Overcoming Resistance on your ESG journey - Mary Thompson

Today, it seems that everyone in the business community is talking about ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) goals. While many in the investment community are seeking companies that have strong ESG credentials AND strong value propositions for their target customers and/or consumers, many business operators are not certain where to begin.

It is not always easy find a definitive path to ESG leadership. To begin with, E, S, & G are each separate and complex topics. Second, businesses that seriously want to address ESG must first understand and possibly re-evaluate their value equation to their customers, be they other businesses or consumers.

One way to approach this process is to think of it as a classic change in leadership exercise, the Beckhard-Harris change model is one such example. According to the model, dissatisfaction with the current state x vision for the future x first steps must be greater than resistance to change (DxVxF>R).

While not strictly a math formula, the model accurately reveals that resistance to change is real and that successful change requires a definitive strategy, energy, and resources, along with a sustained commitment to overcome any resistance to it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that real authentic change is personal and the case for change must be tailored to different stakeholders, including: employees who are being asked to change their ways of working; business customers and consumers whose buying habits you may influence; regulators who may be checking to see if your espoused changes are real; community leaders who want businesses to show a positive impact in their local areas; and investors and lenders who are increasingly putting pressure on organizations to show positive impact.

Each of these groups needs to not only understand what your business is doing to support its commitment to effective ESG and the first steps you are taking to achieve it, but also how each of them will benefit in the long run.

Mary L. Thompson

Strategic Visionary & Business Activator




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!mpact Magazine is a platform where people with a vision can share their ideas and insights.

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