Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Return to Sustainabe Strategy

Several weeks ago, I posted about the rising trend for organizations to pursue the element of sustainability within their strategic plans.  This week, I want to revisit this topic, but through the voices of several individuals who addressed this in various Ted Talks. 

The first talk is by Michael Porter, a strategy professor at Harvard University, and the author of various articles we have read this year.  This initial talk is a broad topic about the impact business can have on solving social problems.  While he does not solely address the concept of sustainability, he makes a key point regarding the trade-off for businesses and addressing/contributing to social problems.  The common belief has been that in order for organizations to make a larger profit, the trade-off is to contribute more to social problems and the being social responsible will lead to rising costs.  Porter argues that this is not true and that there can be profitable benefits to organizations committing time and resources to solve in social issues.
Michael Porter Ted Talk

The next talk is by John Doerr, which narrows the topic to focus more on sustainability.  He presents data and current small efforts that are beginning to occur to address environmental concerns.  But throughout the talk, insists that the current efforts are "not enough". Insisting that this needs to be a large scale initiative to for any impact to be felt.

John Doerr Ted Talk

Chris Mcknett provides a clear and persuasive arguments regarding the economics behind sustainability.  He addresses the concerns or risk versus return and shows how investing in sustainability can benefit the environment as well as the economy and company performance.

Chris Mcknett Ted Talk

These are just three talks that further emphasize the need for organizations to embrace sustainability within their strategies.  This concept is not only beneficial to the environment, but could also greatly benefit their own business plans.  While I only featured three talks, there were a number of other talks that also address this issue, further demonstrating this strategic need.


"The investment logic for sustainability." Chris McKnett:. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Transcript of "Salvation (and profit) in greentech"." John Doerr: Salvation (and profit) in greentech. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Why business can be good at solving social problems." Michael Porter:. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <>.

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