So, where does one begin? Firstly by explaining the reasoning for the pause in writing this blog. Yes, it’s been since early April, but there’s a very concrete reason.
That reason is a little girl by the name of Sophie. My daughter came into the world in mid-April and has been demanding most of my attention since then. What I learned in this regard is that, like anything else I’ve ever done in my life worth doing, delivering a baby takes patience, discipline and a little bit of pain. The key here is to remember that it’s the beginning of the journey and that the pain that one experiences will soon be but a distant memory.
That particular point reminded me of the sustainability movement and the journey that we’re all on at this point. On a regular basis I am reminded by companies and investors that the move towards sustainability is long, that it’s painful and that it takes discipline. Well, I guess in some sense it’s like giving birth.
Some will say that we are still in the early stages of acceptance here in North America and I would agree with that statement. However, when I began this journey 3 years ago, it was still considered philanthropy, so indeed, we’ve already traveled a long way.
So what’s next? I would suggest that if I use the analogy of my own new daughter, we are in the early stages of this journey with much left to learn and much of the road yet to travel. We need to educate our confreres on the merits of sustainability, both at the corporate levels and at the investment level; we need to help directors understand their key and important roles as the business model moves forward; we need to help executives understand that the expectations for their businesses has changed. So yes, we’re at the nascent stage in this development, yet this is not going away!
As a new parent, I also ask myself the question of how will I know what to do as my daughter develops? On that point I’ve discovered, we’ll learn as we go. I would suggest that the same is true for business and investors with respect to sustainability. So what’s the way forward look like? I’m sure that none of us truly know the answer, but one thing is for certain — we have a responsibility to take and whether we like it or not, we need to step up. The question I ask myself as a parent is “what kind of parent to I want to be?”. For you the business leader, I would ask you the same type of question about your baby (business) — “what kind of leader do I want to be?”