Organizational Change

The latest creative strategies and tools helping organizations to engage their teams in building market-leading, purpose-driven brands.

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How Timberland Partnered with Smallholder Farmers to Scale Sustainable Development in Haiti

On Wednesday, over an intimate, invite-only lunch at SB ’15 San Diego, Timberland and the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) screened the trailer for their documentary, KOMBIT: The Cooperative, scheduled for release in October 2015.KOMBIT means “pulling together” in Haitian Creole. Timberland says this is the perfect description of the partnership among local Haitians, as well as its work with them and SFA to rebuild the island nation’s environmental and economic landscape through small-scale farming.

How Gamification, Education, Cultural Immersion Could Be the Holy Grail of Employee Engagement

In the effort to reach new milestones in employee engagement, we must recognize that the process is a journey. Successful corporate responsibility efforts must be embedded throughout the organization, as exemplified by the fine examples from this panel at SB ‘15 San Diego.Susan Hunt Stevens, founder of WeSpire, welcomed everyone to this Wednesday afternoon breakout session on gamification, educational services and culture shifts in employee engagement. According to an oft-cited statistics this week, more than half of employees are disengaged at work.

How to Pool Collective Leadership & Go Beyond Nudging, Gaming and Competing to Engage Employees

It's an incredible, mostly missed opportunity: 70 percent of U.S. workers are not engaged at work, and yet organizations with high employee engagement have 147 percent higher earnings per share. Not surprisingly, employee engagement was one of the major topics this week at SB '15 San Diego.

#SB15sd: How to Design One-Click Impact Investment Opportunities for Employees

Tuesday, day two of SB ‘15 San Diego, marked a transition from workshops to breakout sessions and this morning’s session on practical tips and case studies for employee engagement featured a star-studded lineup of experts from Kiva, Google, HP and HIP Investor.We kicked things off with a welcome from WeSpire, host sponsor of the “Workplace of the Future” track, who asked the question: How do we give employees the opportunity to bring their best selves to work?

How Can We Operationalize Business Transparency?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently voted 3-2 on a proposed rule to link CEO compensation to company financial performance. The rule came from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, and while the information required in the rule is already publicly available, the rule would make it more transparent and simpler for stakeholders to find and understand.

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Elkington’s Dramatization of ‘The Stretch Agenda’ Aims to Help Execs Move Beyond ‘Change-as-Usual’

“We pan in to a generously proportioned boardroom on the 33rd floor of an iconic skyscraper, soaring above London and the River Thames. … This is an Extraordinary Board Meeting.”So begins the opening scene in The Stretch Agenda, a ‘playper’ released by advisory firm Volans last week. Over three acts, the report enlivens the call for businesses to look beyond incremental change and focus strategy on the system dynamics that impact their longevity.

The Irony of Happiness at Work in the Age of Automation

After my book, Hacking Happiness, was released last year, a lot of people got in touch wondering how they could help their employees get happier at work. My book focuses on how people should take a measure of their lives, utilizing emerging technology and positive psychology to increase their long-term wellbeing versus just their mood.

Sustaining Purpose — Why We Work

These days, the only constant is constant change. People are on the move from rural regions to densely populated cities, straining urban infrastructures and vital resources. Economies are in flux — once-discounted markets in developing countries will soon dominate trends and needs. Migration is an everyday reality for millions of people — the workforce must be retooled to accommodate greater diversity. Climate change and population growth have led to increased demand for energy, water and food. Technological breakthroughs are opening up investment opportunities and governing relationships with partners and consumers — everyone is expected to connect in real-time.

Valuing the Invaluable: How WWF Is Helping Companies Protect the Ultimate Shared Resource

Water is essential to business of all kinds — from resource extraction to retail. Its scarcity poses collective risks; not just to a company’s facilities, but also to the municipalities in which it operates and the communities comprising its consumer base.

M&S Launches Companywide Campaign to Engage Employees in 'Making Energy Matter'

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has launched a new employee engagement campaign to help the company cut energy use by 50 percent across its UK operations by 2020.

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Permission to Care: Moving From Anxiety to Action on Climate Change

Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to participate in discussions about climate change threats and environmental issues with people across private, public, governmental, and research sectors. Whether at an island retreat in Puget Sound, a corporate conference at a resort or in the halls of our esteemed universities, the same questions get asked: How can we get people to care more? How do we motivate people? What’s it going to take?What if these are the wrong questions to be asking?Let’s consider this question by first reconsidering the context.

How Healthcare Pros Can Build the Business Case for More Sustainable Hospitals

The link between a healthy environment and public health outcomes has become increasingly evident. President Obama recently used his proclamation of Public Health Week to highlight the relationship between a changing climate and public health, citing increased cases of asthma and injuries from severe weather as examples. The President called out doctors, nurses and public health officials as key drivers in accelerating this understanding and mitigating future impact.

#BusinessCase: By 2025, Dow Expects to Generate $1B by Valuing Natural, Human Capital

The Dow Chemical Company announced today a strategic set of commitments designed to redefine the role of business in society. Dow says its 2025 Sustainability Goals use a global lens to magnify the Company’s impact around the world, driving unprecedented collaborations to develop a societal blueprint that will facilitate the transition to a sustainable planet and society.

With Heinz-Kraft Merger, RAN Calls on Food Giant to Step Up Efforts for Sustainable Palm Oil

Last month’s announcement that Heinz will acquire Kraft Foods opens a bevy of questions for a company that as a combined force will have annual sales of at least US$28 billion. At a time when consumer food tastes are changing, especially amongst millennials, some will question the viability of a company that relies on sales of ketchup and mac and cheese. But this massive company’s reach also brings up questions about its environmental and human rights impacts — particularly when it comes to palm oil.

Social Auditing: A New Tool for Sustainable Development?

Can social auditing be repurposed for greater good? That was the question posed during a breakout session of the Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference in London last week. Muriel Johnson, AAG Project Manager at Sedex, asked a panel of leading business representatives if social auditing could be used to advance sustainable development within global enterprise, rather than as a simple mechanism to manage risk in the supply chain.

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Nestlé Shares Challenges, Progress, Renews Partnerships in Efforts to Create 'Shared Value'

This week, Nestlé released the summary of its 2014 Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value report, which highlights the company’s progress — and challenges — in meeting its societal commitments. The report gives stakeholders the opportunity to scrutinize Nestlé’s progress during 2014 against 38 specific objectives. The full online version of the report will be available from April 7.Three new commitments cover responsible marketing to children, ensuring that all employees and stakeholders can easily report possible compliance violations, and working against corruption and bribery.

Almond Farmers Explain the Switch to Organic in CLIF's Latest 'Farmers Speak' Video

Clif Bar has released the second installment in its Farmers Speak series. Where the first centered on organic oats; the second installment “gives voice” to organic almonds — a key ingredient in 17 products across the company’s CLIF®, CLIF® Organic Trail Mix, LUNA® and CLIF® Kit’s Organic Fruit + Nut Bar brand bars.The video tells the story of Burroughs Family Farm — which grows nearly 1,000 acres of organic almonds in Merced County, in California’s Central Valley — and the family’s decision to make the bold transition from conventional to organic farming practices.

London Assembly Calls on Mayor to Divest City from Fossil Fuels

Last week, the London assembly told mayor Boris Johnson to pull City Hall’s £4.8bn pension fund out of coal, oil and gas investments, after assembly members voted on a motion to support the fossil fuel divestment movement.The motion calls on the mayor to publicly support the principle of divestment and to begin the process of ridding the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) of its fossil fuel portfolio. But the vote is non-binding, meaning the mayor is bound only to consider its proposals and write a response.The Green Party’s Jenny Jones proposed the motion, which was unanimously supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Six of the Conservative’s nine members were absent. Those who were present voted against.

RSPO Cleans House of Companies Failing to Meet Standards; NGOs Applaud

On Thursday, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) announced it has taken action against members that are not fulfilling basic membership obligations intended to create a more transparent, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible palm oil industry. A number of prominent NGOs working in the field — including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) — commend the action as an important first step, but emphasize the Roundtable's need for more teeth in ensuring progress toward a truly sustainable palm oil industry.

HP Setting Industry Standard with Zero-Tolerance Policy on Forced Migrant Labor

Last fall, HP became the first company in the IT industry to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain with the release of the HP Foreign Migrant Worker Standard.Three months after HP the release of this new standard for preventing exploitative labor practices and forced labor, Sustainable Brands spoke with Bob Mitchell, Global Manager of Supply Chain Social & Environmental Responsibility, to learn how the program is enabling HP to ethically recruit and manage foreign migrant workers.

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