Creating a Culture of Sustainable Success

I was honored to be the lead-off speaker for Georgia Tech’s
IMPACT Series.
  Sponsored by the College of Management, the IMPACT Series provides an opportunity for students alumni and the Atlanta business community to learn from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and notable business and non-profit leaders.  

The topic, Creating a Culture of Sustainable Success, addressed ideas on how to embed sustainability into an organization’s culture.  While transforming culture isn’t easy – it certainly can be done when approached systemically.  I presented three keys for doing so – to Lead, Engage and Align.    Considering my venue, I drew upon my research in sustainability with companies lead by GA Tech graduates – Mike Duke (CEO of Wal-Mart), John Brock (Chairman & CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises), Ray Anderson (Founder of Interface) – as well as insights from interviews with the president of the university, Bud Peterson, his wife Val and the Sustainability Director for GA Tech, Marcia Kinstler. 

LEAD:  It all starts with leadership and the need for those in charge to “Get it – Envision it – Say it – and Show it.” 

ENGAGE: Involving employees early and often shifts the culture in ways that fosters collaboration, innovation, pride and inspiration.  I shared examples of how one of our clients, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, addresses four important drivers of engagement – 1. Meaningful work, 2. Connection to the big picture, 3. Strong and trusted leadership and 4. Continuous learning and development. 

ALIGN:  Align the design.  Organization design is about more than moving around boxes on the org chart.  Aligning systems and processes such as compensation, communication, governance and people practices foster achieving desired cultural traits. 

The students and business leaders prompted additional discussions in a highly interactive Q & A period as they posed questions about fostering innovation, sustainability in communities, influencing leadership and getting a return on investment.

The video of the full presentation will be available on the GA Tech IMPACT Series website in about two weeks. 

View the Press Release on this website under News Room

Home Page Teaser: 
I was honored to be the lead-off speaker for Georgia Tech’s IMPACT Series. Sponsored by the College of Management, the IMPACT Series provides an opportunity for students alumni and the Atlanta business community to learn from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and notable business and non-profit leaders. The topic, Creating a Culture of Sustainable Success, addressed ideas on how to embed sustainability into an organization’s culture. While transforming culture isn’t easy – it certainly can be done when approached systemically. I presented three keys for doing so – to Lead, Engage and Align.

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