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Creating Buy In for Sustainability Programs
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Creating Buy In for Sustainability Programs


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In this lecture, I speak about the importance of creating buy in for sustainability, ways that champions can traverse internal structures, and how to then engage external partners.

In this lecture, I speak about the importance of creating buy in for sustainability, ways that champions can traverse internal structures, and how to then engage external partners.

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  • 1. Creating Buy-In
  • 2. Buy-in
    What does it mean to create “buy in”?
    Getting people to agree with, and support, a …….
    • Project proposal
    • 3. New product
    • 4. Training program
    • 5. Process
    • 6. Way of thinking….
    Major types of buy in:
  • Determinants/ Constraints
    Core Reason for Action:
    Source of action:
    • Top-down or bottom-up
    Motives for action
    • Global Directive
    • 14. Improvement in product of service
    • 15. Non-critical process improvement
    • 16. Critical regulatory Change
    • Global, regional, local
    • 17. Corporate vs. Business Unit
    • 18. Supply Chain/ Distribution Channels impact
    • Business as usual or Crisis
    Duration of action
  • Why do people buy in?
    Why Firms Are Not…
    Why Firms Are Going “Green”
    Strategic Interests Supplier Performance Customer Satisfaction
    Lack of Expertise. Lack of Incentives. Lack of Regulation???
  • 23. Keys to Success of Internal Buy-in
    • Internal Champions
    • 24. Higher level support is a must
    • 25. Internal Guanxi to get proposals into the right hands
    • 26. Can help navigate politics, report lines, and approve budgets
    • 27. Can review proposal before pitch and provide feedback
    • 28. Collaboration over coercion
    • 29. The less a proposal is “forced”, the better it will be to develop buyin.
    • 30. Isolating the director of a business unit will almost guarantee isolating that BU
    • 31. …. Even if it is the CEO pushing down.
    • 32. Communication.. Communication… communication
    • 33. Developing broad based buy in requires communicating to stakeholders (internal/ external)
    • 34. Providing a forum for Q&A, feedback, and engagement
    • 35. Executive calls, newsletters, emails, forums
    • 36. Time
    • 37. Planning, rollout, and measurements require time
    • 38. Rome was not built in a day.
  • Win/ Win Propositions
    • Creating the “Win / Win”
    • 39. Goal Alignment
    • 40. Developing proposals and conversations that balance need of parties
    • 41. Making money approach always beats spending money
    • 42. Saving money is good too…
    • 43. Willingness of parties to do what it takes to achieve goals
    • 44. Rewards outweigh cost
    Easy to do with low hanging fruit
    BYD’s Move to Electric Cars
    • Executives developing shred goal to focus on building electronic systems
    • 45. Droving finance, R&D, and human resource departments to act
    • 46. Developed key support from government officials, banks, and industry
    Imagine the resistance of the move was away from batteries towards combustibles
  • 47. Win/ Lose Propositions
    • Dealing with the “Win / Lose”
    • 48. When Goals are Alignment, or lacking natural alignment
    • 49. One party is going to lose more the other…
    • 50. Pain of loser can be minimized
    • 51. Reasons for Win/ Lose programs succeeding
    • 52. Winner has significantly more power/ leverage over “loser”
    • 53. Top down pressure and decision making
    • 54. “Common Good”
    • 55. No Choice
    • 56. Weaknesses of Win/ Lose Programs
    • 57. Requires more effort to enforce – particularly if changing human behavior
    • 58. Long term stability requires acknowledgement of results (has to have had impact)
    • 59. Examples:
    • 60. Macroeconomic policies that restrain growth of new loans
    • 61. Wal-Mart Sustainability Program
    • 62. Employee Anti-graft campaign restricting gifts to external, dinners, etc
  • Win/ Lose Example
    Shanghai EXPO
    • Like Olympics – considered a “common good” and requires lots of buy in
    • 63. Upside include:
    • 64. EXPO Run-up investment in city
    • 65. Direct EXPO impact to Shanghai economy
    • 66. Local pride and
    • 67. Hotel, restaurants, and retail
    • 68. Downside included
    • 69. Relocation of Huangpu/ Pudong residents
    • 70. Construction related inconvenience and noise
    • 71. New regulations: No Smoking, security in metros
    • 72. Increased traffic from 300,000 visitors
    • 73. Required constant communication
    • 74. 5th, 15th, and 25th “better citizen” activities
    • 75. EXPO is worth the noise – be a good citizen
    • 76. Line up on right/ walk on left
  • Wal-Mart: Reduction of Packaging
    October 2008 Announce Sustainability Revolution
    • Comprehensive effort across supply chain and stores
    • 77. Alternative Energy, Transportation, Packaging, Recycling
    Not spontaneous. It was planned for years. Wal-Mart is Serious
    Over 200 Associates who will:
    monitor factories, educates suppliers and buyers, and works with others in our industry to implement effective ethical sourcing programs.
    2008 Wal-Mart Home Entertainment Design Challenge
    • Great design that attracts consumers.
    • 78. Product innovation that reduces the environmental impact for its product category.
    • 79. Packaging design that facilitates reuse and recycling, reduces waste, and reduces or eliminates the use of toxic materials.
    HP Reduces wins – reduces packaging 97%
    Win/ Lose to Win/ Win
    Breaking Barriers, Changing Habits, & Encouraging Change
  • 80. External Buy In
    … Taking complexity up a notch
  • 81. Externals are Different than Internals
    • Champions Won’t do it
    • 82. For big changes, it can only be done through executive to executive relationships
    • 83. Driver will not be a single champion, but a common path to profit, sharing, markets, etc
    • 84. Primary decision makers will have hidden agendas and may not be in position to make the call
    • 85. Collaboration over coercion
    • 86. Requires collaboration as, unlike an internal buy in, externals can push back
    • 87. “partners” always have options, and self preservation ultimately will rule
    • 88. Higher level of compromise and increased number of steps
    • 89. Communication.. Communication… communication
    • 90. Clear communication of goals, partnership, and steps is a must
    • 91. Any miscommunication can lead to the tabling of idea
    • 92. Requires each actor build internal buy in as well
    • 93. Time
    • 94. Planning, rollout, and measurements require more time
    • 95. Speed is determined by slowest player
  • Building Buy-in Internally