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Leading for sustainability when times are tough


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Slides accompanying the closing session of CISL's Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains, 10th November 2016

Published in: Environment
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Leading for sustainability when times are tough

  1. 1. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Being a sustainability leader Penny Walker Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains 7-10 November 2016
  3. 3. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK "I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice." Theodore Parker.
  4. 4. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Leading from wherever you find yourself.
  6. 6. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Leaders provide: • Compelling vision of the better future. • Successful action and progress. • A sense of unity, common purpose. • Attention to individuals. Scouller
  7. 7. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Personal qualities Action logic • Impulsive • Opportunist • Diplomat • Expert • Achiever • Individualist • Strategist • Alchemist (magician) • Ironist Rooke and Torbert, Wilber
  8. 8. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK What we need from leaders now • Change the context, change the system You are not the boss of me. • Radical innovation We’ve never done this before. • Resilience I may not get there with you. • Authenticity Be the change. • Values Lash yourself to the mast. • Step up Don’t turn away.
  9. 9. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Change the context, change the system Leading when you’re not the boss
  11. 11. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Leading when you are not the boss Collaboration, partnership, systems, communities • Enables the system, the group, the collaborators to do their thing. • Skills in process, mediation, backbone. • Trusted by all – no agenda. • Has convening power, rallies the collaborators. • Knowledgeable, connected, charismatic. • Has an agenda for ambition. Ansell and Gash, 2007 Honest Broker Organic leader
  12. 12. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Step up Don’t turn away
  15. 15. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Knowing is necessary • Environmental limits, ecosystem services, feedback loops. • Inequality, hunger, diversity, repression. • Markets, supply chains, legal and political context, consumers and customers. • What’s already happening in the system. • How my organisation works, culture, rules, reality. • My own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, passions.
  16. 16. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Knowing isn’t enough It’s not my responsibility, I don’t know how, I can’t do it alone, people and circumstances are getting in the way.
  17. 17. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Resilience I may not get there with you.
  18. 18. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK "It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either." Rabbi Tarfon
  19. 19. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Take responsibility It’s not my responsibility, yet still I will take responsibility. I don’t know how, and I will find out. I can’t do it alone, so I’ll collaborate with others. People and circumstances are getting in the way, and I won’t let that stop me.
  20. 20. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
  21. 21. PENNY-WALKER.CO.UK Yourself What needs to happen? What needs to change? What leadership is missing? What qualities and skills can I bring or develop? What opportunities can I make or take? Where I step up to lead The system