Strategies for Managing and Measuring Sustainable Change

Sustainable Strategy Management Assessment

This essay explains or provides an overview of sustainability management in an organization. It basically demystifies the concept of sustainability, how to measure its sustainability, the challenges that come with its implementation and the strategies of developing a culture of sustainability within an organization. It also analyses the concept of environment change management and the role of executive leaders and management in sustainability and environmental change.

According to Avlonas & Nassos (2013), the concept of sustainability has received emergent appreciation and is a very general idea that has several interpretations. Sustainability is about reaching a balance between economic, social and environmental needs together with entities participation in the planning process. It entails conservation of resources, environmental quality, building the environment, social and political participation. There is need for any organization to measure and monitor sustainability practices. There are four major methods an organization may use to measure or monitor sustainable practices. These include; first, recourse consumption and value creation perspective. In this method, evaluation addresses the dual perspectives of consumption of resources and creation of value. An organization should focus on minimization of resource consumption while optimizing creation of value. The second one is triple bottom line. Evaluation in this case include economic, societal and environmental aspects. There is need for balancing and integration in order to have a comprehensive comprehension of service and product sustainability. Third is product life cycle consideration. Here, the evaluations consider each and every stage of a product life cycle systematically. This entails resource consumption and product value creation in its life including manufacturing, supply, use and disposal of the product. Finally, leading and lagging indicators (Wilhelm, 2015). This method of measurement evaluation combine both outcomes and business process indicators of performance. These assists managers to monitor progresses leading to achievement of sustainability objectives.

Implementation of sustainable policies come with several challenges. Some of the biggest challenges include resistance to change. Change and transitions in organizations take time and is always expensive (Wilhelm, 2015). The other challenge is the lack of knowhow by the stakeholders. Sustainability policies must be well laid out to all the stakeholders, especially the employees and management. Without properly orienting and educating staff on the importance of sustainability as a factor of growth, the policies will not work out. The other challenge is divergent or human problems. These are difficulties posed during transition to sustainability and are not solved by sensible means only.

A culture of sustainability can be developed within an organization in several ways. These include; identifying and understanding key sustainability risks, opportunities and drivers for a company. Defining in detail what sustainability means to all the employees and stakeholders. Linking sustainability with profit thus making it vital in that becoming sustainable often means being more efficient. Establishing responsibilities and communicating widely the significance of sustainability at each and every level of the company. Investing in the future is essential in the sense that investment in sustainability does not always demand huge expenditure to implement. It is also imperative for an organization to engage all stakeholders like customers, employees, investors on matters of sustainability implementation so that the policies developed address all their needs and include them in policy formation. Finally, it is through monitoring and evaluation. Continuously tracking progress towards the objectives of sustainability progress is very imperative in its justification to management and in fully comprehending the benefits it brings.

Managing environmental change is key to the success of any organization. According to Wilhelm (2015), the major role of management and leaders in the management of change includes; first is to engage professionals or expertise so as to ensure that the company considers all the aspects of environmental change and not just sustainability. Second is management to open discussion or allow for brainstorming sessions with all stakeholders on matters of change management. Third is the managers should be willing to share information with all the stakeholders so as to come up with inventive solutions to reduce negative environmental effects. Forth is the management to invest money and time in processes and technology that deliver both sustainability gains and also commercial benefits. Fifth, is to appreciate that environmental change is a continuous process and not a one off effort and thus takes time. Sixth is to have clear lines of communication so as to engage the commitment of employees thought the organization. Finally is the management to develop a written environmental change policy or strategy that has a long term perspective and ensure that everyone in the organization can access and understand it.

Finally, resistance to sustainable change is a common challenge to many organizations. Combining leadership and communication strategies can help mitigate this resistance. Some of these strategies include; first is to perform a stake holder’s evaluation. This is an essential requirement in the identification of all parties that could be affected either indirectly or directly. It basically sets out the information, concerns and issues needed with respect to the organizations change management strategies (Robertson, 2014). An organization’s existence has a direct connection with the environment as well as the surrounding community thus performing this analysis helps a company mitigate resistance to change. Second is leaders must set sustainable change objectives and policies. Creating clear objectives and setting up policy statements on environmental change is the right move towards alleviating resistance to change.  Third is management to design and execute an implementation plan for sustainability.

A well laid out plan for any management systems changes is vital in the achievement of sustainability. This will have affects on the whole organization in the sense that it involves changing the employee attitude and the corporate culture and defining accountability and responsibility (Robertson, 2014). Communication will also be enhanced. Fourth is to develop a supportive corporate culture. This will help mitigate resistance in that it will allow people to give their assistance or backing to the sustainable development policies. Participation of employees leads to generation of practical ideas and increase of eagerness for the changes. Fifth is the management to develop measures of performance and standards. By creating measures and standards of operation, an organization will gauge the outputs of employees and thus come up with reports for controlling and motivating them. Next is for the management to provide regular reports on the sustainable changes. Every institution that publishes from time to time its sustainable development reports, is more likely to mitigate resistance to change in that any positive changes will motivate the entity to perform even better. And also the reports are used by management in decision making. Finally is to enhance internal monitoring processes. The key to any successful sustainable changes or effectiveness is determination by the management to monitor output on a continuous basis.

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