Thought Leadership

Enduring Relationships are Key to Sustainable Outcomes

Tony McCartney - Enduring Relationships are Key to Sustainable Outcomes

I recently had to deal with my father’s passing.  While he was 79 years old (not the ripe old age that many achieve these days) the nature of his passing was relatively sudden and not without its trauma.  Being the oldest child the duty to prepare and present a eulogy fell to my shoulders; a responsibility I accepted with pride and trepidation.  Being around family, friends and dad's peers and acquaintances gave me plenty of facts, stories, anecdotes and attributes to work with.  I believe I even had his guiding hand in pulling the words together and supporting me in the delivery.

Over the past couple of months working through the loss, one of the more recurrent and poignant themes is that of the value in relationships. It is not surprising then that relationships are one of the pillars of any sustainability framework (refer earlier posts).  Having strong and respectful connections with peers, leaders, staff, stakeholders and customers provides the context and moderation to our own and organisational development needs. A successful organisation will promote these relationships within a structured framework based around resilience and individuality.  An emphasis on situational training, behaviour recognition and collaborative leadership embedded in individual and corporate performance targets, is key.  Motivation through such goal setting focuses both individuals and the organisation on developing a sustainable human resource and creates the opportunity to discover, develop and adapt for both personal and organisational objectives.

To use a theme of the present; relationships promotes disruptive thinking which will lead to improved (sustainable) outcomes.

Thanks dad for the enlightenment!


Sustainability as Core Business

Tony McCartney - Sustainability as Core Business

As I concluded in my last post successfully delivering sustainability outcomes is mostly about people.  Not surprisingly this is the heart of any successful business.  As a sole trader, you can easily opt for a sustainable approach to your endeavor as your values shape your offering and providing your market isn’t too narrow you will engage a client pool that shares this set of values.  In the corporate environment, the challenge increases exponentially as you need alignment of many internal teams and external stakeholders.  To get this alignment you need much broader buy-in and to get that buy-in you need a framework.

Successful sustainability architecture is about simplicity.  It needs to be easily understood, enable rapid adaptation and demonstrate achievement.  It can’t control; it must influence.  

Tony McCartney - Sustainability as Core Business

A four wellbeing approach (People, Financial, Relationships and Environment) is a good place to start as these are inherent work streams in all organisations.  Unsurprisingly these are what underpins earlier organisational efficiency based initiatives like Value Management and Balanced Score Cards.  The real secret, however, is aligning a broad span of individual values into a cohesive movement under these wellbeings to ultimately become organisational culture.  John Kotter’s dual operating system model (refer his book XLR8) provides the visualisation of how this should work.  It shows how any team(s) or individuals could engage and then be empowered to achieve sustainable outcomes in their particular endeavor.

As with any adaption the ‘devil's in the detail’ so I’ll provide my views in subsequent posts but if you have any thoughts or experiences I’d be happy to hear them.