of politician to politician ‘charity’, which only deepens the roots of corruption and problems. By creating opputunity through things like breaking the danger of the single story, providing higher education through liberal arts universities, and a transparent media coverage that sheds light not on Africa’s failures but on the positive things happening, we all could begin to create a perception of hope rather than despair and can finally start investing rather than aiding. 

Make sure your moral intentions are creating moral actions.

Groggy and Tired? Not a Problem…

#24. 05/24/12

Delirious 

Interesting blog post about, Why being Sleepy and Drunk are Great for Creativity by Jonah Lehrer. When thinking about creativity, I think about being original, outspoken, not afriad to say whats on ones mind, and being able to speak the unspeakable. Creative spirit is based upon ideas of things that have yet to be thought of and having the confidence enough to speak of those things.  What else is creativity other than having confidence in sharing ideas? Sleepy-ness makes you irrational, while drinking makes you not give a shit, as a combination we either have lethal weapons or creative innovations?

Try all the equations.. its fun to see what happens.

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oooo Herrrooo World

#23. 05/23/12

It’s really nerve racking putting yourself out there.. and in this business its all about being unique, creative and having that “it factor” that makes you stand out over everyone. This industry allows for you to brand yourself and sell yourself. And that can be a scary thing. I’m trusting my gut here and I’m letting go. I had an awful interview that I was completely unprepared for. I tried to pretend to be something I wasn’t, act smarter than I was, and use examples I couldn’t back up. It was awful. But I learned something… which is the good part in this other wise horribly embarrassing story. I learned that the minute you loose yourself and start trying to live up to what you think others want you to be is the minute you fail.

The reason we are all different is because we are supposed to be and this is one industry that proves that time and time again. If we were all the same there would be now innovators or revolutionaries… this world would be black and white and we would be stuck living in an erie place like that of pleasant ville… gross. So let it go, let your mind wander, heart bleed, and soul shine. If not now when?? The longer you wait the more you forget who you really are and thats a horribly sad thought. I believe I was the coolest in my life when I was from the ages of 2-6 then something happened—>life—>people—>conformity.

There will be forces telling you don’t wear that, don’t say that, don’t do that.. but those aren’t the forces worth listening to find the voice saying wear that! scream that! and you can do it! So hear it goes I’m entering this world, this world of advertising… I’m young and learning and my resume is bare and bleak but thats what I am in school for. so here is the first piece to prove my new presence, to prove my first true step on this journey I hope will never end.

Here I am:

And heres my portfolio site up and running and hopefully soon to grow

Portfolio Site

Happy to be here

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#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
#21. 05/22/12
I am working on my portfolio website and looked at some stuff I did back in the day at the Portland Art Institute and found some things I felt worthy. I need to start back up on my art work and create some new pieces that have more to do with the career path I intend on following… maybe a good summer hobby to pick up in between classes and a hopeful internship!! Art work is the best therapy next to exercise, such a great form of self-expression. Creating art lets you get away from everything else and not have to think of any worries, or things that need to get done. It’s just you and the medium your working with. Never Stop Creating! words to live by!
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Brand Relationships

#20. 05/22/12

This is a new commercial that is done by Esurance. It hits on so many key points in one short 15 second commercial. First off—like usual—Esurance brings to the forefront social media, they truly realize the importance it holds in todays successful advertising. Then they do a great job of making Esurance personable, and hold human like qualities that makes you want to trust them, buy from them, and even befriend them on Facebook—>(making that human connection that much realer). Then they change their relationship status, which is thought to be a big deal by any Facebook user, they change it to married to Allstate to show that Esurance is now backed by Allstate. In just 16 seconds they evoked emotion within the viewer, sparked interest, sent their intended message, and made it memorable. Good commercial campaign that was done extremely well… They definitely made their brand personality clear and above all likable to the viewer. 

(Source: youtube.com)

Love Finding Helpful Apps

#19. 05/21/12

Color Scheme Designer is a really sweet website I found when my friend and I were working on our blogs. He shared this with me because he knew I was having trouble with HTML and CSS coding. This website lets you pick your color scheme and then has an export option when you find what you like that allows you to find what source coding is needed for your website or blog. Once I get a better handle on cargo collective I most definitely plan on using this to enhance my portfolio site. 

Below is a screenshot I took when playing around with different color schemes!

They also have a blog and a link to create free websites through Wix

Wild Squirrel Nut Butter

#17. 05/10/12

Excited to meet the brains behind the operation!

Wild Squirrel Nut Butter, two friends with a passion for food have created a company, soon to be empire, by experimenting with their favorite snack. At a dead end when they had run our of their favorite snack peanut butter they decided, instead of going to the store in the rain, to try and create their own. And create they did. Call it fate or what you will these two girls are doing exactly what they were meant to do. At just 18 & 19, Keeley and Erika are now proud owners of a successful company, now spreading across the region. Not just anyone can start their own company, doing it successfully relies on more than just a good tasting product.  These girls had a genius business plan and what seems to be all the traits necessary for leaders. With great drive, desire, honesty, integrity, and confidence these girls created their brand, advertised, got people involved, and stuck true to their philosophies listed in the creative illustration below. 

"Be a business with a brain and a heart" = humanity found in their brand. These girls are involved, passionate, and full-heartedly invested in this company and it shows through the representation of their brand. Everything from their website, to their blog, to their endless means of communication through twitter, facebook, and email, they are able to create great customer relations by being available for communication. These girls and their dream hold strong promise and I can’t wait to talk to them about their future plans for my final project in J456!

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