Discovery leadership masterclass series with Frank Adu Anim & Kwabena Otu: Sustainable business practices


…the pathway for building organization’s resiliency and sustainability

When objectives become a purpose, a powerful story is established. That is to say that a story will drive the organization’s mission and allow it to create an actionable plan. In a trajectory of growth, small changes can be the starting point for large-scale impact. Therefore, the first step to driving change is assessing what sustainability means to the organization and its team, industry and client.

By sustainability, we look out for ways to transforming the organization’s purpose into performance. Business sustainability as it may be has come a long way to become a strategic tool to drive market forces for business growth and success. Indeed, the era of integrating sustainable practices into business principles come in to consolidate a new age of innovations and digitalization which have collaboratively supported an active transformation and accessibility of the business market.

Sustainable business practices and strategies are considered unique to each organization as they tie into larger business goals and organizational values. This in consideration, has made sustainability initiatives as critical imperative to any company’s success. However, to develop sustainability business strategies for sustainable products and services require the efforts to consolidate gaining market access for growth and expansion. With this, organizations that mean well consider building its culture, capacities and corporate mindsets that eventually create that enabling environment to sustain the drive for all its innovation efforts and prospects.

In consequence, to create an enabling environment therefore demands a multilevel of effort to scale at a successful rate and establish the business as a key player within the market by having a clear vision, good products design, a sound and scalable business model, high productivity schedule, customer centricity approaches and great performance measurements to guarantee market access opportunities and sustainability in the long run.

Again, the consideration for sustainable market access and growth is underpinned by building an excellent culture with full strategy support, strong leadership commitment and management approaches to providing the stimulus and space for market access and growth drive. With great leadership support ensures great strategies that spur innovation and growth prospects.

That said, it must be emphasized that, a sustainable approach to growth provides economic opportunities for the organization to stay resilient and future-forward as a business. This in essence suggest that, embedding sustainability principles in the organization can provide an advantage for the business through fostering new business opportunities and as a means for risk mitigation and boosting brand loyalty.

An enabling environment as catalyst for growth

An enabling environment is where business can thrive due to the fact that it allows and shows richness and varied space for controlling and managing risk. Being a platform for spurring growth, it helps to create a condition and space that is warm, welcoming, pledging supports and nurturing opportunities and development. To build an enabling environment is to understand the organization’s needs and requirements so to show stronger self-regulation, cooperativeness and social competence. In fact, a culture built on sustainable principles creates an enabling environment for growth and resilience.

Real growth change can be achieved through sustainability partnerships, solutions and strategies. These imperatives can be established among players of the same industry. From capitalizing with a great strategy, to choosing to invest in sustainability and integrate it into the main business strategy, designing, founding, and developing green solutions can be the key to business growth and prosperity in the long run.

Understanding sustainable principles?

In today’s ever-evolving world, debating whether to incorporate sustainability into a business strategy is no longer an option. Sustainability has become a crucial element to any organization’s successful strategy. Sustainability is essential to successful business strategies and key to the long-term success of any business. A sustainable business strategy aims to positively impact the business as well as a means to helping to address some of the world’s most pressing problems. A business that fails to factor in sustainability risks being successful profitably, in growth and employee retention.

Considering sustainable values-driven approach when developing business strategies can be vital to long-term success of the business. Forbes acknowledges this by emphatically endorsing that, sustainable growth is growth that is repeatable, ethical, responsible and good for current and future communities. Here, sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing profits or neglecting success but by ensuring the integration of sustainable practices into a business strategy.

The concept of sustainable use is not new and has largely remained unchanged over the last decades: the use of natural resources should be based on three pillars: ecological soundness, social responsibility and economic viability, in order to meet the needs of present and future generations. In a world where more and more people are truly concerned about the negative impacts the behavior of mankind has had on the planet, the maximization of short-term profit cannot be considered as a viable main goal of a modern business.

Many companies have started to make claims on environmental friendliness or sustainability, while taking minimal efforts of truly adapting their practices. Making sustainability a core value of a business should not only be a marketing attempt to temporarily boost sales, it should defines how and who the business works with.

Sustainable Business approach and impact on business resilience

The fundamental impacts of great businesses is to generate solutions to satisfy its clients, stakeholders and the community. How can the business leverages on its sustainability principles to spur its fortunes in terms of growth? Our world continues to become small through sustainable conditions and practices. In evidence of this is market shift. The signs that the market has shifted and continues to shift directs to how consumers can buy sustainable products, stay in sustainable hotels, eat sustainable foods, and use sustainable cleaning products.

Market pressures bring sustainability to business attention through core management channels and functions. These market pressures can emerge from numerous sources such as coercive drivers from domestic and international regulations and the courts; resource drivers from suppliers, buyers, shareholders, investors, banks and insurance companies; market drivers from consumers, trade associations, competitors, and consultants; and social drivers from nonprofit organizations, activist groups, the press, religious institutions, and academia.

Identifying your customer is a natural way to think of the market as individual people or groups. Without anyone willing to buy and consume a product, there is little reason for marketing. In order to identify the customer or the target group for the natural product, it helps answering why and how the customers will use the product to satisfy their need.

What perceived or real value does the product provide? In order for a group of people to represent a viable market a set of certain basic criteria must be met including whether there is the need for the product, the target group and their ability to pay for the product in a manner that is acceptable to the selling party, the will from the buyer to actually buy the product, the total number of people meeting the criteria being large enough to be profitable. Once the target group has been identified, it is advisable to set procedures on how to interact with the customers.

The need for sustainable action for business growth

Research based evidence suggest that sustainable business practices boost profitability. Sustainability principles establishes business goals and infuse the company with purpose to attract employees, reduce turnover rate and motivate skilled workforce to drive financial success.

Sustainability as added value

Apart from giving the long-term security to operate as a business, working in a sustainable manner and communicating it in an appropriate way to the customer can add value to the natural product. More and more consumers expect safe, traceable and sustainable high-quality products. Some producers develop their own “good collection practices” to ensure that the resource they are sourcing is not depleted.

However, if there is no independent review or monitoring of the implementation of these there is the risk that they might easily be diluted and remain “good practices” on paper only. Being transparent is one of the best ways to establish trustworthiness as a responsible company. Make the goals and values of the business public knowledge and provide updates on whether and how the ambitious goals have been reached.

Driving social and environmental change through sustainability initiatives can contribute to an organization’s overall success. As a business, effecting change in a meaningful but innovative, successful and powerful ways all gearing towards addressing the world’s most pressing problems is critical. In short, anytime an organization does well in the world rather than just a place that provides a paycheck, it can be seen as a competitive advantage and an access for business patronage and growth.

Discovery….Thinking solutions, shaping visions.

Frank is the CEO and Strategic Partner of AQUABEV Investment and Discovery Consulting Group. & Kwabena is the Director & Travel Consultant, DeRoyal Int’l Travel and Tour Ltd

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