Heineken just seemed to be a beer company to me; one with a ripened value due to years of good reputation. I had never thought about the company's ethics toward profitability or brand positioning until this week when I had dinner with Heineken USA's VP of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics during a business trip to Washington, D.C. During our conversation, some key discoveries were made. I learned how Heineken uses market access to help others. The company, the Heineken executive said, has a responsibility to be “of service...
Social entrepreneurs are starting new organizations that combine best management practices with a socio-ecological purpose. They are expanding the boundaries of what it means to do business and innovating new organizational structures to respond to the needs and demands of an aching society. Working with social entrepreneurs in Mexico is a very rewarding aspect of my work. My role at the Universidad del Medio Ambiente (or University of the Environment) in central Mexico is to create learning environments and facilitate processes that support...
Systems thinkers have long adopted the iceberg analogy as a way to describe the events, patterns, and underlying structures that drive the behaviors that affect performance within a system. The iceberg is a perfect metaphor because it depicts just how much of what is really going on lies beneath the surface—out of sight. For many, out of sight also means out of mind. That mindset limits an organization’s ability to improve, live up to its potential, and consistently accomplish its stated goals and objectives. In this analogy,...
Creating a sustainable workplace can be pretty easy to do if you've got a green team running the show. Green team members aren't outsiders you bring in to teach workers how to be eco-friendly. They're actually members of your staff who learn about sustainable practices as a group so they can work together to develop strategies that will make your workplace a sustainable space. Five ingredients and a little follow through's all it takes to grow a grassroots green team, according to research. It starts with involvement. If you...
How do today’s leaders create profound innovation in the face of complexity? According to an executive report by the IBM Institute for Business Value, they do it by “embracing dynamic tensions.” In a report released in July, "Cultivating organizational creativity in an age of complexity," Barbara J. Lombardo and Daniel John Roddy assert that “leaders who embrace the dynamic tension between creative disruption and operational efficiency can create new models of extraordinary value. . . . By harnessing the...
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