Leadership in sustainable development literature review


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Sustainable development, also known as global corporate citizenship and eco-efficiency, is the ultimate leadership challenge in the world today (World Economic Forum, 2006; Engel, 2008). There is nothing more pressing or more urgent. Our world is in trouble with environmental crisis, social crisis, energy crisis, and economic crisis. Therefore, we need leaders at every level of our societies and organizations to answer the ultimate call to action: to save the planet, its people, and their profits. This is the calling of the leader in sustainable development. After all, business cannot survive in a world and society that fails (d’Humières, 2005, pp. XI-XVI).

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Leadership in sustainable development literature review

  2. 2. Leadership in Sustainable Development ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Leadership .................................................................................................................................. 1 What leaders are ................................................................................................................. 1 What leaders do .................................................................................................................. 3 Leadership at Every Level .................................................................................................. 5 Sustainable Development ........................................................................................................... 5 Global perspective .............................................................................................................. 6 Leadership perspective ....................................................................................................... 7 The five stages of sustainable development ........................................................................ 9 Value chain perspective ...................................................................................................... 9 Sustainable development on the ground ........................................................................... 10 Organizational Change ............................................................................................................. 11 Organizational Change Methodologies ............................................................................ 12 What successful organizations look like ........................................................................... 18 Tools for Implementation .................................................................................................. 21 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 24REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 25
  3. 3. Leadership in Sustainable Development 1 This literature review explores leadership in sustainable development. The first topic isleadership and examines what leaders are, what leaders do, and the need for leadership at everylevel. The second topic looks at sustainable development from a global perspective, a leadershipperspective, and all the way to what it looks like on the ground. The third topic deals withorganizational change and explores the drivers for change, some tools and techniques to helpcreate and sustain that change, and what successful organizations look like. Each topic comprisesa different set of frames or perspectives through which to view the topic. Sustainable development, also known as global corporate citizenship and eco-efficiency, isthe ultimate leadership challenge in the world today (World Economic Forum, 2006; Engel,2008). There is nothing more pressing or more urgent. Our world is in trouble withenvironmental crisis, social crisis, energy crisis, and economic crisis. Therefore, we need leadersat every level of our societies and organizations to answer the ultimate call to action: to save theplanet, its people, and their profits. This is the calling of the leader in sustainable development.After all, business cannot survive in a world and society that fails (d’Humières, 2005, pp. XI-XVI).Leadership What is leadership? In the context of this research, it “is the process of influencing othersto understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process offacilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives” (Yukl, 2006, p. 8).Leadership deals with what leaders are and what leaders do (Covey, S.M.R., 2006, p. 31). What leaders are The foundation of leadership is credibility (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, pp. 21-25), which is“about developing the integrity, intent, capabilities, and results that make you believable, both to
  4. 4. Leadership in Sustainable Development 2yourself and to others" (Covey, S.M.R, 2006, p. 45). The four cores of credibility includeintegrity, intent, capabilities, and results (pp. 54-55). Kouzes and Posner have a similar list offour characteristics: honest, forward looking, inspiring and competent (2003, pp. 14-16).Credible leaders do what they say they will do because “people trust leaders when their deedsand words match” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, 41). Successful leaders are aware of their own emotions and the emotions of others. Accordingto Primal Leadership, “understanding the powerful role of emotions in the workplace sets thebest leaders apart from the rest” (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002, pp. 4-5). The four domainsof emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, andrelationship management (p. 39). These different ways of knowing give leaders the ability tolearn more about others than brain power alone (Gerzon, 2006, p. 105). Emotional intelligence isclearly an important part of what leaders are. Effective leaders care more about a greater cause than their own personal interests. Thisconcept is exemplified in Jim Collins’ Level 5 leader: individuals who blend “extreme personalhumility with intense professional will . . . . [and] channel their ego needs away from themselvesand into the larger goal of building a great company” (2001, p. 21). As Fisher and Yury wouldsay: be hard on the problem and soft on the people (1991, pp. 17-39). According to AnnCoombs, “the corporate leaders who will be most successful in the living workplace of the 21st-century will have passionate hearts, freedom of spirit, faith and inner peace” (2001, pp. 156-157). A related concept is the leader as a servant. In the introduction to The Power of ServantLeadership, Larry Spears identifies ten characteristics of the servant leader upon consideration ofRobert Greenleaf’s original writings: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion,
  5. 5. Leadership in Sustainable Development 3conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and buildingcommunity (1998, pp. 5-8). Servant leadership could prove to be an important framework forlaying out the leadership responsibilities of a leader in sustainable development. What leaders do What do leaders do to turn words into deeds? Different authors use different terminologyto identify the practices of leadership. For the purposes of this subject, the five practices ofexemplary leadership have been borrowed directly from Kouzes and Posner’s The LeadershipChallenge: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling othersto act, and encouraging the heart (2007). Modeling the way. Leaders must have a deep understanding of themselves, their team,their organization, their communities, and the global context in which they operate. Self-awareness includes discovering your self [sic], which includes an exploration of the innerterritory: “you must first clarify your own values, the standards by which you choose to live yourlife” (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, p. 52). An important part of modeling is personal mastery or thecommitment to personal growth and learning because “people with high levels of personalmastery are continually expanding their ability to create the results in life they truly seek”(Senge, 2006, p. 131). Inspiring a shared vision. “A leader must be able to communicate the vision in ways thatencourage people to sign on for the duration and excite them about the cause” (Kouzes & Posner,2007, p. 34). It is important to leave the “shared” in shared vision, because “a vision is trulyshared when you and I have a similar picture and are committed to one another having it”(Senge, 2006, p. 192). Steven Covey calls the concept pathfinding and uses the analogy of beingon the same page or song sheet because “it suggests there is agreement about what matters most
  6. 6. Leadership in Sustainable Development 4in the organization’s vision, values and strategic value proposition; and when played or sungtogether, the music is in harmony” (Covey, S.R., 2004, p. 222). Challenging the process. According to Kouzes and Posner, “the personal-best leadershipcases continue to be about radical departures from the past, about doing things that have neverbeen done before, and about going to places not yet discovered” (2007, p. 163) This oftenrequires a shift in mental models: “new insights fail to get put into practice because they conflictwith deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar waysof thinking and acting” (Senge, 2006, p. 163). Aligning with the shared vision is “designing andexecuting systems and structures that reinforce the core values and highest strategic priorities ofthe organization (selected in the pathfinding process)” (Covey, S.R., 2004, p. 234). Enabling others to act. “Leaders make it possible for others to do good work” (Kouzes &Posner, 2007, p. 21). Covey calls this getting out of the way or empowering. It “unleashes humanpotential without externally motivating it” (2004, p. 272). This can be done in learning teams,which is “the process of aligning and developing the capacity of a team to create the results itsmembers truly desire” (Senge, 2006, p. 218). Lack of enabling or empowering can lead to a lackof commitment (Lencioni, 2002, p. 207) that will ultimately impact the capacity to execute. Encouraging the heart. “At the heart of leadership is caring. Without caring leadership hasno purpose” (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, p. xi). The seven essentials for encouraging the heartinclude: set clear standards, expect the best, pay attention, personalize recognition, tell the story,celebrate together, and set the example (p. 18). Also, “recognition is about acknowledging goodresults and reinforcing positive performance . . . [and] about shaping an environment in whicheveryones contributions are noticed and appreciated” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p. 281). This canrange from a simple thank you all the way up to elaborate celebrations.
  7. 7. Leadership in Sustainable Development 5 Leadership at Every Level One concept that resonates throughout the literature is that leadership is not a position andthat it belongs at every level of an organization (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, 2005, 2007; Covey,S.R., 2004; Covey, S.M.R., 2006; Coombs, 2001; Sharma, 2010). What Kouzes and Posnerdiscovered and rediscovered in their many years of research is that “leadership is not the privatereserve of a few charismatic men and women . . . [but] a process ordinary people use when theyare bringing forth the best from themselves and others” (2007, p. xii). Sharma (2010) says that“the only way to avoid getting eaten alive is for companies to strengthen the capacities ofemployees at every level to lead in everything they do” (p. 14). The central theme in The 8th Habit which builds on Steven Covey’s hugely successful The7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that a leader’s primary purpose is to find his or her voiceand to then help others find their voices (2004). This idea requires a shift in thinking for manyleaders. According to Ann Coombs, “the traditional workplace will evolve into one that will defyrigidity, [and] the balance of power will be permanently altered” (2001, p. 7). Such thinking andbehavior will indeed push leadership down to every level of an organization.Sustainable Development What is sustainable development? A common definition that is often cited comes from theBrundtland Commission: “development that meets the needs of the present withoutcompromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (The Dictionary ofSustainable Management, 2011). Another definition is “the long-term, seventh-generation viewof the Iroqois Nation: making decisions based on how they will affect not only our generationbut also seven generations to come” (Carstens, 2010). To be sustainable, development must
  8. 8. Leadership in Sustainable Development 6balance the integrity between environmental, social and economic interests, also known as thetriple bottom line. According to Senge et al., two of the most widely accepted of principles for sustainabilityhave been developed by The Natural Step and by Natural Capitalism (2008, p. 382). The NaturalStep is a nonprofit organization founded with the vision of creating a sustainable society and itsfour principles of sustainability include: 1. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of substances extracted from the Earths crust (for example, heavy metals and fossil fuels); 2. eliminate our contribution to the progressive buildup of chemicals and compounds produced by society (for example, dioxins, PCBs, and DDT); 3. eliminate our contribution to the progressive physical degradation and destruction of nature and natural processes (for example, over harvesting forests and paving over critical wildlife habitat); 4. and eliminate our contribution to conditions that undermine people’s capacity to meet their basic human needs (for example, unsafe working conditions and not enough pay to live on). (The Natural Step, 2011) The business of land development has historically been driven by economic motives tomeet the social and economic needs of housing people and businesses. According to Whitehead,“real estate in aggregate represents about 40 percent of the capital assets of the industrializedfirst world” (2008, p. 1.6). In response to greater expectations on the part of local governmentand the public with respect to higher standards for development infrastructure (p. 1.5), newattitudes, beliefs and the science of sustainability are quickly evolving and enabling regulators,developers, and consumers to shift to a new paradigm of social and environmental responsibility. Global perspective The Necessary Revolution paints a compelling picture of a world in trouble as it relates tothree interconnected areas: energy and transportation; food and water; and material waste andtoxicity (Senge et al., 2008, p. 10). The authors have compiled a report card on the state of theenvironmental, social and economic wellbeing of the planet landing on global warming as a
  9. 9. Leadership in Sustainable Development 7symptom of a broader set of problems that are signaling the end of the industrial age as we knowit: “accumulating waste byproducts that derive from the take-make-waste industrial system,diminishing resources . . . deteriorating ecosystems; [and] the intensification of social stresses”(p. 31). According to Rubin (2009), “despite the steady barrage of climate-change news and agrowing sense that our affluent lifestyle may have unpleasant consequences for the environment,you must stop to consider how just about every facet of our lives is built around our energyconsumption” (p. 4). Rubin argues that the supply of oil will dwindle and the demand will rise,therefore we can expect scarcity that will lead to a triple-digit price for a barrel of oil and twodollars per liter for gasoline in Canada (p. 21). Consequently, our world is about to get a wholelot smaller and globalization as we know it today will come to a sudden death. According to theauthor: Get ready for a smaller world. Soon, your food is going to come from a field much closer to home, and the things you buy will probably come from the factory down the road rather than one on the other side of the world. You will almost certainly drive less and walk more, and that means you will be shopping and working closer to home. Your neighbors and your neighborhood are about to get a lot more important in the smaller world of the none-too-distant future. (p. 23) Leadership perspective How can leadership help in the identification, planning, design, building and marketing ofsustainable land development? Senge et al. say that “those leading their industries today aredoing so because they have recognized the new reality of business and positioned themselvesaccordingly” (2008, p. 119). According to The Necessary Revolution, there are thousands,maybe millions of people “searching for innovative ways to create a more sustainable world” (p.43). The leaders in sustainable development demonstrate a mastery of three areas:
  10. 10. Leadership in Sustainable Development 8 First, individually and collectively, they are continually learning how to see the larger systems—organizations, complex supply chains, industries, cities, or regions—of which they are a part . . . . Second, they understand that it is crucial to collaborate across boundaries that previously divided them from others within and outside their organizations . . . . Finally, as people work together they also come to focus on what truly matters to them, and their thinking evolves from a reactive problem-solving mode to creating futures they truly desire. (p. 44) These areas of mastery are further developed in research conducted by Darek Crews (2010)of the Texas Women’s University who identified five leadership challenges or strategies forimplementing sustainability. These include, stakeholder engagement, creating the culture,holistic thinking. organizational learning, and measurement and reporting. Some of theseleadership challenges are also identified in other literature (Dangelico & Pujari, 2010; Carstens,2010; Stead J. G. & Stead E., 2000; Gladwin, Kennelly & Krause, 1995). All of these authorsspeak to the need to balance the triple bottom line: environmental, social, and economic interestsalso known as the 3Es of environment, equity, and economy or the 3Ps of planet, people, andprofit. Holistic thinking is also referred to as systems thinking or connectivity in the currentliterature (Senge et al., 2008; Gladwin, Kennelly & Krause, 1995). Leaders in sustainable development are often tasked with incorporating sustainabilityprinciples in their strategic planning. “Eco-Enterprise Strategy: Standing for Sustainability”provides a roadmap for doing just that (Stead, J.G. & Stead E., 2000). The authors argue that“when extended to the ecological level of analysis, enterprise strategy provides a soundtheoretical framework for ethically and strategically accounting for the ultimate stakeholder,planet Earth” (p. 313). Enterprise strategy incorporates stakeholder theory and stakeholdermanagement, which make it clear that “behavior that is trusting, trustworthy, and cooperative,not opportunistic, will give the firm a competitive advantage” (Carroll as cited in Stead & Stead,2000, p. 314). The authors present eight values that they believe can be instrumental in
  11. 11. Leadership in Sustainable Development 9implementing the core value of sustainability: wholeness, diversity, posterity, communities,smallness, quality, dialogue, and spiritual fulfillment (pp. 317-319). In “Growing Green”, Unruh and Ettenson lay out three smart paths to developingsustainable products. They include accentuate, acquire, and architect. An accentuate strategyplays up existing or latent green attributes in ones current portfolio (p. 96). Acquiring isessentially buying someone elses green brand (p. 97). To architect a product is to build it fromscratch (p. 98). The authors argue that “companies that ultimately succeed in growing green willbe distinguished by their commitment to corporatewide sustainability as well as the performanceof their green products” (p. 100). The five stages of sustainable development Researchers are beginning to understand that organizations go through distinct stages ofchange when adopting sustainability as a core value. According to “Why Sustainability Is Nowthe Key Driver of Innovation”, “becoming sustainable is a five stage process, and each stage hasits own challenges” (Nidumolu, Prahlad & Rangaswami, 2009). These include: viewingcompliance as opportunity, making value chains sustainable, designing sustainable products andservices, developing new business models, and creating next-practice platforms (pp. 58-64).Similarly, Senge et al. have the five stages and emerging drivers. In the reactive mode, theyinclude noncompliance and compliance; in the proactive mode, they include beyond compliance,integrated strategy, and purpose/mission. In both models, organizations progress through, andlearn from, each stage to become more aligned with sustainability in everything they do. Value chain perspective For most organizations, “assessing the environmental impact of the product in a scientificand systemic way is a difficult and complex process” (Dangelico & Pujari, 2010, p. 479). One
  12. 12. Leadership in Sustainable Development 10emerging approach that shows promise is understanding the value chain of a product, productline, or the entire portfolio. This relates back to Nidumolu et al.’s second stage whereorganizations “work with suppliers and retailers to develop eco-friendly raw materials andcomponents and reduce waste” and by developing “sustainable operations by analyzing each linkin the value chain” (2009, p. 59). For this analysis, life cycle assessment is particularly useful(Nidumolu et al., 2009; Senge et al., 2008). The technique “captures the environment-relatedinputs and outputs of entire value chains, from raw-materials supply through product use toreturns” (Nidumolu et al., 2009, p. 59). Life cycle assessment “can be a powerful tool in trackingall material and energy flows through the entire system” (Senge et al., 2008, p. 215). Accordingto these authors, the goal in a regenerative circular economy “is zero waste, renewable energy,recyclable materials, and accountability for all materials flowing through the system” (p. 215). Sustainable development on the ground According to Roseland, “conventional land-use practices spread out our destinations,increase our need for space and travel, and bring a host of related problems” (2005, p. 133).Several tools or programs exist to reverse the trend including new urbanism, smart growth,energy-efficient land-use planning, and residential intensification programs. All share commonpractices such as compactness, sustainable transport, density, mixed land use, diversity, passivesolar design, greening, and connectivity (Jabareen, 2006). The smart growth principles that are consistent with the literature and have been approvedby City of Medicine Hat Council include: Encourage the design of compact, well-designed mixed-use neighborhoods’ - Residents can choose to live, work, shop and play in close proximity. People can easily access daily activities, walkability is encouraged, transit is viable, and local businesses are supported. Support growth in existing residential communities while fostering unique neighborhoods identities - Investments in infrastructure (such as roads and schools) are
  13. 13. Leadership in Sustainable Development 11 used more efficiently, and in-fill developments within these areas do not consume new land. Foster alternative transportation options and infrastructure systems that are sustainable - Green buildings, pedestrian and cyclist routes, as well as other ecologically-sensitive systems can save both money and the environment in the long run. (“City of Medicine Hat, Smart Growth”, 2007) One rating system that specifically incorporates smart growth is LEED ND, which standsfor Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design for Neighborhood Development. LEED is awell-accepted building rating system in the US and Canada for new buildings, renovations andnow neighborhood development. LEED ND was unveiled early in 2007 as a pilot project . . . is a rating system for assessment of up to 240 projects. Developed in a close partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism, LEED ND seeks to provide a national set of standards for neighborhood location and design based on the combined principles of smart growth, new urbanism and green building [emphasis added]. (Yudelson, 2007, p. 107) The LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development Project Checklist assigns points for fivebroad categories: smart location and linkage, neighborhood pattern and design, greeninfrastructure and buildings, innovation and design process, and regional priority credit (UnitedStates Green Building Council, 2009, pp. vii-viii). Each of the first three categories includes pre-requisites and additional credits. The prerequisites are mandatory. There are 100 base points inthe first three categories plus six possible points for innovation and design process and fourpossible points for regional priority credit. There are four levels of certification: 40 to 49 pointsfor certified, 50 to 59 points for silver, 60 to 79 points for gold, and 80 points and above forplatinum (p. viii).Organizational Change The literature review that focuses on organizational change strongly indicates that theenvironment of organizations constantly changes and organizations have to change accordingly
  14. 14. Leadership in Sustainable Development 12to survive (McShane, 2001, p. 444). Practices in organizational change can help organizationsdevelop an adaptive corporate culture (Kotter, 1996, p. 3). This sections looks at the drivers of,and sources of resistance to, change. It is then divided into three subsections. The first looks atmethodologies of change management. The second considers what desirable organizations mightlook like. And the third considers three tools to implement change in organizations: teams,project management, and program management. According to Wind and Main, the primary drivers for change include the computer’s reign,the market’s impact, society’s claims, and the customer’s demands (1998, pp. 21-73). Theauthors argue that “the markets, the technology, and the demands of employees, of customers,and of citizens are driving companies to change boldly and bravely” (p. 2). Common sources of resistance to change include lack of trust, belief that change isunnecessary, belief that change is not feasible, economic threats, relative high cost, fear ofpersonal failure, loss of status and power, threat to values and ideals, and resentment ofinterference (Yukl, 2006, pp. 158-159). Organizational Change Methodologies This subsection compares three different groups of methodologies for organizationalchange. The first group is the methodology put forth by two authors that have collaborated on acommon set of steps for organizational change (Kotter, 1996; Kotter & Cohen, 2002; Cohen,1996). Kotter identified the first list of steps in his book entitled Leading Change: 1) establishinga sense of urgency, 2) creating the guiding coalition, 3) developing a vision and strategy, 4)communicating the change vision, 5) empowering broad-based action, 6) generating short-termwins, 7) consolidating gains and producing more change, and 8) anchoring new approaches inthe culture.
  15. 15. Leadership in Sustainable Development 13 To effect change in organizations, it is important to identify what needs to be changed.According to Kotter, the first step requires establishing a sense of urgency, which is crucial togaining the cooperation required: “With complacency high, transformations usually go nowherebecause few people are even interested in working on the change problem” (Kotter, 1996, p. 36).What follows is building the guiding team to help “pull together the right group of people withthe right characteristics and sufficient power to drive the change effort” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002,p. vi). This requires trust which “is now being recognized as one of the foundations of individualand organizational learning” (Gerzon, 2006, p. 169). More and more this is being done throughbridging, which “is building actual partnerships and alliances across the borders that divide anorganization or a community” (p. 188). Creating and sustaining change requires a clear vision of what success looks like. If wedont know where we are going, how can we possibly get there? In successful large-scale change, a well-functioning guiding team answers the questions required to produce a clear sense of direction. What change is needed? What is our vision of the new organization? What should not be altered? What is the best way to make the vision a reality? What change strategies are unacceptably dangerous? Good answers to these questions position an organization to leap into a better future. (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 61) Once the vision is formulated, it is important to communicate the change vision: “Duringthis phase, change leaders must deliver candid, concise, and heartfelt messages about the changein order to create the trust, support, and commitment necessary to achieve the vision” (Cohen,2005, p. 4). Getting from where we are today to where we want to be tomorrow requires astrategy. Developing such a strategy involves breaking down the elephant into bite-size pieces.Using tools such as a work breakdown structure, the team can develop and refine the stepsnecessary through progressive elaboration (Project Management Institute, 2008, pp. 116-122). Itis important to empower broad-based action. “Empowerment is not about giving people new
  16. 16. Leadership in Sustainable Development 14authority and new responsibilities and then walking away. It is all about removing barriers”(Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 104), Generating small wins is useful in creating momentum.According to Kotter this includes “planning for visible improvements in performance, or ‘wins’,creating those wins, and visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made the wins possible”(Kotter, 1996, p. 21). Consolidating gains and producing more change includes: • using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies that dont fit together and dont fit the transformation vision • hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change vision • reinvigorating the process with new projects, teams, and change agents. (Kotter, 1996, p. 21)Anchoring new approaches in the culture or making it stick in this final step, “leaders mustrecognize, reward, and model the new behavior in order to embed it in the fabric of theorganization and make the change ‘the way we do business around here’” (Cohen, 2005 , p. 5). The second change management methodology can be found in Influencer: The Power toChange Anything with some parallels in The Soul in the Computer. The methodology inInfluencer is separated into six steps across two axes. The vertical axis includes three categories:personal, social, and structural; the horizontal axis contains motivation and then ability(Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan & Switzler, 2008, p. 78). Waugh, on the other hand,regards change management “as an oxymoron, like ‘jumbo shrimp’ or ‘airplane food’ . . . [andthinks] you can create the conditions for change to emerge, but if you ‘manage’ it, you kill it”(Waugh, 2001, p. 78). Making the undesirable desirable at the intersection of personal and motivation is the firsttechnique (Patterson et al., 2008, pp. 83-109). It is about getting other people, yourself included,to do things that they dont want to do or that they find loathsome, boring, insulting, or painful.
  17. 17. Leadership in Sustainable Development 15For example, the technique seeks to “find a way to make a healthy behavior intrinsicallysatisfying, or an unhealthy behavior inherently undesirable” (p. 84). The steps for this techniqueinclude 1) making pain pleasurable, 2) creating new experiences, 3) and creating new motives(pp. 83-109). Modeling, or putting a stake in the ground, can be useful including rememberingwho you work for, committing, keeping the faith, and being the change you want to see (Waugh,2001, p. 188). Surpassing your limits, under personal ability, is about ways to tap into personal interest asa way of influencing desired behaviors (Patterson et al., 2008, pp. 111-136). Its underlyingprinciples are that there is hope for everyone, much of will is skill, and much of prowess ispractice. Harnessing peer pressure, under social motivation, is also important. “Smart influencersappreciate the amazing power humans hold over one another, and instead of denying it,lamenting it, or attacking it, influencers embrace and enlist it” (Patterson et al., 2008, p. 138).According to the authors, “to harness the immense power of social support, sometimes you needto find only one respected individual who will fly in the face of history and model the new andhealthier vital behaviors” (p. 143). And, “if you want to influence change, its essential that youengage the chain of command” (p. 145). Also, “team up with someone who is attempting tomake the same changes you are” (p. 153) or, as Waugh would put it, recruit co-conspirators bytapping into the strength of your relationships, starting conversations and listening, and buildingyour cadre (2001, p. 188). Finding strength in numbers, at the intersection of social and ability, can be used to findsynergies. According to Patterson et al., “with a little help from our friends, we can produce a
  18. 18. Leadership in Sustainable Development 16force greater than the sum of our individual efforts . . . . [because] groups—made up of people atall intellectual levels—often perform better than any one individual” (p. 174). Designing rewards and demanding accountability, at structural ability, is an integral part ofthe planning process. The timing of rewards is important. In a well-balanced change effort, rewards come third. Influence masters first ensure that vital behaviors connect to intrinsic satisfaction. Next they line up social support. They double check both of these areas before they finally choose extrinsic rewards to motivate behavior. If you dont follow this careful order, youre likely to be disappointed. (Patterson et al., 2008, p. 194) Changing the environment under structural ability can be another strategy because “theenvironment affects much of what we do, and yet we often fail to notice its profound impact”(Patterson et al., 2008, p. 225). For example, “if you want to guarantee a positive behavior, buildit into a special meeting or hardwire it into the existing meeting agenda” (p. 250). Waugh has some final tips for dealing with change. First, scale up or scale down. Scalingup is getting above the problem and getting bigger than the problem: “You have a longer view;and are automatically living on higher ground” (2001, p. 205). Scaling down, on the other hand,is getting beneath the problem and flying too low to even be on the radar screen (p. 206). In theauthors opinion, the most important tactical tool in her book is amplifying positive deviance.People that she calls positive deviants are those certain individuals who find better solutions toproblems than their neighbors despite having access to the very same resources (p. 207). Thereare two steps to this tool. First, identify and “find the people who are doing something differentand better than the mainstream” (p. 209). Once you know who they are, you then begin to workon amplifying them: “you shine the light on them, get articles about them published in thecompany newsletter, talk them up to everyone you meet, [and] get them together for aconference” (p. 210).
  19. 19. Leadership in Sustainable Development 17 The third change methodology can be found in Presence: Human Purpose and the Field ofthe Future and Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges. The first of the two books,Presence, was released in 2004 as a collaboration between Senge, Sharmer, Jaworski, andFlowers. Released in 2009, Theory U was written by Scharmer, and further elaborates thetheories presented in Presence. The first book speaks to the Seven Capacities of the Umovement: suspending, redirecting, letting go, letting come, crystallizing, prototyping, andinstitutionalizing (Senge et al., 2004, p. 219). In Theory U, Sharmer tweaks the model to includethese seven steps: downloading, seeing, sensing, presencing, crystallizing, prototyping, andperforming and embodying (2009, p. 39). According to Senge et al., “the entire U movementarises from seven core capacities and the activities they enable” (2004, p. 219). Furthermore,“each capacity is a gateway to the next activity—the capacity for suspending enables seeing ourseeing, and the capacity for prototyping enables enacting living microcosms—but only as allseven capacities are developed is the movement through the entire process possible” (p. 219).There are three movements on the U. The downward slope to the left is the process of observing.The bottom of the U is retreating and reflecting to allow the inner knowing to emerge. And theupward slope on the right-hand side of the U is acting in an instant (Sharmer, 2009, p. 33). At thecore of both approaches is the concept of presencing, which is “seeing from the deepest sourceand becoming a vehicle for that source” (Senge et al., 2004, p. 89). According to Sharmer,presencing: involves a particular way of being aware of and experience in the present moment. Presencing denotes the ability of individuals and collective entities to link directly with their highest future potential. When they are able to do this, they begin to operate from a more generative and more authentic presence in the moment—in the now. (2009, p. 52)
  20. 20. Leadership in Sustainable Development 18The theory of the U and Presencing are difficult concepts to explain. It took Sharmer 462 pagesto do it effectively. However, they seem to offer a glimpse into the future of changemanagement, not just for organizations, but for entire social systems. What successful organizations look like This subsection examines what successful organizations look like using four differentresources, namely, Weisbord’s Productive Workplaces Revisited, Collins’ Good to Great,Collins and Porras’ Built to Last, and Coombs’ Living Workplace. Weisbord’s work is important for two reasons. First, it spans over several decadesobserving organizations as they were, as they are, and as they will be. Second, it has been saidthat those who can’t do teach, and those that cant teach consult. Weisbord has done all threesuccessfully. The major theme in Productive Workplaces Revisited is that “we hunger forcommunity in the workplace and are a great deal more productive when we find it” (2004, p.xxii). The second theme is “the world is changing too fast for experts, and old-fashioned‘problem-solving’ no longer works” (p. xxii). Organizations of the future get the whole system inthe room and solve a whole lot of problems as a system and move “away from getting experts tofix systems toward having experts join everybody else in learning how to make improvements”(p. xxiii). Good to Great by Collins (2001) is a book about Level 5 leadership, which is what leadersare. The rest of the book is about what leaders do (p. 38). One of the core concepts is getting theright people on the bus then figuring out where to drive it (p. 41). Furthermore, “good-to-greatcompanies continually refined the path to greatness with brutal facts of reality” (p. 71). Theauthor offers some advice for creating a climate where the truth is heard: 1. Lead with questions, not answers. 2. Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion.
  21. 21. Leadership in Sustainable Development 19 3. Conduct autopsies, without blame. 4. Build ‘red-flag’ mechanisms. (pp. 74-80)Another key theme in Good to Great is the hedgehog concept, which includes three intersectingcircles to answer the questions: 1. What you can be the best in the world at. 2. What drives your economic engine. 3. What you are deeply passionate about. (pp. 90-119)Waugh (2001) cautions that “if you focus on becoming the best in the world, you really just endup in an improvement process at best—and behind, in any case” (p. 100). One alternative isbeing best for the world (p. 111). Even Collins recognized the need to tweak the hedgehogconcept in his follow-up monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors (2005). The thirdcircle, what drives your economic engine became what drives your resource engine. (2005, p.19). Built to Last by Collins and Porras (1994) is a book about visionary companies. In manyrespects, this is what most organizations aspire to be. It builds on the concepts of core values,alignment, and experimentation. Also, it introduces the idea of big hairy audacious goals orBHAGs (p. 9) as a means to inspire organizations and teams to succeed in the long-term. Theauthors write about “getting the right actors on the stage” (p. 139). Furthermore, “you do not‘create’ or ‘set’ core ideology, you discover core ideology” (p. 228). And, “whereas identifyingcore ideology is a discovery process, setting the envisioned future is a creative process” (p. 234).One of the fundamental concepts in Built to Last is the power of AND: “a visionary companydoesnt simply balance between idealism and profitability; it seeks to be highly idealistic andhighly profitable” (p. 44). Patterson et al. call this avoiding the sucker’s choice and searching forthe elusive and (2002, pp. 37-41). For example, “one can care about the fragility of the planetand benefit the business” (Waugh, 2001, p. 130). One tool that is useful in upholding the power
  22. 22. Leadership in Sustainable Development 20of and is the polarity matrix introduced by Johnson (1992) in Polarity Management: Identifyingand Managing Unsolvable Problems. The tool consists of four quadrants to deal with twoextremes. It seeks to engage participants in identifying the pros and cons of each extreme, orpolarity. The management part of the tool is how to stay in the pros side of the quadrant, or thetop half. In The Living Workplace: Soul, Spirit and Success in the 21st Century, Ann Coombs (2001)describes the workplace of the future, one that will embrace these characteristics: respect,dignity, honor, honesty, acceptance, appreciation, truth, love, and integrity (p. 134). Coombsspeaks to the need for more collaboration in the workplace: Corporations have used teamwork and project management for a long time. In the 20th century, however, project management or team approach usually implied someone in charge to direct and shape the outcome. As attitudes toward work change, definitions and interpretations of teamwork and project management are changing as well. The nature of collaboration is evolving. As a result, it is becoming just as important for entrepreneurial success as energy, initiative, independence and creativity have always been. The value of the collaboration is now being seen not just as a result of a team’s work but also in the creation of the collaboration itself. It is an entity with value of its own. (p. 160)The workplace of the future might look more like a matrix then the top down hierarchy. In TheNew Matrix Management, Martin (2005) compares the old vertical management, and the oldmatrix management to the new matrix management (pp. 4-9): “the new matrix management isthe management of an organization in more than one dimension . . . . [and] in order to manageeffectively into more dimensions, we must learn a different approach to managing” (p. 4). Thisnew matrix management is one that focuses on collaborative leadership and developing teams(pp. 29-30).
  23. 23. Leadership in Sustainable Development 21 Tools for Implementation According to Buckingham, “there are no great companies, only great teams” (2007, p. 2).This statement challenges the conventional wisdom that leadership starts at the top of anorganization and moves partway down the hierarchal structure to around the mid-manager’slevel. Instead, it suggests that great teams contribute to organizational success from the bottomup. The result is leadership at every level, an idea that several prominent leadership authors havebeen promoting in the past three decades (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, 2007; Covey, S.R., 2004;Covey, S.M.R., 2006; Coombs, 2001; Sharma, 2010). The definition of a team according to McIntosh-Fletcher (1996) is “a group of individualswho share work activities and the responsibility for specific outcomes” (pp. 1-2). She sharesthree important thoughts to build upon that definition. 1. Interdependence, in which each team member makes individual contributions. Other members depend on those contributions and share work information with one another. Members are also accepted by and able to influence one another. 2. Shared responsibility. Responsibility for the teams purpose and goals is shared and understood by all members (rather then held solely by the manager or team leader). 3. Outcome, accountability for team outcomes is shared by all members, which identifies the focus for the teams activities and can include both services and products. (p. 2) Psychologists have observed that people working in teams evolve through five stages ofdevelopment. A popular model to explain this is the forming-storming approach of Tuchman andJensen (1977). The model suggests that there are four stages of team development: • Forming—getting started as a group and looking to the designated leader for guidance. • Storming—competition and conflict at the interpersonal level over goals and procedures. • Norming—acceptance of other members, cooperation, and building cohesion. • Performing—high morale based on pride of task accomplishment and richness of interpersonal relations. (Dimock & Kass, 2007, pp. 28-29)
  24. 24. Leadership in Sustainable Development 22Later, Tuchman added a fifth stage: • Adjourning—movement toward closure; disengagement from relationships and termination of tasks. (p. 29)The fifth stage, adjourning, is especially relevant to project teams. Because projects have adefined beginning and an end, the project team must eventually adjourn. To maneuver through the five stages, Martin (2005) recommends six critical elements thatare needed for leaders to develop high performing teams: • Team sizes of no more than 12 people • Structured, collaborative methodologies for getting the work done • A team leader skilled in facilitation, negotiation, selling, people management, communications, etc. • Clear direction for the work and the resources required to get the job done • Team members who have the skills to do the work • Team members who have been trained in how to work together as a team. (p. 30)According to Gerzon, “groups, movements, or organizations that want to endure and prevail overtime often invest leadership responsibility in diverse teams rather than one person” (2006, p.222). For teams to be effective, they must have the right tools: Standardization of methods and processes allows teams at all levels to make decisions and then implement those decisions; solve problems and then implement those solutions; avoid problems altogether and capture new opportunities. Standardization is not a dirty word. In the old vertical management, most work was done by individuals, so each person had his own methods for making decisions for solving problems or planning a project. But when work shifts to teams, as in the new matrix, methods must become team-based; where everyone on the team has a common methodology to follow, not half a dozen conflicting ones. (Martin, 2005, p. 21)Such a common methodology, or a common language, can be developed through projectmanagement, program management, and portfolio management. According to Martin, “one ofthe key elements of making a matrix work effectively is to deploy an enterprise-wide projectmanagement methodology that promotes cross functional collaboration and proactiveaccountability” (Martin, 2005, p. 36).
  25. 25. Leadership in Sustainable Development 23 Project Management is a consistent and repeatable methodology to complete projects ontime, on budget and within scope to meet or exceed the expectations of your key stakeholders(Project Management Institute, 2008, p. 6). The methodology comprises 42 logically groupedproject management processes mapped across two axes: process groups and knowledge areas.Process groups include initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing(p. 6). The nine knowledge areas include the management of project integration, scope, time,cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, and procurement (p. 43). According toProject Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence: Project management has evolved from a set of processes that were once considered ‘nice’ to have to a structured methodology that is considered mandatory for the survival of the firm. Companies are now realizing that their entire business, including most of the routine activities, can be regarded as a series of projects. Simply stated, we are managing our business by projects. (Kerzner, 2006, p. 1)Kerzner, who has studied best practices in project management for almost four decades,identifies four steps for understanding best practices: continuous improvements (efficiencies,accuracy of estimates, waste reduction, etc.), enhanced reputation, winning new business, andsurvival of the firm (p. 11). Project management has become the new language of business. Program Management and Portfolio management have evolved from the theory andapplication of project management to address how we manage several projects and programs thatmay, or may not, have linkages across the organization. According to The Standard for ProgramManagement, “program management is the centralized coordinated management of a program toachieve the program’s strategic objectives and benefits . . . [and] involves aligning multipleprojects to achieve the program goals and allows for optimized and integrated cost, schedule, andeffort” (Project Management Institute, 2008, p. 6). A program is made up of multiple relatedprojects. The Project Management Institute views a portfolio, on the other hand, as “a collection
  26. 26. Leadership in Sustainable Development 24of components (i.e., projects, programs, portfolios, and other work such as maintenance andongoing operations) that are grouped together to facilitate the effective management of that workin order to meet strategic business objectives” (p. 9). The main difference between a portfolioand a program is that “the projects or programs within a portfolio may not necessarily beinterdependent or directly related and in fact are normally unrelated, although they may share acommon resource pool or compete for funding” (p. 9). Program and portfolio management havebecome an important means of coordinating projects and programs across an organization.Conclusion “If we want to create a society worth fighting for, we had better fight for the integration ofsocial, technical, and economic change” (Weisbord, 2004, p. 189). In addition to The NecessaryRevolution, there are other resources that compile stories of individuals, teams and organizationswho have taken leadership roles in sustainable development (Roseland, 2005; Turner, 2007;McKibben, 2007; James & Lahti, 2004; d’Humiere, 2005). The comparison of their stories withthe leadership practices of Kouzes and Posner strongly suggests these leaders in sustainabledevelopment have also modeled the way, inspired a shared vision, challenged the process,enabled others to act and encouraged the heart and positive change. In addition, the power of AND (Collins & Porras, 1994; Patterson et al., 2002) is apowerful concept in leadership and sustainable development. Leaders in sustainable developmentneed to balance the triple bottom line by being: • true to their values AND make money; • hard on the problem AND soft on the people; • dedicated AND humble; • good for the planet AND good for the people AND good for profits.It is a tall order. But no one said the ultimate leadership challenge in the world today was goingto be easy.
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