We are coming to the end of a 40 year business cycle (1980-2020) in the face of three great disruptions that it’s spawned – inequality (a global economy that’s failing to deliver for the many); environmental (burgeoning consumption is driving climatic, biodiversity and pollution crises); and technology (the 4th Industrial Revolution with the interlinked emergence of Big Data, AI, personalized wellbeing, drones/sensors, the Internet of Things etc).
A new business cycle is emerging one that has the potential to create a more balanced society and supporting economy. But it will not happen by chance nor will it scale at the pace we need without strong leadership; deep engagement of citizens, employees, communities and shareholders; all supported by smart and innovative interventions. That’s what mikebarryeco ltd has been launched to help address. I’m focused on 4 key interventions:
1. Leadership – coaching and mentoring today’s business leaders to help them respond to this great disruption, helping them put sustainable action and thinking at the heart of all that they do.
2. Transforming Incumbents – supporting incumbent businesses in transforming successfully in the face of this disruption. Sensitive to the challenges of today’s marketplace, infrastructure and policy systems but determined to show them the benefits of participating in the new marketplace.
3. Growing Start-ups – helping sustainable start-ups (particularly in food, fashion and finance) reach their potential through advice on policy frameworks, market opportunities, governance and partnership
4. Scaling change – providing thought leadership on the enabling conditions for scaling sustainable solutions through policy advice, consumer understanding and technology innovation.
Together we can build a better future one that works for people, society and planet alike. But whichever of these 4 lens we look through we keep coming back to the same 3 questions:
1. WHY does a business need to become sustainable?
2. WHAT does a business need to commit to do to become sustainable?
3. HOW does a business transform to become sustainable?
Each of these are explored in more detail below
WHY do you need to become sustainable? What insight do you need on new expectations of your customers, colleagues, shareholders, regulators, neighbours, stakeholders and society more generally? How does this insight together with action taken by your competitors, peers and disruptors shape your corporate strategy including the very products/services you will offer in a disrupted future?
WHAT do you need to commit to, to implement your strategy effectively, efficiently and credibly? What goals/targets do you need to set to tackle the climate crisis, diversity, human rights, circularity, sustainable supply chains, water use etc? What governance do you need to put in place to ensure these targets are delivered successfully and what transparency do you need to offer stakeholders to re-assure them you are turning words into action?
HOW are you integrating sustainable business practice into all that you do? How do you engage your colleagues, business partners and suppliers in change so that sustainability becomes your way of working in all that you do? How do you share your stories with your customers in a robust and credible way? And how do you partner across your sector and wider economy to address issues that no one business can tackle alone?