Do You Have The Other 'E' of ESG?

11 Jan 2022
5 min read

I believe that intrapreneurship is a huge catalyst for helping you achieve sustainable ESG outcomes.

Developing intrapreneurship as part of your ESG strategy will enable your businesses to not only keep up or even surpass your own competitors, but to do so, across diverse customer markets that demand both social and commercial results.

Unlocking the entrepreneurial power of your staff should be a badge of honour, no longer earned in the battlefields of breakfast networking sessions, swanky soirees, and the loneliness of the home office, but through the hearts and minds of individuals who see their place of work as a vehicle for positive change.

The use of entrepreneurship in a corporate context gives you the opportunity to create a wider range of solutions designed to exceed the expectations of customers, who are savvy enough to know that demonstrating social impact is a business imperative.

They are no longer afraid to question your business values and ethics publicly, and to tell you and the world why they are not buying your products and services!

But in the same breath, I do have sympathy for business leaders.

Forget titles or authority – it must be challenging for any business leader to set the pace on how to move from a traditional culture to a more disruptive and socially-conscious one, when they themselves do not feel ready to do so.

It is a lonely place to know that you have to embrace the change that is already here, knowing that everyone is looking towards you for direction and guidance.

The stark reality is that most companies need to ensure that business leaders are equipped with the mental fortitude to adopt a truly entrepreneurial mindset as an individual, whilst ensuring that the organisation has the processes in place to harness the output of entrepreneurial staff effectively.

Like real entrepreneurs who live the type of abnormal life that many would not dare, leaders who wish to be more intrapreneurial and socially-conscious must be willing to become  visionary risk takers, but with very clear, measurable and accountable ESG outcomes.

If you are a business leader in this position, you may be wondering what you may need to do to prepare yourself?

Here are some initial thoughts:

– Be clear on your company WHAT vs WHY: Your WHY is the purpose, the real goal, the overall impact or value you wish to create in society. Your WHAT is the tools, resources, and efforts that you need to achieve your why.

Ensure that you have clarity on why ESG is so important to you and your stakeholders, and yhat you have the ability to secure what you need to deliver.

– Learn to create the frame, but empower staff to paint the picture: A 2019 study by Deliotte highlighted the power of to help future proof your business. As a leader, you should be able to describe in detail what your collective vision is as a business. But you must remain humble and empower both the current and future workforce to create the picture of how it can be achieved!

– Embrace your fears: Fear is a state of mind often because you are fearful of negative consequences or results that may arise. Put in place a strategy that you would execute if that consequence took place and you will soon realise that there is nothing to be fearful of..within reason..

– Be willing to learn the lessons you don’t want to be taught: A leader that wants to be more intrapreneurial, must be willing to learn harsh truths about themselves, and seek to learn and integrate the feedback!

– Make the necessary sacrifices: Forget what you think you should do to become more innovative. Be clear on WHAT YOU MUST DO in order to succeed. Learning from those choices is the key.

We all have to be entrepreneurial just to survive in life and to truly help others..but isn’t that what your business should be about too?

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