Leadership

Exemplary cases of sustainability leadership and intrapreneurship, and the qualities, ethical principles and/or dilemmas inherent within them.

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From Hedgehogs to Whole Systems: An Evolution in Business Principles

The story of the hedgehog and the fox, originally conceived in ancient Greece and popularized in the 1950s by philosopher Isaiah Berlin, figures prominently in the business canon as a parable of depth vs. breadth. The most popular version of the tale involves a hungry, wily fox and a slow, simple hedgehog. One expects the fox to devour his prey. But the hedgehog regularly evades death by freezing in place, forming into a ball of unappetizing spikes, too painful a prospect for even the hungriest of foxes. The hedgehog's ability to "know one thing well" prevails over the fox's assiduous advances.

The 'CVS Effect' in Effect: Apple, Disney and Chipotle Step Up

Five major brands have just made news for decisions that buck the bottom-line mantra. Could this be momentum for the "CVS Effect"? Take a look and see if you agree. And note too how brands are joining with allies on these issues, while one brand — Chipotle — is potentially breaking major new ground.Feb. 28: Apple CEO defends doing the right thing — not just the bottom line

IBM, Kohl's, Sprint Honored by EPA for Climate Leadership

IBM, Sprint, Boeing and several other brands were among this year’s winners of the EPA's Climate Leadership Awards. Nineteen awards were given to 15 organizations and two individuals in the public and private sectors for their leadership in addressing climate change by reducing carbon pollution.The EPA says the awards recognize and incentivize exemplary corporate, organizational and individual leadership in response to climate change. Award recipients represent a wide array of industries, including finance, manufacturing, retail, technology, higher education and local government. The 2014 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:Organizational Leadership Award: City of Chula Vista; Sprint; and University of California, Irvine

Study: Most Americans Prefer Female Leadership Styles

A majority of American workers prefer executives that utilize newer, more collaborative leadership styles, and 7 out of 10 associate these leadership styles with women, according to a new study by Pershing LLC.Conversely, some 77 percent of respondents attribute “traditional” leadership approaches, such as giving orders and employing the reward/punishment model, with men.

Apple, SolarCity, San Diego Int'l Airport Sign Climate Declaration

Apple, SolarCity, San Diego International Airport, Sungevity and Sapphire Energy have joined with more than 120 California-based companies in signing the Climate Declaration, a business leader call to action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.

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The Secret of Game-Changing Leadership? Collaborative Reality Creation

Why do some entrepreneurs manage to defy social gravity and thrive, while most go down in flames? How is it possible to attract a truly passionate following through social media? Why is the marketing mindset that worked in years past falling flat today? What’s the best way to find security in a flat, upside-down, digitally connected world where cultural and economic boundaries are collapsing like cut-rate lawn chairs?These questions are impossible to answer in any satisfying way without first challenging many conventional beliefs about the nature of human communication.

Leaders Now Seeing Climate Change as Risk That Can Be Managed, Not Uncertainty That Can’t

Last month, a front-page New York Times story reported that global business leaders Coca-Cola, Nike, and others are factoring in climate change risks as threats to the bottom line. This news followed CDP’s December reveal that 29 major companies use a shadow carbon price in their finances for climate risk evaluation.What do these stories have in common? Risk.

Attention, Advertisers: Are You Sure You Want to Place Your Ad There?

Finding the right media partners for your advertising dollars is a critical part of any brand’s market success. It’s a competitive landscape with new and traditional advertising mediums vying for consumer attention as well as your coveted marketing dollars. And for any brand that is a leader in sustainability, partnering with media outlets that complement your values and sustainability positioning is important.

Blake Mycoskie Joins The B Team

The B Team announced today that Blake Mycoskie — entrepreneur, author, and founder/CEO of TOMS Shoes — is the latest recruit to join its ranks. Mycoskie becomes the youngest member of The B Team and will lend his unique, entrepreneurial perspective on the future of business to the team and its work.

Nearly 100% of Companies Now Have Corporate Citizenship Budgets

Almost 100 percent of companies have a corporate citizenship budget today, up from just 81 percent in 2010, according to a new report from the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.The Profile of the Practice 2013 explores how the environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of business — corporate citizenship — are managed in today’s business world, and how these practices have evolved since the last report in 2010. It is based on a survey of 231 companies that provided data on their corporate citizenship strategies, operational structures and business practices.

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Sonoma County Commits to 100% Sustainable Wine by 2019

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), announced this week that by 2019, consumers will be able to purchase any Sonoma County wine confident that it was grown and made in the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable county.Sonoma County has committed to becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region through a three-phased program to be completed within the next five years, according to the SCW. Although many of the region’s multigenerational growers and winemakers have been practicing sustainable farming techniques and winemaking practices for decades, this initiative demonstrates their seriousness and commitment to ensuring all vineyards and wineries across Sonoma County will soon be sustainable.

Divine Obsolescence, Sustainability & the Silent 'S' in Business Transformation

Mention to a sustainability person that their career trajectory should be hurtling them towards some form of divine obsolescence and the reactions are, suffice to say, mixed.The idea of them passing through some blissful reinvention to rise phoenix-like, only stronger and wiser, in some new primary function at the heart of the business doesn’t always ring everyone’s career bell.The fact that they should wish to render their current position and the status they derive from it obsolete — a planned professional obsolescence — seems confusing to some, demeaning to others and otherwise simply, quietly terrifying to those who have been on the 'S' mission for so long.

10 Sustainable Business Stories Too Important to Miss

Somehow it’s already year-end, a time to look back and try to make sense of what’s happened. Creating any “top” list of stories from 12 months is nearly impossible. But as I’ve done for the last 4 years, I’ll attempt to summarize some of the latest stories about the big environmental and social pressures on business, and how some innovative companies are dealing with them.

'Women Empowered' Highlights Role of Women in IT Innovation

This post is part of a series written by MBA and MPA candidates in Presidio Graduate School’s Managerial Marketing course, examining the role of marketing in advancing sustainability across all sectors.

Study: Little Progress for Hispanic Inclusion on Corporate Boards in Past 20 Years

Seventy percent, or nearly 350 of the Fortune 500 companies do not have a Hispanic member on their board, according to a new study by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).The organization’s 2013 Corporate Governance Study (CGS) measures Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite and boardrooms in Fortune 500 companies, revealing that there has been little progress for Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards over the last 20 years.Some other key findings include:· Latinas only hold 37 out of 5,511 board seats in the Fortune 500

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30 Leading CEOs and Companies Join ‘CEO Force for Good’ in 2013

Twenty-nine of the world’s leading CEOs and companies in 2013 joined CECP, a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance, founded in 1999 by actor Paul Newman.These CEOs and companies work with CECP to elevate their societal investment strategies and connect them to their core business, as they are a direct line to employee engagement, innovation, customers, new markets, stronger brands and sustainability, as well as mitigating risk and building trust. CECP convenes and supports CEOs, whose companies committed $14 billion last year to solving pressing community challenges.In 2013, CECP welcomed the following 10 CEOs into its ranks:· Sheri McCoy, Avon Products, Inc.

The Tricentennial of Sustainability Management

As 2013 comes rapidly to a close, it is worth noting, I think, that this was arguably the three hundredth anniversary of sustainability management, the formal discipline, as we know it. Indeed, the concept of sustainability management in commerce first appeared in 1713 in a book written by Hans Carl von Carlowitz (Sylvicultura Oeconomica, 1713), a Saxon tax accountant and mining administrator who more or less invented the practice of sustainable forestry.

GM Hires First Female CEO in Automotive Industry

General Motors last week announced that Mary Barra will replace Dan Akerson as CEO on January 15, 2014 — making her the first woman to lead a major automaker. Barra currently serves an executive vice president in the company’s global product development unit.With more than 30 years' experience at GM, Barra rose through a series of manufacturing, engineering and senior staff positions, the company says. Notably, Barra helped to facilitate GM’s turnaround after its 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization.“With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra in a GM news release. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

Ampersand Nation Rising

“Focus” is having a great run these days. Daniel Goleman’s book on it is excellent. People with focus are able to capture more information, complete tasks sooner, become skilled in a discipline earlier. Malcolm Gladwell has written eloquently about the need to spend 10,000 hours in order to truly master a subject. There’s a lot to be said for single-mindedness.

To Build a Futureproof Brand, Build Your Global Expert Network

A few years ago, my ad agency was acquired by Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency based in Chicago. For a year, I worked with the team at MD, honing a green innovation process for their clients.I learned a number of incredibly useful things from my friends at MD, but one has served me particularly well in the business of building futureproof brands: the power of a global expert network.A global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In my case, they’re C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.

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