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Big Brother and why we should care

Post the Snowden affair we discovered just how much our governments were spying on us.  We have heard about the iCloud leaks and various big companies who have had their databases hacked, so security is very much in the news.  People are talking about using Tor to surf the net, and phones are being sold & developed  on the basis that they are less susceptible to government  spying.  At the same time we have the threat posed by organisations like Isis and many reasonable people will think “We need to protect ourselves from these kind of threats.”  In fact, I caught myself thinking something very similar the other day.  Today I came across this video, from Glen Greenwald, which is one the TED talks.

He certainly makes a good case for resisting this kind of intrusion, but it also got me thinking.  One of my main jobs is to facilitate meetings which are designed to find the best solution to serious problems.  When there are strong leaders present people naturally tend to censor their opinions to avoid criticism and appearing stupid.  Instead of sharing their insights or concerns, they will remain silent.  However, the very purpose of meetings is (or at least should be) to mine the wisdom and collective knowledge of all present, so putting people in a place where they self-censor is self-defeating.  Using an external facilitator is one way to help mitigate this risk.  There are also various tools including modern technology that enables people to vote and input anonymously that can help counter this tendency.

We all know people who are ‘out spoken’, and that phrase tends to carry an implicit judgement, but it takes a brave man to just bluntly say what they think.   Those opinions may or not be correct, but once in the open they can be explored and addressed and consensus built upon them.

I don’t want terrorists killing innocent people, but neither do I want to live in a country that changes itself into the kind of oppressive state we started resisting in order to protect me.

Richard has over 20 years experience helping both businesses and business people deal with the challenges & many stresses of Change and an expert facilitator.  www.i-change.biz

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The Financial Value of Sustainability

In running a business, it is the financial and operational metrics of results and accountability that carry weight. And, with sustainability, what began as a niche approach, today is flourishing into a strategic imperative, and must too have a result-focused orientation.

Yet, within the mainstream of the sustainability movement it is common for organizations, and many of their advisors, to focus on how to execute process rather than how to deliver results. This creates the disconnection of sustainability to effectively uncover the largely hidden cost and risk that shackles a firm’s primary objective of increasingly being able to capture, create and deliver more value and serve its customers better.

Indeed, the hallmark of an authentic sustainability policy remains with a firm’s ability to apply systems thinking for sustainable viability across its value chain. Such data can then be analyzed and synthesized effectively to achieve more with less – to make efficiency effective – to be more innovative, and give insight how to leverage the newfound information: to communicate in a manner that is integrated, material and in context, to engage individual stakeholder groups who have a material interest in the success of the business. Sustainable Viability allows firms to break free of me-too competitors with a value-advantaged position – to serve their customers better by capturing, creating and delivering more value.

“Poor performance on ESG (Environmental Social Governance) factors are used as a lever to reduce the value of a business by as much as ten percent”.

In a recent PwC survey for the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), entitled integration of ESG & Governance issues in M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) Transaction, Trade Buyers Survey Results, it is shown how poor performance on ESG Sustainability factors are used as a lever to reduce the value of a business by as much as ten percent. Moreover, once the demand for ten percent is exceeded, the willingness to continue with the deal may well be removed altogether. I suggest ten percent is a great cost not to have taken sustainability seriously. Furthermore, this does not demonstrate the missed opportunities to capture, create and deliver more value, which would have raised the net value of the business further.

Therefore timely, accurate, sustainable viability data not only gives further insight into operational and financial metrics to make better more informed decisions, it is increasingly affecting a CEOs ability to drive financial value inside their organizations, secure cost effective funds and sees the removal of a price reduction lever.

So, using systems thinking for sustainable viability:
    • Understand how and where your products and services create impact
    • Uncover your true extent of risk
    • Leverage new found information to capture, create and deliver more value
    • Create authentic communications and reports for competitive advantage

Ultimately, for sustainable viability, Sustainability must be integrated with discipline and authentically reported. As such, it becomes inextricably linked to due diligence, financial value and growth.
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Creating a Guest Blog with Abelard

If you have an approved and registered account with us you can submit blogs which we will consider for publication on the site.

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