It is inevitable, the world is changing around us and it demands a new leadership style and perspective.
“Responsible leadership is about making business decisions that, next to the interests of the shareholders, also takes into account all the other stakeholders, such as workers, clients, suppliers, the environment, the community and future generations.”
Sustainable development goes beyond corporate profitability, although many companies do just enough, many still question the validity of these demands. In order to achieve a true business transformation and drive sustainable development, companies and individuals alike must stop working in isolation and start working towards a common goal.
Each one of us has an opportunity to apply perspective to every situation we encounter. In my last article, I talked about how the oil gas industry is beginning to change because they are beginning to see their problem differently. These problems come in the form of global warming and political realities that do not allow them to operate in the ways they have done for multiple years. This change in perspective now allows us to look at the same problem but to look at it in a different way.
For oil and gas companies it is not just about finding and producing oil and gas conventionally but it is about solving global warming while reducing costs to create a sustainable industry.
The new phenomenon taking place is that we are beginning to see that early adopters are accepting the need for different solutions because they have changed their perspective on the problem. The problem did not change.
Traditional methods continue to be applied today; layoffs, squeezing vendors, reducing benefits, compromising the environment and stripping our organizations of the talent and capabilities we have spent decades building. This situation occurred in the 1980’s and it left a hole in our industry that has repercussions today. Responsible leadership requires a different ethical approach. It is not about sacrificing the many for the good of a few.
My belief is that we need to look for solutions that build strength and capability versus reducing it. As an industry, we tend to work independently as technical groups, companies and as competitors. This lack of collaboration pushes costs, forces us not to recognize liabilities because we get short term gains, and we defer the inevitable by denying responsibility and this creates barriers that will never be overcome.
How can we change?
When we define the problem with these constraints the solution becomes clearer. We need to believe that the changes must start at the heart of how our industry works. We need to be able to find a common goal that motivates us to align our work in ways that provides us a return while protecting our environment, the people we work with, and places we work in. This will include Industry and government working together in ways that promotes our business in a safe and environmentally friendly way while recognizing the value of employment, productivity and the value of the resources we exploit.
We have a lot to learn, but we have many tools at our disposal to aide us in this process. It is my belief that technology can help us collaborate and be transparent in our actions tearing down unnecessary barriers and silos. It is the time we all work together to help create a better world that protects its environment while providing meaningful opportunities for the people that live here.
Leading by example is more than a catchy phrase it is a moral responsibility. Before you lay off the next person as the most viable and logical solution, consider taking a salary reduction, or maybe a smaller bonus. Step back, take a walk but this time, do it walking in someone else’s shoes. You’d be surprised at how after a short mile a new “perspective” miraculously emerges prompting a new, less abrasive solution.
Are you ready to lead? I know I am.
CEO Founder – Innovation Centric Group