How to Transform Sustainability from an Empty Promise to the Guiding Star of Businesses
In the wake of Trump’s presidency and amidst the coronavirus pandemic, it is no surprise that people’s trust in the government is at a new low. As the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals, many people are looking to businesses to solve the societal and environmental problems they no longer believe the government is equipped to confront. Despite this transfer of trust from government to businesses, most businesses are not living up to this new responsibility.
Big corporations are hostages to growth and wealth creation. There is no getting away from the fact that they are hooked, addict-like to feeding on numbers. Despite all the evidence, despite all the talk of a new corporate consciousness being awakened by the monumental challenges humanity faces, the profit card continues to trump the purpose one.
It is not that big businesses can’t have a purpose, they can. The issue is that they are simply not ever going to be fit enough to deliver a purpose. They are simply the wrong kind of beast. Meat-eating wolves don’t become grass-eating sheep though they can do a pretty good job of dressing up like them – some of the time.
That is where Single Organizing Idea comes in. As we all know, business as usual is over — the world of work has changed. Businesses without a greater purpose beyond profit are increasingly being called out, struggling to respond or simply failing. While business leaders know that the pressure on them needs to be urgently addressed, few have the tools or systems required to deliver the kind of changes being demanded. Adding to the complexity, and despite best intentions, too many consultants and advisors are using outdated or fragmented models that do little to address the immediate issues, or deliver the long-term systemic changes critically needed. Single Organizing Idea (SOI®) was created to solve this problem.
SOI® is a strategy tool and management system. First conceived in 2005 by Neil Gaught,
SOI® is the culmination of many years of obsession with the challenges facing the business world and the inadequacies of ‘purpose’ to address those challenges.
Purpose is a tarnished old idea that is being promoted by out-of-date, noisy, attention and lobbying reliant big businesses who are themselves no longer fit for purpose. Businesses possess an array of unique attributes and the potential to make a huge contribution to all our futures. They will fail us in this regard, however, if we expect tacking on a CSR team or sustainability campaign, without altering the profit-centered structure of the rest of the company, to have any significant impact.
SOI® allows companies to discover their true, sustainable potential, then embed it at the heart of their mission and actions. By operating at the intersection of their economic and social strategy, these businesses thrive while simultaneously creating sustainable progress for all. The days of businesses doing the bare minimum to appear as though they care about more than just profit are over. The innovative potential of business is unparalleled, we must simply provide businesses with the tools to combine their strategy for growth with their strategy for benefiting people and the planet.
Source Single Organizing IdeaFebruary 23, 2021