• Gary Robinson

Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#26

Updated: Jun 26, 2019


June 24, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image - Sunsets in New York

Week#26 of 2019

Good morning!  The summer is in full swing and I hope you are enjoying the season.  This week in Synaptic Connections we have a guest author.  Joining us today is Dr. Erika Jacobi of LC GLOBAL®and Erika specializes in leading organizational change.  Given the significance of the global Sustainability movement and the context of Disruptive Innovation, the topic of change management is relevant to our discussions and this week makes for a great time as we transition from innovations with Natural/ Renewable Materials over to our next topic of ReThink Waste.  So, without further ado, please welcome Erika and let’s have a listen to her thoughts on leading change.

Growing with Purpose - What CEOs Need to Know to Drive Sustainability to Success

Sustainability is a particularly effective way of increasing a company’s change and innovation capability –and therefore, it is one of the fastest current entry points into driving a company’s success!

That is not to say, however, that sustainability is the magic bullet that mindlessly helps us boost a company from stagnation to success or from success to mega-success. 

Ultimately, sustainability affects your company on many, if not all levels. The crux is: If you don’t know exactly how, you cannot make full use of its benefits. 

How Does Sustainability Impact Your Organization?

Operations, Production Cycles, Service and Product Management: Obviously your operations and production cycles, packaging etc. should be driven to a goal of “Zero-Waste”. Getting there is the part that intersects with all other organizational efforts. 

Culture/Mindset/Behavior: Continuously employing a “Zero-Waste” strategy, will drive your mindset toward pragmatic solutions. From there, your organizational culture and behavior will determine how successful your business endeavors will be. A company that wants to max their sustainability benefits, will insure a culture of innovation. In short that means, a healthy balance between experimentation, creativity, deep know-how, room for mistakes and consistent quality-ensuring feedback loops baked into your mindset and people strategies.  

Leadership: Leaders need to be empowered to lead in the innovation-fostering ways. Models such as transformational, agile, or collaborative leadership will support your strategic sustainability and innovation goals.  

Marketing/Branding: The marketing and branding of your sustainability efforts need to come from a place of integrity to be perceived as authentic in a highly sensitive market and social-media era. Convincing with measurable results that you have already achieved is better than empty promises for the future.

Retention/Talent Development: Today’s talent wants to work purposefully. A comfortable paycheck will not suffice any longer. Your sustainability efforts can provide such purpose, which will automatically increase your engagement and productivity levels. 

Organization Design/Structure/Workflows: Sustainability ultimately means innovation. As structure drives behavior, innovation needs to be supported by the right organization design. What is right? An organization design that is nimble, growth-ready, adaptable and one that insures a seamless information flow.

Now, what has a CEO got to do with all of this?   As sustainability deeply impacts your company on all levels, driving it strategically and mindfully on all levels, is crucial. It is the role of a CEO and top management to ensure that your sustainability efforts are practiced in a way that they can fall on fruitful ground for your entire organization. 

Here are some things you can do to get started: 

  1. Think of your sustainability efforts as a large-scale organizational change process. If you do, you will automatically understand that a) it has to be planned, and b) it can have varying levels of success depending on how well you conduct it. 

  2. Create a sense of urgency, coalitions, and a multi-leveled focus:Peter Senge once stated: “Change is not a solitary job” To turn sustainability into a boost for your entire company, you also need to rally your entire company behind it and ensure that you move forward jointly.

  3. Understand that your sustainability effort is a journey. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither is a company’s strategic growth and innovation. Acknowledging that this sustainability is not the quick fix but much rather a guarantor for authentic and, yes, sustainable success, can help with expectation setting, focus, and determination. 

  4. Create an adaptive input/output strategy for the long haul. Whoever wants to leverage benefits of a large-scale organizational change, such as sustainability, needs to know what to expect and what they can get out of it in each and every phase of the process. Taking considerable reflection time for this exercise, will reveal more and more connecting factors between sustainability and your company’s long-term success. It will simultaneously prepare you for understanding that the possible “low-energy” phases are just feedback, not failure. 

  5. Monitor your results on all organizational levels and holistically. What gets measured, gets changed. If you monitor your progress, benefits and setbacks in the individual areas of your organization as well as at scale, you will be able to finetune your metrics for your overall success.

When looking at sustainability from a perspective of large-scale organizational change, the role of the CEO and top management becomes obvious. With that said, should you manage to increase the intrapreneurialspirit with a holistic sustainability strategy, you will have gained advanced leadership across the entire organization. From there, you can do sustainability how it is done best: TOGETHER! 

Erika Jacobi is the President and Managing Director of LC GLOBAL®, a change, growth, and innovation consulting firm with offices in New York City and Munich Germany. Erika holds a PhD in Organizational Change and Development. Her research explored the cognition and identity of successful organizations. She specializes in adaptive organization design and dynamic growth strategies. Her clients have included companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Sony Mobile Communications, MM Packaging, and members of the United Nations. She also enjoys working with small to mid-size as well as not-for profit companies and executives. Having led companies and innovation initiatives on 3 continents, Erika believes that anybody is a leader who wishes to co-create desired future states -- and that organizations can change one conversation at a time. https://www.lc-global-us.com

Thanks Erika for being a part of Synaptic Connections!  We have some great developments in the news this week, so enjoy the articles below and have a great week everyone.



Packaging Sustainability//


ReThink Waste//


Sustainable Investing//


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The purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate innovative thoughts and constructive dialogue through the lens of sustainability.  New subscribers can send an e-mail to the link below to sign-up. 


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