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Discovery Centre

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Displaying items by tag: vision

‘Organisations don’t change, people do. However, according to a Blessing White survey, fewer than 1 in 3 employees worldwide (31%) are engaged. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) are actually disengaged.’

‘Sustainability success is derived, not from technological solutions, but from profound changes in attitude and behaviour’.

However, sustainability requires people to learn new steps, new ways of dancing. If we are just modifying and adapting, this new dance craze is never going to catch on!

The next phase in sustainability is surely to embed it into the core ‘DNA’ of organisations. But can this ever occur without the co-operation and support of all those with a stake in the organisation? Achieving real, meaningful and long-term engagement is perhaps the next big sustainability challenge.

To do so we need to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of successful employee engagement by learning to identify, modify and adapt our communication style to the needs of particular stakeholder groups.

You are invited to an ASP and Greengauges enquiry into how to make employee engagement really work. Using the metaphor “Dancing with Stakeholders” we will create a dynamic conversation covering the following topics

danceLearn the Steps... present the need to be sensitive to, and respectful of, differences in values, communication style and outlook when defining, building and implementing stakeholder engagement programmes.

We will use a model, “Values, Voice, Vision” (V3) to help explore this more deeply.

Take to the floor... collectively explore the strengths and weaknesses of the model to better understand what really good engagement would look/feel like.

How do you get employers and employees engaged?

What are the most effective styles of communication – the appropriate Voices?

How do you create a vision? What tools/concepts do you use?

Dance the night away... co-create the enquiry’s outcomes:

•    What has been learnt about the principles and methods of employee engagement?

•    What have we learnt about our own practice?


Dancing with Stakeholders

- how to make employee engagement really work

8th November 14:00 – 17:30, Shoreditch Trust, Hoxton, London

To reserve your place, please select the appropraite fee from the pull down menu and click the REGISTRATION button.

ASP Associates: £75
NGO’s, Public Sector, Individuals: £95
Corporates: £135


Published in Sustainable Enterprise

How to form sustainability partnerships

Teamwork and collaboration can bring mutual benefits


    Nike collaboration
    Just do it: Nike has moved towards a sustainable business model, sharing some of its design tools with the rest of the industry. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian.

    As companies like Nike have recently demonstrated, establishing sustainable partnerships can do wonders to help raise your profile. But collaborating is no walk in the park, and it's not just about trying to make yourself look green by association. It can be hard work and disruptive, but even so there are genuine benefits to be had from teaming up with outside experts, or even competitors. WWF's Oliver Greenfield and Dax Lovegrove, and David Bent from Forum for the Future, show us how to do this.

    What's in it for you?

    Sustainable partnerships may not be suitable for everyone, so first figure out if it's appropriate for your business. Remember this is not just some PR exercise, many sustainability issues actually require some form of collaboration. So read the signs in order to establish what problems it can help you solve. If there is an issue that you find hard to define, which everyone is waiting for someone else to start, or which requires expertise or resources that you don't have in-house, then that is usually a good place to start.

    What's in it for them?

    Select your partners with care. Try to understand how they may benefit and what their strategic objectives might be. Also identify their potential limitations; just how far can they take it? When looking for potential candidates try to identify organisations who may share your end goals, converging but not competing with you in this area.


    If there are a number of key areas that can benefit from a sustainable partnership try to prioritise those in most urgent need of attention, or where understanding and awareness is low. For example water stewardship is becoming a critical issue, but few companies have a clear understanding of their water footprint and how to improve it.

    Keep your options open

    It can help to have more than one area of focus within the collaboration. That way when one stalls or gets tricky there should still be some scope to make progress in other projects, thereby keeping the partnership positive.

    Prepare for change

    Collaborating is not about contracting out a problem, it's about building a mutually beneficial partnership. So be prepared to invest time and make changes within your business. Look to see what you can gain from the knowledge and skills that your chosen partners bring to the table.

    Critical friend

    At the same time don't treat your collaborators as a consultant or some kind of junior partner. Trust is crucial. Their value is to constructively challenge and advise you in order to help find solutions. Some NGOs now use institutional structures to aid partnerships; appointing a dedicated relationship manager, referring to itself as a "critical friend" and using corporate engagement guidelines with which you will have to comply.

    Common understanding

    When partnering with an NGO or other businesses it's important to reach a common understanding on how this partnership will improve the environmental performance of your business. Even if you have established a shared goal remember that things can change. So have regular reviews to assess your progress and to ensure that you still share the same goals.

    Reach out

    Don't limit yourself to one partner. If the issue you are addressing affects the entire industry, or supply chain, try to establish network collaborations. Existing industry associations or campaign groups may be able to help. When working with competitors it may also help as an act of faith to give more than you are getting, as was the case with Nike making its environmental apparel design tools, which it has spent years developing, available to the rest of the industry. By creating an Eco-rating for mobile phones O2 helped to engage both consumers and handset manufacturers.

    Share your vision

    To avoid any accusations of greenwash it's important to make your commitments clear from the start and regularly review your progress. But it doesn't hurt to have targets either, provided you attain them. Don't be afraid to use shared visions. Tourism 2023 used futuristic scenarios to communicate its vision for how a sustainable form of outbound tourism might look in 2023. This in turn helped to encourage other leading players in the sector to sign up to the partnership.

    An NGO is not just for Christmas...

    If this partnership is going to make a real difference then the chances are it will affect your entire organisation for some considerable time to come. The issues can be quite complex and can change, and so will likely require ongoing attention and action. So before you get everyone involved make sure you have the time and resources to really commit to this for the long term.

    READ MORE:  Original article

Published in Sustainable Enterprise
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 15:20

What do you REALLY want to do next?

"A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task is the hope of the world".
From a church in Sussex c1750.

20th January 2011, 13:00-17:30, The Pierian Centre, Bristol.

This event is an opportunity to reflect with others on the wisdom that you most trust to take you into your most yearned for future.

It will support you in clarifying your vision of that future, your most heartfelt intentions and how your commitment can be most fully realised.

Along the way it will introduce you to the wisdom of other participants and other innovative ideas about change, leadership and sustainability.

The day will use a variety of forms, including the Way of Council. This is an ancient form that creates a ‘container’ for people to communicate with each other from the heart. At the core of Council is a willingness to hear another, communicate authentically, cross divides and reveal the deep connection between all of us.  Council creates a sacred space through four basic intentions:

  • To speak from the heart
  • To listen from the heart - letting go of judgement and criticism
  • To be spontaneous
  • To respect each person’s story as sacred - keeping it safe and confidential

The Council element will be lead by Steve Onyett, an experienced clinical psychologist, facilitator and coach. (

Cost £35 (£20 concessions). 12:45 arrival for 13:00 start – finishing at 17:30 (light refreshments provided).

To reserve your place at "What do you REALLY want to do next?", 20th January 2011, The Pierian Centre, Bristol, please click on the Register button.

Published in Leadership
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