One of the unintended benefits of the past year, as we sense-make our way into a new normal, is in adopting new habits. The habit, for example, of keeping strategic themes at work, distinct and separate. We used to speak about Growth, Sustainability and Profitability as separate agenda items, sometimes aimed at different audiences and often used in a distinct and separate context. This no longer serves us and we must bring them together.
In our work, we recognise that by embracing sustainability, not as a separate theme, but as the core of driving growth, discovering opportunities (and yes) de-risking the organisation, we not only find more creative options to exercise but also value far beyond what was seen as within reach. Where we bring together business and societal value, the numbers generated by sustainable and profitable growth often ramp up significantly.
No wonder that it is now estimated that more than half of the value of SDG-driven business opportunities arise in developing countries, and when we look at the impact on more specific measures, such as creating new jobs, the impact is even bigger. It seems that developing new habits, in bringing sustainability to the core, is helping us identify the growth industries and realize growth opportunities which the future presents us with.
Bringing SDGs into the core of our business process may seem daunting as, by their nature, they require us to set goals that are beyond convention. They present an opportunity for us to become creative, to practice new forms of innovation – from how we mobilize capital, build capacity, measure the full impact of the organisation and demonstrating the transformative impact which new services and business models can unlock, and growing in confidence.
The past year has helped us to learn to pause, to slow down and notice not only what is lacking but how innovative we can be, what value we can unlock and the transformative impact these can have on so many, who have been on the outside, looking in…
Have a good weekend everyone!