Archive for 'values'
Is Sustainability just about being green? Thoughts from Arizona.
Posted by Kathryn Alexander on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 11:23 AM
A large part of my work has been around culture. While I've focused on culture in companies culture occurs in families, cities, and countries. Culture is created by the stories people tell themselves about the actions of others.
People pay attention to and interpret the words and actions of others to determine how to show up in ways that will be seen by others as 'good.' We ALL do this. It is how humans learn to be human.
In support of Gabrielle Gifford and all the others wounded by this event.
Business and Evolutionary Theory: Lessons for a Sustainable Business
Posted by Kathryn Alexander on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 04:36 PM
Reading this article in Fast Company prompted this blog. The article is a good example of the progress we are making in learning from nature.
What is YOUR carbon footprint?
Culture - Sustainability and Green Business
Posted by Kathryn Alexander on Sun, Jan 02, 2011 @ 09:25 PM
For over 15 years I've worked on and with culture. Culture in organizations is the bedrock of beliefs that determine what behavior employees see as both possible and beneficial. The bottom-line is that if behavior is not seen as beneficial (to the employees) then anything requiring that kind of behavior is not possible.
This is why I'm so keen on matching the strategic needs important to a company's future with the culture. Ask anyone and they will tell you stories of companies that have created strategic plans, only to have them sit on the shelf. This is one reason why ? the behaviors needed to implement that strategy did not live in the culture.
If the new strategy required innovation, for example, and employees have been systematically restricted from experimenting, if their suggestions have been ignored, or if mistakes and failures are severely punished, then no employee will really believe that the leadership wants innovation and no one will take the risks needed to make innovation happen.
As companies move toward sustainability this becomes even more important. One of the key benefits of strategic sustainability efforts is the generation of new ways of thinking and working that lead to innovative processes, products and revenue streams. If the culture of the organization does not lend itself to creativity and experimentation, then the deeper and more strategic aspects of sustainability will not resonate.
Additionally, if the
Revisiting the Future - Sustainable Values
Posted by Kathryn Alexander on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 @ 07:39 PM
I had the privilege of being a co-speaker, with a friend, at the Ft. Collins Green Festival on Friday. There we talked to about 300 high school students. We were sharing the Sustainable Values Set?, biomimicry and ZERI with them to show them what a business going green could achieve.
In the 80s I founded an organization called The Entrepreneurial Skills Center, Inc. and we taught high school students how to go into business for themselves. And they did! They had their comics published, hired their parents, bought a new truck, and got offers to buy their businesses. All of this without any capital and the kids were between the ages of 16-18 and all people of color in Oakland, California.
High school students can do so much more than we let them. Since I didn't teach algebra or writing or English they now had real reasons to talk to those teachers because they needed to know how to value stock, track money (I did teach them how to manage a bank account) and how to write contracts.
I recently reconnected with one of my star students ? the one who bought a new truck with the proceeds from his cleaning business. We haven't had a chance to catch up, but he's been to the Great Wall of China and he's reading the ?Tipping Point so it doesn't look like he's done too bad for a black kid from Oakland.
I was very gratified to see that the students we talked to were impacted by the values discussion. The values they could act on immediately and it could have