In the midst of a few weeks of horrible news and backward societal and cultural shifts, a few things have kept me hopeful. Amazing people are doing research and finding innovative ways to collaborate. Corporate leadership is being called to task a lot more loudly. May any bits and pieces of the below spur ideas or new thinking for you, too.
On the dire need for C-Suite social engagement skills:
In The C-Suite Skills That Matter Most (July - August 2022 print edition, Harvard Business Review), the authors outline why it might be worth the effort to evaluate the social skills of job candidates and to emphasize social skills more broadly in any training or C-suite team expectations.
To this I say a resounding "YES." The incredible opportunity lies in understanding the nuances of how to build such human-level engagement, how to cheer others on (even competitors) for the good of the sector, and how to continually be interacting with those stakeholders who’ve chosen to follow you. Any leader can more intentionally shape their digital footprint by exemplifying smart, human social skills with their public interactions.
Telling insight from Globescan on sustainability leadership:
What these Globescan findings say to me is that a lot of brands that are taking real steps in sustainability and climate action are not doing a good job of engaging stakeholders around it. When the same brands that have been seen as "sustainability leaders" for years are all we can point to, it should be a wake up call. The Onalytica research on ESG leadership paints a broader view, and reflects, as I've long noted, the profiles to raise are those of the individual leaders within brands.
Globescan insight link: https://globescan.com/2022/06/24/insight-of-the-week-unilever-patagonia-maintain-top-sustainability-leadership-positions/
Onalytica ESG Leadership blog post (that links to recent report on key influencers in that space) https://onalytica.com/blog/posts/environmental-sustainability-perception-impact/
Myths/Truths about behavioral economics: Let's start to change social norms (pronto)
Watch and learn from Jeni Cross, social scientist. Thanks to Venkatesh Gopal, a wonderful curator of bikes/bikeshare/mobility insight for his synopsis of her presentation, a bit of which I've pasted here:
🌐 Myth: Education will change behaviour
Reality: How we present information, matters. Needs to be tangible, personalized
🌐 Myth, 2: Attitudes predict behaviour
Reality: Attitudes FOLLOW behaviour. Understanding what values your audience cares about and setting behavioural expectations (different for different groups).
🌐 Myth, 3: People know what motivates them.
Reality: Social norms are a great predictor of behaviour change. Justifies celebrity endorsements.
"If, instead of aiming for their own on-paper emissions accounting target, corporations saw themselves as making 'contributions' to a shared goal, consequences could be profound." It's exactly this idea of collective contributions that I see as so key for true leadership and climate influence in the corporate space. If each entity continues to merely play for themselves, nothing will change and we have no hope of addressing this dire emergency. Wake up and see the leadership value of co-opetition.
Please spread the word about this newsletter! Share it on your social platforms. Shout it from the rooftops ;-). I so appreciate it.
One of the things I'm trying to do is make sure the insights and context I see in my daily monitoring of so many news sources is to make sure more people get these nuggets and feel inspired to move in bigger ways on their own work, policies, approaches.
Also - I want to forward the fact that thinking extra boldly, and connecting dots that maybe haven't been well-connected by others yet, is the "new" new social norm. Live, breathe and ACT with your Climate Influence, friends.