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An Investor’s Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Business has the power to impact society for the better. But that doesn't mean entrepreneurs can't go wrong—and investors know that. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Doug Mellinger shares some tips for realizing meaningful change.

Investing & Diversity: The Changing Faces of Venture Capitalists

Is the venture capital industry embracing diversity in investors? Watch global venture capitalists from around the world discuss the state of things and what needs to be done for a more inclusive future.

Servant Leadership

There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Ever wonder what makes a great leader? Whether your role requires leadership or not, understanding organizational behavior is useful for your career. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can set you on your way.

Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are different skills, but today’s leaders must have both. Try out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to understand the difference, as well as when and why each skill is necessary for motivation, communication, and value.

Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company

Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.

Strategy: Understanding the External Environment

To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!

Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business

Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.

Turnaround Leadership: The Differences Between Japan and the West

What's the best way for leaders to communicate a shift in corporate strategy? How do you even know when it's time for such a change? This course explains how Japan might have one answer, Western companies another.

Conflict Management

Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. But they can lead to positive outcomes if they’re managed well. Check out this online course for a two-step process that can help you manage conflict successfully.

Evernote Founder: How Tech Startups Can Break through in Japan

Can startup models from Hollywood and Silicon Valley succeed anywhere? Phil Libin, cofounder and CEO of startup incubator All Turtles, explains how AI can solve everyday problems to bring products to market.

Women Empowerment: Lessons from Cartier

How can women overcome gender inequality and reach their leadership goals? Cartier Japan CEO June Miyachi shares her secret in this special course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Marketing: Reaching Your Target

Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.

Marketing Mix

Seeing good products into the hands of customers is no easy task. The marketing mix can help. It's a collection of strategies and tactics companies utilize to get customers to purchase their products or services, and is an essential part of the overall marketing process.

The Principles of Negotiation

With the proper skills and attitude, anyone can become a successful negotiator.  But first, you'll need to learn the basics to prepare for, assess, and respond to offers for the best results. GLOBIS Unlimited can help.

Negotiation: Creating Value

Want to create more shared value between yourself and your negotiation opponent? Discover how cognitive bias affects the judgment of others. Try this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to master the value of negotiation.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Ikigai

Ikigai can guide you in your quest for self-discovery. Listen to Japanese brain scientist Ken Mogi explain why and how.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

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Confirmation Bias

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An Investor's Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have the power to transform societies for the better. But how do you attract investors to start or grow a business? Or to sell one? Check out this seminar for the answers to these and more, straight from a master venture capitalist!

Managerial Accounting

Managerial accounting is a powerful way to measure progress, identify problems, and meet your goals. Check out this course to learn how data-backed decisions can help you run your business.

Finance Basics: 1

For a healthy mix of quantitative planning, evaluation, and management, you need solid decision-making. And finance is the secret sauce! Get the essentials of finance in this two-part course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis

Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.

Career Anchors

What drives you to be good at your job?

Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.

Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!

Digital Marketing Psychology to Transform Your Business

How does digital marketing really differ from traditional marketing? How is social media changing things really? And what's going on in Asia?

Pyramid Structure

Having the pyramid structure in your communication toolkit can not only help you approach a problem, but convince others that your solution is valid. Break away from linear thinking and test your logical thinking with this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi

The key ingredient to success? Passion.

Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.

AI First Companies – Implementation and Impact

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Technovate in the Era of Industry 4.0

Is Industry 4.0 is the next step of human evolution human civilization? Dr. Jorge Calvo seems to think so. Join him to learn how the past can help you set goals for an exciting future of digital innovation.

Technovate Thinking

Business leaders of tomorrow need to harness the power of technology and innovation. That means understanding algorithms and how they drive business results. Discover opportunities to make technology work for your competitive edge.

Product Life Cycle

Every product takes a natural course through the market—there's a how, when, and why customers adopt products at different stages. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to find out how a product you use every day is part of this cycle.

Logic Tree

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MECE Principle

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Summary

Leading Sustainably: The Path of Sustainable Business and How the SDGs Changed Everything, by Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank, is a thorough guide for turning status-quo businesses into sustainable ones. If you find yourself looking for more ammunition when speaking with someone who doesn’t believe businesses can be environmentally friendly, consider adding this to your reading list.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: How to turn an unsustainable, un-ecofriendly company into a sustainable one

WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: It’s a comprehensive guide that tackles all the major obstacles to sustainability.

HOW YOU’LL USE IT: As a primer on the latest sustainable thinking, a troubleshooting book when you hit your own sustainability snags, or as inspiration to begin your company’s sustainability journey

Turning Interest Into Action

Leading Sustainably’s authors cofounded the sustainability consultancy Read the Air, and their book provides detailed instructions and resources for transitioning companies towards more sustainable business models. Those instructions are invaluable, given the gap between talk and action at many companies.

Most businesses today say social and environmental impact is important to them. In a survey of more than 100 companies’ annual and sustainability reports, Bridges and Eubank found that 76% mentioned the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). Sixty-nine percent of company reports even tied specific SDGs to their business activities. But only 25% placed SDGs at the core of their business strategy.

So while it’s clear the majority of companies are paying attention to sustainability, few have translated that into systemized action.

Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank, cofounders of Read the Air and coauthors of Leading Sustainably.
Authors Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank. Used with permission.

Measuring the Sustainability Baseline

One reason companies are so slow to act, say Bridges and Eubank, is a lack of widely agreed-upon measurement frameworks. While there is a plethora of tools and initiatives aimed at assessing company sustainability, there is no consensus around which is best, or for whom.

For establishing baseline context, Bridges and Eubank recommend the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which creates a shared language between investors, companies, and industry regulators. Frameworks like the B Impact Assessment, the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, and Impact Management for Everyone are appropriate when companies are ready to turn their vision into action and opportunity into discovery.

But, as the authors note, deciding on the perfect tool is less important than simply starting.

Driving Sustainability from Above and Below

A trickier problem than measurement frameworks, say Bridges and Eubank, is the way our financial system emphasizes and rewards short-term results. To be truly sustainable, companies need to put the pursuit of quick returns on the shelf. There are three drivers seeing that change through: investors, employees, and customers.

Investors

Even investors whose top priority isn’t social impact would be wise to adopt a longer-term perspective, say Bridges and Eubank. Environmental and social risks can threaten business performance in nearly any industry. As a result, a growing number of investors are responding by screening out businesses that don’t understand those risks. This has made investors one of the prime drivers of sustainability initiatives.

Employees

Another major driver is employees, say Bridges and Eubank. Job applicants are increasingly picky about the moral stature of companies—a trend that is likely to accelerate. American Express recently found that 76% of millennials say that businesses need to have “a genuine purpose which resonates with people.” Generation Z is even more passionate: 94% believe companies should be responsible for addressing social and environmental issues.

Customers

Concerns about moral stature are influencing purchasing decisions as much as they are employment ones. Sales of products marketed as sustainable grew faster than average in more than 90% of consumer-goods categories between 2013 and 2018. And “greenwashing”—when companies present an environmentally friendly image without actually following through—is becoming harder to get away with in a world of NPO watchdogs and internet-driven callout culture.

Making Sustainability Synonymous with Business

Responding to market pressures can bring a wide range of rewards, say Bridges and Eubank. Companies at the head of the sustainability curve can discover new business opportunities, and even entirely untapped markets. Sustainability concerns have already transformed the fashion and food and beverage industries—think any product marked “fair trade” or “sustainably packaged”—and other sectors aren’t far behind.

In the future, Bridges and Eubank expect that “‘being sustainable’ will be synonymous with ‘being a business.’” They provide examples of real-world sustainability transformations, including KEEN, ECOncrete, and Dannon North America. Through them, the authors demonstrate that it’s already possible to pivot established businesses toward sustainability and to create startups that are both profitable and sustainable from the start.

That said, the authors are clear that solutions won’t be the same for every company. Nor will they be easy. The recommended strategy involves ten distinct steps, beginning with “getting leadership buy-in” and ending with “partnering with like-minded companies.” The steps don’t need to be completed in order—and let’s face it, when has any massive organizational shift gone exactly to plan? Business leaders can use the resources listed in the book to create custom sustainability transformation plans. 

In Conclusion

Cover of "Leading Sustainably," by Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank
Cover Copyright 2020. Used with permission.

Leading Sustainably is written from a broad perspective and intended for middle managers and C-suite executives alike. As a result, some areas can be a bit vague. The authors are clearer about what needs to be done than they are about how. For instance, the authors emphasize that C-suite involvement is non-negotiable for sustainability success, but offer little guidance on how to spur that involvement.

Overall, though, Leading Sustainably is a tour de force on sustainable leadership, management practices, and practical steps to increase both revenue and social impact. The sustainable future is coming, whether companies are ready or not. This book can help companies adapt, survive, and create value for both themselves and the world.

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