Tips & Lessons Learned
Tips & Lessons Learned
I hope these will help you along the way.
Most of these I’ve learned the hard way…
….and have the battle scars to prove it.
Try to do all your Actions in a “Good Way”,
as my friend Joseph Many-Horses Davis often sez.
The two big things:
Continue to focus on what they are paying you to do.
ü Do not do anything to risk your reputation or job
ü Do not blast emails to co-workers.
ü Be very careful about using company resources.
It might be ok, it might get you into trouble.
Don’t preach, or be moralistic and such.
It tends to tick people off, know what I mean?
Don’t argue with drunks — opps, that’s for a different conversation
Ø Work to create a dialog first, before you offer suggestions.
Ø Use a step-by-step approach. Build on small positives.
Ø Creating a dialog is a good thing.
Ø Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get your ideas implemented right away.
Ø Corporate and organizational bureaucracy is usually brutally slow.
Be mindful of how you define success
Ø It’s not always making your idea happen.
Ø Just bringing the topic up to one person is better than doing nothing.
Ø In some places you may wind up measuring in centimeters, not meters or miles
Keep a positive attitude
Ø Negative, nihilist, “doom and gloom” are generally not conducive to making good things happen.
Ø People are scared enough as it is, just about keeping their jobs
Ø The old saying is true:
§ “You attract more ants with honey than you do with vinegar”
Consider approaching work as a game
Ø Win one for Humanity and Mother Nature!
….with all due respect for Notre Dame and The Gipper
Ø Refer to Jack Stack’s book “The Great Game of Business”
Find out what is currently being done first
Ø They may be doing a lot of good stuff, you never know
Ø Check to see if they have a Sustainability department, or publish a Sustainability report.
Ø Find out if they have any Sustainable awards, or are in groups like CERES,
Ø If they are doing good things, don’t assume your fellow employees know about it.
I knew fellow liberal co-workers who had no idea that the company was doing some very Sustainable things – like being the 1st to collaborate with an environmental organizations, and had built LEED stores. Nor did they know that LEED would save the company money in the long run.
Be willing to compromise.
It’s not a bad thing.
Talk the language of your Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
It’s good to know the financial benefits of what you are suggesting.
It’s ok to be pragmatic and Machiavellian
Ø Find the decision makers
§ Human Resources? Facilities? Benefits?
Ø Being aware of both the Pro and the Con arguments is a good thing.
Ø It’s ok to acknowledge the potential downside.
Ø Learn the wants & needs, strengths and weakness of those who don’t share your views. It’s a game, after all.
Seek out other like-minded folks
Ø And not just co-workers and managers. Janitors, secretaries, etc are very valuable allies.
Ø Use discretion. Not the email system.
Find out what the barriers to your Action are:
Ø Corporate culture?
Ø Have people tried and failed in the past?
Ø Things may have changed since then, but they don’t know about it.
§ The top Socially Responsible Mutual Funds are now competitive with other funds.
In the past (15 – 50 years ago) you had to take a financial hit when you invested in them.
§ Technology has probably changed
§ Resources have probably become more expensive
Don’t be surprised to find “nay say’ers”
Ø Nit-pickers and other types of generally negative type people are common, and t be expected
Ø Folks is folks. Change is uncomfortable.
Ø Some folks just like being negative.
Ø Some folks just don’t have the courage to be optimistic
Ø For some, anything that may create more work is a bad thing.
Be aware that some people view Earth Day and such things as political
or radical, and thus are inappropriate in the workplace.
Ø I’m dead serious. I got blind-sided by this one. And you never know where it will come from.
The more the better
Ø Leadership has to be somewhat responsive to its employees and future employees.
Ø Thus, the more employees that bring up Sustainability, the more likely higher ups will take notice, and act on it.
Be careful about becoming labeled the ‘Green’ person or as extreme.
Ø This could have a negative impact on your reputation or your effectiveness.
Ø Not everybody has a positive image of Green.
Ø However, sometimes being the “Green” person can be a good thing.