The Power of Stories
Stories are the most powerful tool that any organisation can utilise to generate loyalty and engagement. You only have to look at the story that Apple and Steve Jobs created, and compare it with that of their peers, to recognise how much value it can drive for commercial organisations.
Any great sustainability story will appeal to appeal to the heart, head AND wallet. To translate these in terms which should resonate for a business story, I’d suggest these are represented by Ethics, Authenticity and Commerciality
To many people and organisations environmental sustainability is a bonus; what they really care about is delivering a great service or product and staying profitable. If you can demonstrate that sustainability and profitability are intertwined, then that creates to an immediately powerful story.
Your people, customers and suppliers will appreciate honesty and humility, and will see through any attempts at greenwash
Focus on your ethics, e.g. why are we doing this? Whilst people need to see their company is being profitable the Harvard Business Review (http://bit.ly/nRmbAZ) recently observed that; “Everyone knows a business needs ethics, customers, and profits, but a lot of companies fail because they get the sequence wrong. The most common mistake is to put profits first. When you do, numbers become all-important, and you can justify almost any behaviour if it makes money.” Doing the right thing will help drive your profitability and loyalty of staff, suppliers and customers.
If you want more ideas on how to influence culture, the Harvard Business Review also has some more tips here: http://bit.ly/oattIB