Category Archives: Environmental Strategy

Digital Economy Series: In a fully digital world will companies still need to account for the environment?

There are a number of ways in which companies account for the environment. Including a seasonal perspective in terms of the variations in goods and services brought to market, another is from an environmental perspective in terms of energy usage as well as production and packaging materials, and a third is from a shareholder and stakeholder perspective in terms of statutory requirements.

person on a bridge near a lake

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

In recent years the triple bottom line reporting framework has made its way into corporate practices. Where companies, for reasons due either to regulatory compliance or enlightened executives, report on profit, people and planet. That is, in addition to their standard financial statements organisations are reporting on metrics related to their staff and their impact upon the environment.

Building on the acceptance of reporting on more than one performance parameter, there is a nascent movement to embrace the quadruple bottom line. Where this fourth performance parameter is “purpose”. Defined as the ethics, culture and desires of the organisation.

The implication of the preceding is this. The administrative policies and processes that are established by government bodies, and are used to govern companies and organisations, change over time. Long gone is the notion that business reputation is solely built on a profit and loss statement.

So, into this governance implication let us now draw two threads from previous articles and elsewhere: the structure of business and the changing environment. Firstly, we know that the processes business engage in to make a profit will change in the decades ahead. Pervasive digitisation will drive an increasingly ubiquitous phenomena of process automation and forms of cognitive processing. Limiting the typical set of tasks available for the human workforce to those requiring people skills and/or thinking skills.

Secondly, while this trend of digitisation gathers apace the climate and natural environment in which business and the digital economy is beholden to will still be changing. There are two responses to these macro changes. The first, described as a pathway of current and common ambition, is to succeed in humanity having a light footprint on the environment. On the other hand, the pathway of lackluster ambition necessarily leads to outcomes that are less than optimal for all life forms.

Now, there is currently a broad acceptance of the concept of a global carbon budget. Therefore, one can envisage that, over the course of the time horzon for this series of articles, this principle of a global budget being established in corporate governance practices. Where economic entities are given a “profile” to work within. Thus, realising a transition from triple bottom line reporting through quadruple to quintuple. That is adding “profile” to the currently recognised profit, people, planet and purpose.

With respect to the triple and quadruple bottom line reporting the sense is that these governance outcomes are the result of internal motivations. The result of what the business decides to do. With the “profile” metric, the sense is that the reporting is on the outcomes with respect to the environmental budget that any business is given to work within.

This “profile” metric, a response to a set of imposed environmental limits, is relevant to both climate outcomes. Through either an enforced collaboration upon all businesses to ensure a continued light footprint, or a set of rules to limit the damage upon our common habitat.

The image of this future for business, the government and the economy is this. It is where the operational milieu of business is characterised as an expanse of intensely interconnected entities that are data and computationally rich. Where the description has morphed from being called a digital economy into an intelligence economy. Where the wisdom of the quintuple bottom line enforces the boundaries of all behaviour.

In a fully digital world companies will not only need to account for the environment they will be required to.

 


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Strategic Planning is Essential for Better Performance

Over the decades of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s there were a mixed bag of academic studies regarding the usefulness of strategic planning. Some studies poured cold water on the notion that strategic planning could improve the performance of a firm, others were hearty in their endorsement.

But time and again in recent years, analysis has shown that indeed bringing direction to an organisation through the process of strategic planning has indeed brought benefits.

Aspects improved include:

  • sales
  • profit
  • productivity
  • returns on investments
  • employee engagement
  • even the success ratio of new product development

The long-term implication from each of these studies is that if an organisation (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) thinks about its future and puts some resources into planning its direction (where it is, where it wants to go, and how it will get there) it will not only survive but thrive.

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.

Strategic Planning is more than Gap Analysis

Strategic planning is more than just gap analysis. What’s more, there is no single accepted definition of what it is.

Some say that its a top down approach, a rational approach. Others say its fluid, that the macro environment is the major determinant. Still others have a organization-centric resource-only based view toward strategic planning.

What’s your view? What’s your approach?

Is yours & your organisation’s approach to strategic more of a cerebral, formalised, top-down. Or is it more entrepreneurial. That its the visionary leader who “will take us there”.

So, given then that the word “strategy” is derived from the Greek word “Strategia”, meaning “art of war”, the implication is that its part art, part science. Part feel, part intentional design.

And given that strategy has to do with the direction of your organisation & its scope of activities, what are the questions you need to be asking? What are the timelines you are talking about? How much information do you need for you decision making process?

What are your values?

What then is your vision?

For, it all flows from your vision

 

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.