Sustainability as Competitive Advantage: The New Leaders

November 26, 2020 at IE Business School, Madrid

Download Peter Fisk’s masterclass: The New Leaders 

“Leaders of business. This is your wake-up call. You’ve been living on borrowed time. Raping the natural world of its resources, and leaving a toxic mess in its place. These weather patterns are not freaks, they are the world you have created. Blinding the man on the street with your superficial innovations and image. What about the sweatshops, the emissions, the packaging, the greed? It doesn’t look good” 

Sustainability is the best opportunity for business to drive smarter innovation and profitable growth.

Peter Fisk’s book People Planet Profit explores how to address social and environmental challenges through customers and brands in a way that has more impact than politicians or environmentalists ever could. It introduces a more inspired, more balanced approach to business. Full of case studies and practical tools, it is the essential guide for managers.People do not trust business. They increasingly see companies as irresponsible, greedy and inhuman. Climate change and economic downturn have accelerated new expectations.

Businesses need to reengage people, to understand their new priorities, rethink their role and propositions, work in new ways, and enable people to do more themselves.  Resolving the many paradoxes faced by customers who want the best things but also to do “the right thing” and business leaders who want to grow but in more responsible ways.

There are many books about sustainability – mostly around the worthy themes of “reduce, recycle, reuse”. However this goes beyond that initial phases to “rethink” business.

It is positive not negative, about opportunities not problems, driven by creativity not compliance, a whole business challenge, not left to a few people. It is about connecting social, environment and economic challenges, to achieve a new balance, that is more different from competitors and inspiring your people. And its about building brands in way that builds capacity rather than just making sales, enabling people to do more for themselves and their worlds, rather than just buy your product or service.People Planet Profit by Peter Fisk 3

People Planet Profit is about that these three agendas. But more importantly, about how they connect. How doing more for the Planet can create more for People and more for Profit. Innovation is about making new connections, and that is what this book is about, and why sustainability is the biggest catalyst, for more enlightened innovation, and more enduring growth.

  • Purpose beyond Profits : Business should be about making people’s lives better, defining an inspiring purpose and turning promises into reality.
  • Strategies for Growth : Business strategy must focus on finding markets with sustainable growth, creating differentiation by doing good and new business models for a new world.
  • Inspiring Leadership : Leaders of the new business world are the catalysts of change, the conscience of a better business, and facilitators of rethinking and innovation.
  • Conscience Consumers : There is a new consumer agenda, based around me, my world, and the world. Business must create more capacity, enabling people to do more.
  • Sustainable Innovation : Resolving the paradox between what people dream of, and what is good for all of us, between what makes most money and what is the right thing to do.
  • Engaging consumers : People are engaged through enlightened dialogue, building networks to enable collaborative actions, and delivering a more authentic consumer experience
  • Sustainable Operations : Businesses must learn to work better together – good sourcing, transporting and producing, embracing the power of sustainable energy and technology.
  • Delivering Performance : Certification, labels and sustainable impacts, linking sustainability to business results, managing business performance and reputation
  • Transforming Business : Making sustainable change happen, starting by articulating a better case for change, commercial and caring, and managing the implementation
  • Sustainable Futures : Leading in the new business world is about sustainable innovation and lifestyles, where business and brands are the new force for positive change

The book ends with a vision of the future business leader, Joachim Cruz, the CEO of BlueSky, an innovative travel business based in Copenhagen. He embraces the new agendas, the new technologies, the new capital markets. But he also has time to smile, to pick up his kids from school, and sit back and enjoy his home-grown glass of Tempranillo.

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