Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
After sharing the new SB Brand Transformation Roadmap with SB Corporate Members a few months ago, a handful of members have already used the tool. It’s helping them understand where they are on the path to becoming a true sustainable brand and where to set their sights next.
Melinda Kendall (@melindakendall), senior vice president of sustainability at new member company, Freeman, used the tool recently and shared her experience below. Keep reading to discover the insights Melinda and her team unlocked by using the Roadmap.
Download the Brand Transformation Roadmap today and see what insights it unlocks for your business. Access to the tool is currently available as an exclusive benefit to SB Corporate Members. At the upcoming New Metrics Member Meeting (Philadelphia, October 29th), you’ll have the opportunity to share your roadmap results, compare notes, and learn how other members have overcome challenges that you’re currently facing.
SB: When you plotted your company on the Roadmap, what were your results (i.e., coordinates on the 5x5 grid)?
Melinda: Based on descriptions in the roadmap’s “quick guide,” we’re essentially starting Stage 3. Ten years ago, Freeman was at Stage 1; just starting to respond to the few clients who wanted more sustainable event execution.
With the purchase of Champion Exposition Services seven years ago, Freeman moved up to Stage 2 “endorsed leader driving, often relying on personality and opportunism, asking for forgiveness, not permission.”
Our sustainability champion, Jeff Chase, got us far enough to get the attention of the Freeman family and the C-suite strategy team. From there, the industry and the company matured and started to work toward the next level.
Jeff propelled us forward to seek out the right leadership needed to help us pursue Stage 3. With the focus of the next phase on metrics and accountability, we consciously pulled in a new team with the project management and measurement skills to revise processes and drive measurement throughout the company.
Freeman’s coordinates as of October 2018. See table below for more details.
SB: What kind of conversations did this exercise generate with your team or others within the company?
Melinda: This roadmap really supports our own observations, but it is very helpful to see that we are on the same path others are taking. Having this roadmap has also reinforced our thoughts on next steps.
SB: What were the challenges you encountered?
Melinda: The biggest challenge so far relates to measurement. We have many different offices that have autonomy with their local utilities, waste and recycling, and in many ways, in their business practices. Good metrics will require consistent processes and tracking.
SB: What surprised you the most when you went through the process and saw the end result?
Melinda: It was interesting to see that we were better in some areas and have more room for development in others. It was also very gratifying to see the importance of some of the efforts we took around values were recognized. The difficulty in measurement and goal-setting should not obscure the great progress we are making in purpose, engagement and products.
SB: Which areas would you like to focus on now that you understand your coordinates?
Melinda: We really need to focus this year on operations: gather the metrics to create a baseline, conduct a materiality study, measure our carbon footprint and create context-based goals. At the same time, we can continue to build in our areas of relative strength, further engaging our employees and clients on our journey.
SB: What questions do you have for other members now that you have your results?
Melinda: How do you get the last leadership holdouts on board? How do you best demonstrate the value of sustainability not just in competitive advantage, but in measurable cost savings?
SB: Why is this a valuable tool for you and your company?
Melinda: We need to learn from others and see where we fit into industry norms. It’s also valuable to have a concrete, recognized path to share with leadership, rather than making it up as we go.
(Click to enlarge). Details for Freeman’s coordinates as of October 2018.