Posts Tagged ‘ shoestring practitioner ’

Advice for the Shoestring Practitioner: Sustainability Mapping

Are you a Shoestring Practitioner?  A Shoestring Practitioner is someone with a passion for doing good, for doing the right thing, for doing things better, but who is working on a shoestring:  constrained in his or her efforts by a lack of resources, such as staff, time, money, or organizational support.  This post is intended for the Shoestring Practitioner, especially one who is at or near the beginning of a sustainability journey in their organization, but may also be helpful to others trying to advance a corporate responsibility (CR) strategy.  I prepared this post in response to questions received through my network about how to engage employees in CR planning.

In an earlier post [Should sustainability have a seat in the C-suite? December 1, 2010], I talked about the need to develop a fulsome understanding of the sustainability landscape in order to guide decisions about corporate responsibility (CR) strategy.  A comprehensive and well-founded CR strategy will be informed by current and future business drivers pertinent to sustainability, including evolving regulatory frameworks, changing stakeholder expectations (including, but by no means limited to customers), emerging standards and best practice, pressing risks and opportunities, and the organization’s own capacities and competitive positioning.  It must also consider, especially in a complex, diverse organization, the range of perspectives and opinions, the differences in awareness and understanding about CR and sustainability issues that may exist among the employees who will eventually be responsible for implementing a CR strategy, as well as among other key stakeholder groups.

A key component of sustainability mapping is stakeholder engagement, particularly internal employee engagement.  Employees can provide unique insight into current and emerging challenges and opportunities, shed light on existing organizational strengths and weaknesses, and highlight areas where CR and sustainability programming could advance strategic business goals.  Moreover, early employee engagement around CR and sustainability issues increases the relevance of strategies developed in response to their input and the likelihood of later buy-in and support.

While sustainability mapping can be a significant undertaking, especially in a large organization, employee engagement is something the Shoestring Practitioner often can tackle on their own, with limited resources.  Click here to learn how…

Welcome!

I created this blog because what I have to say about corporate responsibility can’t all be said in 140 characters…

Actually, I created this blog for a few reasons.

Much of my work is in the area of corporate responsibility and business sustainability.  Although we as a society have come a long way in this space, there is still much to be learned and much to be done.   This blog aims to engage and support those who would further the art and science of corporate responsibility and business sustainability, whether as a practitioner, a consumer, or any other kind of interested party.

But I am frequently reminded, especially as I read and watch the daily news, that corporate responsibility and business sustainability requires a broader contextual frame.  There are matters of public and personal responsibility that are relevant to, and must also be considered in, deliberations of corporate responsibility.  So this blog will also explore this broader context, to help make sense of corporate responsibility and related topics, like sustainability and ethics.

Finally, this blog was inspired by real people whom I call Shoestring Practitioners.  A Shoestring Practitioner is someone with a passion for doing good, for doing the right thing, for doing things better, but who is working on a shoestring:  constrained in his or her efforts by a lack of resources, such as staff, time, money, or organizational support.  I know quite a few Shoestring Practitioners.  Sometimes they make incredible progress.  Too often they are pushing a rope (or, if they don’t have a rope, a shoestring).  The Great Recession made things even more challenging for the Shoestring Practitioner.  They need all the help they can get.  I hope this blog will serve as a useful resource for them.

I’ll try to address any specific requests for information or guidance that Shoestring Practitioners (or any other kind of reader) might have.  To begin with, I’ve added a series of links to resources I find most useful.  I’ll add to and refine these links as time goes on, and discuss additional resources in new posts.

You’ll find that my content will emphasize, but not be limited to, the Canadian scene.

Depending on how things go – how the blog is received and what kind of feedback I get on the content – I may eventually re-organize the blog content to better meet user needs.

Let me know what you think and what your responsibility challenges are.  Feedback is always welcome.

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