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Is Your Company Sustainable? Self-Audit Can Help You Transform and Thrive in these Challenging Times

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Regardless of where your company or organization is right now, 2021 is going to force you to focus on sustainability more than ever before. The uncertainty and stress of numerous threats require the creation of new management initiatives and decision-making processes to assure survival, growth, and development in the coming year.

Abrar Ansari, business strategist and author of Management by Intent – The Five Principles, says that there are five steps to deploying a strategic framework:

  1. Establish the case for building a sustainable business.
  2. Conduct a detailed assessment to identify the difference between the current state and desired future state.
  3. Identify metrics for every key element needed to track the progress towards the desired outcomes.
  4. Create a roadmap for every key element to identify the actions needed to reach the desired outcomes.
  5. Develop and deploy the systems necessary to effect the changes needed.

Management awareness and commitment at all levels of an organization are needed to identify the capabilities required to achieve and protect the sustainable economic practices discovered along the way.

Executive Level: Overseeing the corporate policy implementation for fulfilling all the stakeholders’ expectations. Governance includes discharging Financial, Legal, Ethical, and Social responsibilities.

Operational levels: Commitment and utilization of corporate resources for sustainable growth and development by creating competitive advantage through research, innovation, and development of intellectual capital.


Management by Intent Sustainability – Self-Audit

It is not hard for an organization to do a quick high-level assessment of how well sustainability is embedded in the organization. Even the most basic analysis will act os as a good starting point if you are in need of a course correction.

There are five key issues that you need to focus on to evaluate the sustainability of your effects, your people, organization, culture and the products and services you provide. These are the pillars of your economic engine. Improving each of these will push you onto a path that enables you to succeed economically and gain the support and trust of everyone you engage and serve.


Circle where and how your organization functions right now.

 Issue 1: Safeguarding Human Life

Do you identify and effectively deal with anything that threatens human life?

  1. No, rarely to not at all.
  2. Sometimes but not usually. 25 percent of the time.
  3. Moderate – half the time.
  4. Most of the time – 75 percent of the time.
  5. Yes, all the time, all our people, everywhere, every time.

Level 1 – Organization solely relies on policy directives to the protection of the safety and well-being of its employees.

Level 3: Organizational leadership is engaged in building awareness and advocacy to promote a culture of health and safety excellence.

Level 5: The organization goes beyond its boundaries to protect the communities it serves and the species that are affected by its operations from any harm that threatens their existence.


 Issue 2: Preservation of Dignity

Do you identify and effectively deal with anything that threatens human dignity?

  1. No Rarely to not at all.
  2. Sometimes but not usually. 25 percent of the time.
  3. Moderate – half the time.
  4. Most of the time – 75 percent of the time.
  5. Yes, all the time, all our people, everywhere, every time.

Level 1 – Organization has programs and initiatives on paper, highlighting the commitment to inclusivity and equity.

Level 3: Organizational leadership support and accountability translate into targeted training and communication efforts for inducing diversity and parity.

Level 5: Organization culture fosters well-being, that addresses the need of the whole person through a focus on the physical, financial, emotional, and social aspects.


Issue 3: Preservation of Reason

Do you safeguard the rationality of your purpose and the related behaviors that result from it?

  1. No Rarely to not at all.
  2. Sometimes but not usually. 25 percent of the time.
  3. Moderate – half the time.
  4. Most of the time – 75 percent of the time.
  5. Yes, all the time, all our people, everywhere, every time.

Level 1 – Organization has a code of conduct, including rules, beliefs, values, and expectations in place for compliance purposes

Level 3: Organizational leadership proactively participates in the decision-making process to evaluate all critical business risks and opportunities consistently.

Level 5: Organization leadership behavior is evaluated and incentivized based on the impact they create in preserving life, dignity, reason, wealth, and future.


Issue 4: Preservation of Wealth

Do you focus your efforts on the holistic financial wellness of your system?

  1. No Rarely to not at all.
  2. Sometimes but not usually. 25 percent of the time.
  3. Moderate – half the time.
  4. Most of the time – 75 percent of the time.
  5. Yes, all the time, all our people, everywhere, every time.

Level 1 – Organizational leadership and management team is rewarded for reaching their profitability targets.

Level 3: Employee benefits, some profit-sharing for middle-tier management, and charitable giving are structured programs that organizational leadership supports as avenues for wealth redistribution.

Level 5: Management sacrifices profit margins to support workforce and community upliftment. The business pays its full share of taxes equitably; without taking undue advantage of any offshore tax shelters.


Issue 5: Preservation of the Future

Do you commit to the conservation of natural resources, natural habitats, and biodiversity of the earth for the continual benefit of all living beings?

  1. No rarely to not at all.
  2. Sometimes but not usually. 25 percent of the time.
  3. Moderate – half the time.
  4. Most of the time – 75 percent of the time.
  5. Yes, all the time, all our people, everywhere, every time.

Level 1 – Organizational vision and mission are preserved in statements prescribing environmental and social rules, principles, values, and expectations.

Level 3: Environmental protection, human health, and climate change are top strategic priorities.

Level 5: The organization is publicly committed to resourcing substantial amounts of time, effort, and money to fight many of the pressing environmental and social challenges we face today.


Score Yourself:

  • 5 to 10 – Poor – Get started right now
  • 10 to 15 – Minimal – Make major improvements
  • 15 to 20 – Average – Improve everything
  • 20 to 25 – Above average – Keep growing and doing what you are doing
  • 25 – Amazing – Be the best leader you can possibly be

Management by Intent in Practice

IT IS THE character of the leadership that shapes the organization’s value system, just like the tenacity and the intensity of the wind that shapes the dunes in the desert.

If a leader’s character is grounded in an ethical and moral code of conduct, infused with a deep understanding of these five key principles, the end result leads to clarity of purpose, and outcomes that are tied to safeguarding the general public interest of all.

It is a worthy quest that can achieve meaningful results. When the principles are applied judiciously throughout an organization’s decision-making process, they become a driving force in refocusing an organization’s entire mindset from short-term earnings into a broader and more balanced growth strategy; one dedicated to the cause of preventing harm and promoting good.


Abrar Ansari - Transformation & Integration Practice Lead - John Beath EnvironmentalAbrar Ansari   |   Transformation & Integration Practice Lead

As a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Abrar has over 27 years of fortune 500 executive management engagement and EHS & ESG program development experience. He has been instrumental in supporting global organizations design, develop and manage operational performance engagements. Abrar has actively led and facilitated corporate EHS & ESG strategy playbooks for integrated program development, organizational transformation initiatives tied to business growth strategies and developed large multi-national programmatic support frameworks with global delivery teams. Over the years, he has served a diversified portfolio of clients in energy, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and agribusiness sectors. He has deep subject matter expertise in designing integrated governance frameworks, creating enterprise risk management strategies, designing and deploying management systems and commercializing software solutions. Abrar is a power-point expert with the ability to express complex, multi-dimensional models with simplicity breaking them down into small achievable steps. Full Bio

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