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This article is written from our founders experience from the last 3 years of conversations with all types of sectors.
I’ve discovered it’s time, understanding, respect for each other’s agendas and friendly approaches.
Our role at FGA is to encourage systems change but that isn’t easy for every organisation.Sarah Wilkin – founder and CEO
Why is systems change not easy?
From our time meeting senior decision makers in a spectrum of sectors as well as the sustainability champion/managers in the organisations we’ve seen and heard many reasons that the champions feel things are becoming blocked:
- Culture and attitude of the company/organisation
- Senior management buy-in/if there is a sustainability representative on the exec board
- Cross function politics
- It’s not currently imperative for business operations
- Requires new unit or work stream to be set up
- Not enough staff/resource to manage projects
- Too much workload
- Number of women in senior management (some thoughts from Harvard Business Review)
- Location of HQ
- Government regulations
- Locked into established supply chains
- CFO/legal – if you need new contracts to push forward change, ways of working or suppliers this takes time and may take many meetings to convince the CFO and put the case forward
Are you recognising many or all blockers in this list?
If you are finding a lot of these are in place and you are the sustainability champion/manager then we advise you to find like minded people, including senior managers, in your organisations and make a group. Stay well read, meet consultants, attend events, stay positive, build a business case and plan for the bigger picture. Few people enjoy change especially if it is questioning their behaviour or the organisation’s business model or business as usual. Although we need strong drivers in this transition you have to build your support, respect and present at timely opportunities, be well versed and be professional. Represent yourself well and encourage polite conversation. If it becomes unproductive or hostile then take a break.
The sustainability/energy transition discussion is a social, environmental, economical and equity discussion and it’s not easy. If you feel compelled and driven then stick with it!