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The Conference Board Presentation: Operationalizing ESG: Bridging the Gap Between Intention and Impact

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), is the new business must-have, emerging as a long-term business strategy for growth and risk protection. Both leaders and employees understand the increasing importance of ESG from a business, regulatory and cultural perspective, but are grappling with the complexity of the challenge to make it real and integrate it into the business. 

In this session at The Conference Board, we drew on our experience working with Fortune 250 companies on their ESG challenges to share how to operationalize ESG through the organizations, along with the key areas of focus to bridge the gap between intention and impact. Watch below: 


This transcript was automatically generated with artificial intelligence. It’s in the queue to go through a review with human eyes!

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:39:22

Welcome back, everyone. Next up, no environmental, social and governance or what we call ESG has emerged as a key long term business, better for growth and use protection. So in the next session, to find out how you can translate intention into impactful ESG, you’re welcome. She’s the principal research and customer value degree group, which will be sure to give us how we can make you more effective for your.

00:00:39:24 – 00:00:51:12

But over to you. Thanks, John. Let me know when I’m sharing the right screen. Okay.

00:00:51:15 – 00:00:57:24

Can you see what I’m sharing?

00:00:57:27 – 00:01:25:28

Wonderful. So. Hi, everyone. Good afternoon or good morning. Wherever you may be. Thank you for taking the time today to join me. And just a quick self introduction. Lending Wang and the principal Daggerwing group and I head up our team here in a pack. So personally, I’ve been really looking forward to sharing this. Our learnings with you today, for many reasons, such as my personal passion for doing right by people and by this planet.

00:01:26:01 – 00:01:47:18

And on a more strategic level, it’s just what we’re so excited about, this challenge that ESG brings, the complexity it presents, and our constant learnings as we go. Considering that each and every one of these, there are a huge domain of discovery that lies before us. So I’m really happy to be here on behalf of they’re going to share learnings.

00:01:47:21 – 00:02:13:29

But first of all, allow me a few minutes to kind of share with you who they’re going with, who we are. For those who may not have heard of us, we’re actually a global change consultancy that was founded 20 years ago in North America, always with a focus on the people side of change. Now, in the last three years alone, we’ve been kept busy working with clients in over 35 countries to just do a change right on so many aspects of organization change.

00:02:14:02 – 00:02:43:17

Clients such as PepsiCo, HP, General Mills, Takeda, FedEx, Ethereum, Dropbox and we really, really do work closely with them on a long term basis to do change right now. So what kind of change is it that we drive? Exactly? Our kinds of projects. We span across an array of transformation agendas such as digital, cultural. We’ve got M&A spinoffs, operating models, organizational design, leadership refresh.

00:02:43:24 – 00:03:11:02

So we really do work closely with them across this. We will we go from helping business leaders think about what their purpose, their priorities are through executive alignment, all the way through to organizational transformation, then to culture change experiences for employees in order to ensure that these priorities are eventually effectively realized through a mindset shift and behavioral change in our every day.

00:03:11:04 – 00:03:44:17

So what this means also is we’d like to share with you how we have seen ESG priorities emerge across these same areas as well in recent years. And here’s a few examples of how we’ve been helping our Fortune 500 clients try to do right with their ESG priorities. So starting with a finance service multinational company just earlier this year, we’ve been helping this financial services client establish the vision strategy, priorities, working principles, metrics of success of their recently formed ESG Solutions group.

00:03:44:22 – 00:04:19:16

And now this group is now driving action and accountability across the organization with clear progress trackers. And of course, before ESG became a thing, we were helping a lot of our clients look at their debt and sort of diversity, equity and inclusion strategy programs, execution roll out. For example, we help an FMB and MNC create and communicate what the strategy looked like, and we got them to activate the change through their leaders, H.R. leaders, their own business leaders, as well as a very strong champion network that’s integrated across the globe.

00:04:19:18 – 00:04:55:08

What’s helped another consumer packaged goods company support women in leadership initiatives with help other global organizations develop their DNI programs, which do get rolled out at the global level with local flexibility. So that’s some of the things that we’ve done in the in the AI part of undress. Now for global Pharma, this was really exciting. We’ve been helping activate the leaders and employees ownership in the organization to help effect internal and external stakeholder excitement about what their Protect Our Planet campaign would look like.

00:04:55:10 – 00:05:31:18

So obviously that at the executive alignment is helping leaders understand how they can own that change and how it trickles down to the employee experience. But the one that we’re most excited about right now is one consumer packaged goods company and multinational company that is looking to operationalize their ESG strategy across the entire organization. So every single day we’re learning so much about the executive alignment, leadership decisions, attention that they have from long term value creation to short term accountability, organizational transformation.

00:05:31:18 – 00:05:53:02

What would the jobs look like redesigned for closer, more accountable cross-functional collaboration? Also, culture change. What this is look like in the every day for your employees because it needs to involve everybody. So we do have so much to learn and we really look forward to sharing that with you. Which brings us to really what our promise to you today would be.

00:05:53:04 – 00:06:18:03

So in this time, you’ll recognize the critical role leaders and others would play in driving successful outcomes. But we want to go beyond this to share the macro complexities and challenges we look at when we’re translating ESG intention into impact. And today, our aim is that you walk away with a few key tips and thoughts starters on how to start realizing your ESG ambition.

00:06:18:05 – 00:06:52:16

So let’s get going. So as a starting point, we know this, and that’s probably why most of you are here today is that ESG is everywhere. So you’ve probably seen how two years ago in 2020 alone, investment in ESG accelerated dramatically in part to the pandemic. Global warming, social unrest and many other triggers. Now, did you know that $51.1 billion was poured into sustainable funds in 2020 alone, compared to less than 5 billion just a year before?

00:06:52:18 – 00:07:18:10

So they’re going we’ve been keeping a close eye on this for quite a few years now, focusing on helping our clients understand what ESG means to them and how they can bring it to life. And as we’ve seen, it’s just going to keep gaining momentum and the rising expectations is that it will it should it must have growing impact on organizations, performance and results.

00:07:18:12 – 00:07:45:12

However, we also know at the same time that it’s not easy and the risk of getting it wrong is high. Given this accelerated need for companies to have to be seen as doing something. And, you know, companies are making serious ESG commitments and investments. They’re conducting more reporting. They are disclosing more information. They’re updating shareholders more frequently about ESG progress during their quarterly earnings call.

00:07:45:14 – 00:08:14:06

However, if they cannot deliver on what they’re promised, the penalty of failure, as we know, is great. So just think about what happens, right? If we lose employees trust, top talent will leave and we lose customers selective in their choices. Our sales would drop. And once goodwill has been damaged and trust is lost, that recovery process will be a really steep climb, both for the organization and the leaders as well.

00:08:14:09 – 00:08:38:10

So that’s why we believe in doing change right at the first time. And we start with a very simple premise that’s No. One size fits all solution exists. This is what we always share with clients, and I’m sure many of you here absolutely share that again and again with the people you work with closely. We have clients who come to us seeking existing families for past success that they’ve seen us create for our clients.

00:08:38:12 – 00:09:07:22

They also look to benchmarks that they can adopt immediately into the organization. But then they soon realized that they too, have very different ESG ambitions and starting points from other companies. For no to no to ambitions are the same. So what do we mean by ESG ambitions in that case? Right. So for us, they’re going when we say organizations have different ESG ambitions, we’re talking about where you would be on the ESG, long term sustainability spectrum.

00:09:07:24 – 00:09:36:16

So the idea that the very starting point we have awareness. Everyone here knows that ESG is a must have is starting to. And now it’s about making sense of what this means to your people in your organization, and especially for employees. Most of them are concerned about the social agenda. What does it mean for me? Compliance. Now, this is where we see companies exist in terms of compliance, making sure that their policies, their practices, reporting processes.

00:09:36:23 – 00:10:10:24

They’re all seen as meeting some standards that are of ESG regulations, which is also tricky because we know those are evolving even as we speak. Now, implementation gets a bit more interesting because it is really about identifying and actioning on specific ESG business initiatives that are more about business results and performance. So probably some of you already have these conversations, be it around packaging, sustainable packaging, responsible sourcing, basically looking at greening your supply chain, for example.

00:10:11:01 – 00:10:40:01

So a lot of these are things that you create workstreams to look at solving each of these problems and making sure that you implement it. And then integration, that’s where we start to see more leading companies reside and they start to do more of that, which is that it goes beyond just business processes to look at everything that drives the organizational performance capabilities, processes, structure, operating model, KPIs, priorities, ways of working.

00:10:40:04 – 00:11:05:29

So when we think about embedding ESG across organizations, what does that look like as part of an integrated whole? So Purpose Driven, however, is our favorite thing here at that going. It’s about looking at what ESG would look and feel like at the heart of the organization in terms of your ethos, your beliefs, your true north and your cultural DNA, and how your people live and breathe ESG.

00:11:06:01 – 00:11:27:15

So at this point, I would like to pose to you all a question, which is where does your organization, where is your organization on the spectrum? So at this point, I’m going to get you all to own favorite thing here. It’s about looking at what. So I’m going to get you all to go to your poll. And if I could get you all to see it under live discussion.

00:11:27:15 – 00:11:50:10

And Sean, help me out here. I’m not clear enough, but if you look at your life discussion under poll, you’ll actually see the question there about where is your organization on the ESG spectrum? That’s right. Name. So attendees take a couple of seconds just to cast a vote. And there we were. The last two years I was struggling.

00:11:50:13 – 00:12:44:21

All right. But you. Great. Thank you. My name is I think voting is still going on. But right now, when you think about 67% of votes, that is cast was lacking awareness. We have 33% for streaming. So would you like to comment on that? I would just be a bit longer for more users. Okay, Now we’re coming in, so now it’s a little bit more balanced out, but we are still leading in terms of lacking awareness.

00:12:44:21 – 00:13:09:01

That’s 29%. We have 22% awareness and 11% for both integration and a very Asian myself, I don’t know. So and 6% for the other two choices as well. Yeah, sure. I it took me a while to find the pulse for myself, so probably will give people a few more seconds for them to see if there are any more votes coming in.

00:13:09:01 – 00:13:28:00

And then and then we can go from there. That’s okay. Absolutely. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a look at a few things that’s in the chat. While everyone is still voting and finding your your pull vote. I also want to mention that we actually do have a fellow Daigo Winger that’s in our chat group. Her name is meeting.

00:13:28:00 – 00:13:54:07

So in case you’re wondering, who is this meeting? Who’s responding to some of her thoughts? That’s actually my colleague. And what we’d like to do is as people are sharing their thoughts, we really would like everyone to to share the learnings as they have because this is a new domain. So we will be with be sharing her thoughts in response to.

00:13:54:10 – 00:14:20:23

Okay. Shawn, do you think it’s okay that we proceed and look at the final results? Stunning. All right. We still have 39% of the votes going towards lacking awareness. All right. And then we have awareness. That’s 17% integration and I don’t know, 13%, the rest of about less than 10%. Would you like to comment on this results? I would love to.

00:14:20:25 – 00:14:50:06

First of all, for those who have voted that their organization is on the integration and purpose driven and which is more towards the long term sustainability part, kudos to you. I mean, it’s really heartening to see people who are already talking about embedding ESG agenda and priorities at the very heart of your organization. Now we’re going to come in with also the humility of saying that the humbleness to saying that we are learning as we go because of just how new having all three in one would look like.

00:14:50:13 – 00:15:14:08

So for those who are at that, please, please, please do share your learnings as we go along in this journey today. And I’m sure it’ll benefit a lot of the others. Now, 39% talked about lacking awareness and that comes as no surprise to us because to be honest, like a lot of the organizations are looking at the eye, they’re looking at each ask, they’re looking at all sorts of transformation.

00:15:14:08 – 00:15:39:11

That’s about putting people at the heart of it. But ESG itself, beyond the annual report aspect of it, it is quite a foreign concept. So it’s not surprising that about 42% now are actually lacking awareness as to where are you. But hopefully by the end of this session you’ll be able to start looking out and start assessing to get a sense of where is your organization thereafter.

00:15:39:18 – 00:16:01:01

And of course, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to me after this. For those who have awareness of 17% awareness, 4% implementation, it’s quite surprising to see that there is a bit of a gap between awareness and integration, where you have people 17% talking about, Yes, we know ESG is around there and now we’re looking at what does this mean for us?

00:16:01:04 – 00:16:26:24

And then 4% on compliance and 4% on implementation, and then this get to integration of purpose. That’s quite rare because normally we do see a lot of organization placing emphasis on compliance and taking the boxes, not so that that’s fine because no matter where you are on this journey, we hope that today we’ll get to share with you on how you can push your agenda along to the right side of the spectrum.

00:16:26:24 – 00:16:59:29

Okay. So once again, we understand most of you all here are maybe our leaders in your capacity. So let’s talk about where, like no matter where your organization is on this journey, what is this pivotal role that you can play as h.r. So when we look at what compliance what what compliance means, right? And so driving awareness, i’m not going to touch too much on that really is that we know that for a while now, like I said, DIY or CSR, they usually fall within those remit.

00:16:59:29 – 00:17:25:20

So we’re not going to touch too much on that. But the compliance part is where as H.R. leaders, you would be looking at your policies and practices to look at LGBTQ rights and diversity. How do you protect people from sexual misconduct or assault or as little as microaggressions in the workplace and what affects their wages? What does that look like when it talks about equity in your organization?

00:17:25:23 – 00:17:43:07

So that’s the compliance aspect of it. And there are sources out there that give you a sense of what compliance checklist should be for your policy. So if you haven’t started looking at that, my recommendation is that you can go out there and there’s sources out there for sure. Of course, I would be happy to work with you on that as well.

00:17:43:09 – 00:18:16:29

Now, the implementation part is where H.R. can play a very interesting role as well. It’s about playing this key role in the new and existing workstream, as we talked about earlier. So ESG priorities, be it about environment, health and safety, accountability for packaging, so on. So it’s making sure that you are always involved in putting the checks and balances in place when a new workstream emerges to make sure that it is putting in is putting as it is putting g at the heart of their success, like what?

00:18:16:29 – 00:18:53:03

What success looks like, but more importantly, under implementation. I want to call out this point about redesign jobs and incentives and what does that look like? So earlier on I mentioned that everyone should be involved in ESG pivot. At some point, however, there will be people in the front line whose jobs will be impacted first. I’ll touch on that a little bit more, but it’s about the way your role, the way you need to start thinking about what your end product will look like, what your sales numbers should account for.

00:18:53:07 – 00:19:25:03

So, well, i’ll give an example of that. But that is something that h.r. You will be seeing a lot more of in the next years to come, next few months and years to come. Integration. Now, that’s interesting. So for the ones who tick the box for integration, i’d love to hear your thoughts in the chat, which is about how do you focus on injecting ESG conduct behaviors, values into the way you assess performance into the everyday ways of working so if you are already there, please, I’d love to hear your thoughts later.

00:19:25:04 – 00:19:55:02

We can have a discussion about that too. Now, the last bit about Purpose Driven. Now this is the critical role that needs to play and all in it, which is about how do you refresh the employer value proposition to your staff, to your talent, to keep them at the heart of change, to make ESG meaningful for them? So how do you begin to look at what is ESG for your business, for your leaders, for your people, managers down to your employees?

00:19:55:02 – 00:20:23:05

How do you enable, excite, educate them so that they have a fundamental shift? So that is such an exciting state to be looking forward to as part of your role. And once again, those who tick the box for purpose driven, please do share your thoughts. So let’s go back to then. Why are we here today? Right. We want to share some working stories about some of these challenges to make it real and then go beyond that to give you some of the tips.

00:20:23:12 – 00:21:04:19

So allow us to share what the entire piece of ESG ambitions, why is so challenging? Right. And that’s simply because it is systematically complex. And that’s a big truth. ESG ambitions. It’s incredibly complex. So let’s begin with recognizing a lot of it being about a big systemic issue that is beyond your company’s immediate control. And then if you think about it, when you have an organization who is aspirational enough to take on the ESG challenge to effect an eco systemic change, how do you even begin to balance the long term value creation with the short term accountability people are looking for?

00:21:04:21 – 00:21:36:18

Be about profit, be about performance, be about results, and then we know it needs to involve everybody. But how do you make it tangibly, humanly so to everybody? It puts pressure also on making sure you’re partnering with the right external stakeholders along the entire value chain. So that takes a lot of review and refresh along the way. And also it takes a lot of pivoting to change the way we collaborate with with others across different departments.

00:21:36:18 – 00:21:59:10

And I mentioned that earlier on your promise, I’ll go into the examples of what this looks like. So here’s a couple of reality checks to give you a sense of what we mean. Okay. So starting with the big system issue, beyond your control. So we love to share the story about this global food company client that we’re working with, the one that wants to operationalize ESG across the entire organization.

00:21:59:12 – 00:22:28:23

And for them, like many other organizations, ESG being ESG accountable means trying to figure out the ecosystem in which you thrive. So in this case, the food system. Now, that’s a big system to be thinking about. This is beyond a company’s immediate control and remit. For example, as a food company, you’re suddenly charged resourcing responsible ingredients that come from farmers who practice regenerative agriculture.

00:22:28:25 – 00:23:01:04

And this means that for you to get hold of that, you need to think about addressing governmental regulatory level types of issues. You need to take on the mantle to drive momentum by creating a common platform with other leaders in the same industry, just to lobby the voices to be heard. And then, you know, if we think about the starting point, then if your organization wants to take on that challenge of effecting systemic change, how willing, how far upstream is it willing to go?

00:23:01:06 – 00:23:26:11

So in this instance, our client, however, is looking to do much more. So the science about regenerative agriculture. Let me tell you a little bit more about that. And for those who are in the food industry, I’m sure you read this resonates with you strongly. The science is there. How you can ensure sustainable farming. The science, the evidence is there, but there is no clear way to measure the outcomes yet.

00:23:26:13 – 00:23:57:16

So the reason why you have the satellite image to begin with is our food company client has taken it upon themselves to try their best to help farmers figure out how much they are really impacting on greenhouse gas reduction when they practice agricultural regenerative agriculture. So they are exploring partnerships with satellite companies to do just that, to be able to figure a way out, to measure that as a critical proof point that you’ll spend.

00:23:57:16 – 00:24:23:17

See, and why ESG, why sustainable, why climate sustainability is so important and the impact it can bring to people and makes people visualize what that outcome could look like. So, yes, big system issue that may be beyond your control, but take some time to think outside the box. If you’re willing to go upstream and you’ll be able to find other ways to help that along.

00:24:23:20 – 00:24:50:24

Now, what about this idea of misaligned leadership incentives? So what we mean here is that when we think about misaligned leadership incentives, so let’s take a step back and just recognize that leaders are human, too. And a lot of them now are under pressure because they have to make tough decisions. That covers detention of long term benefits for all versus a few short term benefits for few.

00:24:50:26 – 00:25:15:24

So you’re probably familiar with the Unilever story, I’m sure, which is when the CEO about three years ago made this video, it had this determined expression of the long term value creation model that Unilever is going to focus on. And I’m sure you all have seen as early as this year, there has been mounting pressure for Unilever to actually show what the sustainability focus is truly like and how it benefits the business.

00:25:15:27 – 00:25:40:21

So the reading of articles and you see the investors in Unilever, the ones who were interviewed, a lot of them, many of them have praised Unilever for the focus of putting ESG issues front and center. But half of them have asked how would Unilever balance business financial performance? They’re seeking to understand what are the fundamental drivers of ESG driven success.

00:25:40:24 – 00:26:16:18

So what we are observing time and again is that the actions that climate level and at the social stratosphere in as it is involving investments, but organizations are under pressure to achieve these goals while while giving the same level of profitability. So how do we protect our leaders when they make these trade offs and they make these hard decisions about what they need to do today in order to improve and benefit on the long run?

00:26:16:21 – 00:26:42:23

So another issue is that organizations can predict, they can they can expect, but they can’t guarantee consumers behaviors will change that significantly. So how do we how do we ensure leaders don’t get punished if consumers aren’t steering to ESG inspired consumption fast enough? So how do we protect long term focus with the short term gain? Another one. This is what I promise you.

00:26:42:23 – 00:27:21:19

I’ll give you a little bit more stories about what increased cross-functional collaboration looks like. I know you all talk about that now. Increased collaboration, enhanced group say improved ways of working with cross departments. But what we see for cross-functional collaboration now, it’s about the idea of focused agendas. So take our global pharma client, for example. Their scientists and their engineers are working closely together more than they’ve ever done before to effect what they call the sustainability by design principle, which is when it comes to the product lifecycle, how do you look at consciously reducing carbon water wastage?

00:27:21:21 – 00:27:39:29

So the scientists, they need to think about how stable the product’s ingredients should be and the engineers and the manufacturers need to think about how to build those products. So this changes the way they think about their own role in the organization. It increases the accountability they hold to one another with all the new sense checks in place.

00:27:40:01 – 00:28:01:17

So that’s the former example. But what about any branded goods company your brand manager should be thinking right now is not they should be thinking about it soon. This is how they may be thinking. I want my packaging to reflect green packaging. So I’m looking at something that involves a type of grass or grass that’s true grass or sugarcane.

00:28:01:19 – 00:28:30:17

And before such decisions can be made about what that package good would look like to be presented in the marketplace, they need to make sure their supply chain colleagues, procurement colleagues did their sourcing colleagues can obtain these raw materials in the first place and within the budget they’re recorded. So given how disrupted the supply chain is at this moment, it becomes an intense ongoing conversation between all sides of the organization.

00:28:30:19 – 00:29:02:21

So how do you even begin to think about what this focus agenda would look like for cross-functional collaboration? So, which finally brings us to the last section about how do we get it right. Our challenge is really about addressing ESG complexities that would enable your colleagues and you yourselves as our leaders, start looking at what’s important for your organization and your people and how they translate those intentions into tangible actions and accountability.

00:29:02:23 – 00:29:25:27

So today, we’d like to share seven key tips for operationalizing your organization’s ESG strategy. Now, for each and every one of these, we’ll be sharing with you 3 to 4 points on each slide. However, I’m just going to share with you one or two on each one that is of utmost interest to me. And of course, you’ve got other questions along the way.

00:29:25:29 – 00:29:46:21

Please put them in and we’ll answer that later. Or just like I said, reach out later. So let’s start with Tip number one or the challenge, this idea of the selling ESG confusion and commit from the top. So going back to confusion being caused by the complexity of the entire thing, like I keep talking about packaging because it’s tangible.

00:29:46:21 – 00:30:06:12

It’s it’s tangible in your hands. You know how it feels like, you know what it looks like. You know that at the end of the day, you can dispose it in the recycling bin. But if I were to move it one step up and talk about greenhouse gases, how do we even begin to make that tangible for the everyday person in your organization?

00:30:06:15 – 00:30:40:02

How do we connect the dots from concept to goals to action and help your colleagues dispel the confusion, whatever ESG ambition you may hold? So what we’ve learned is that when we think about ESG, not many people take time to take a step back to really look at the different aspects of E and S and G, to see what matters most to your organization based on your Northstar, based on your purpose.

00:30:40:05 – 00:31:05:12

So how do you begin to drive that conversation with your client, with with the context of your organizational growth, linking it with your purpose and your strategy and your culture? And of course, we all know if leaders don’t declare this at the very from top down to say this is where we’re going to go and this is how is going to impact, this is how we’ll take care of you along the way, then it’s going to be really difficult.

00:31:05:12 – 00:31:28:12

So the first two points I’m not worried about that. One I want to touch on is about humanize topics and language with stories. And what I mean by that is the climate stuff like diversity stuff. They themselves are really topics that you need to dive deep into. Of course, as an average Joe, we may look at it and we go, Yes, we want to celebrate gender equality.

00:31:28:18 – 00:31:51:04

We want to do everything right by us to reduce wastage so that we do right by our planet. But there are there are actual specialized topics about this, and there are long term specializations. They just keep growing as you learn more about it. So for us to humanize the topic is recognizing that some people just don’t know what this means.

00:31:51:07 – 00:32:33:01

So how do we meet them where they are and then start to explain and visualize the aspirations in a way they understand what this means for you. So, for example, once again, other clients, they have these dashboards. I’m sure some of you have heard of Power BI. If not, it is a platform that’s accessible to everyone in the in the organization, and they have a dashboard that reveals electricity usage and so small it’s so, it’s so common, the notion, but it’s very seldom that you see organizations that actually make an attempt to make it accessible to everybody and they bring it down to the level of not just your plant, but personal usage of your

00:32:33:01 – 00:32:57:13

computer and your digital storage as such. So this is to help people really visualize and understand, Wow, everything I’m doing is relatable to me. I can have an impact. So how do you actually humanize the topics in a way they understand it and how do you relate it and visualize it? And this idea of the second or the last point and I want to the last point here, which is of interest to me is your business case.

00:32:57:16 – 00:33:16:19

It’s not enough to set up a business case with figures and numbers. We need to talk about visualizing it and ultimately where it lands. So for example, if you say if we don’t do this, planet Earth will die, everyone’s going, okay, But, you know, government is talking about 20, 30. It’s a few years away. It doesn’t matter to me.

00:33:16:22 – 00:33:40:15

But that’s not true. If we start to say Mother Earth is really sick and she won’t produce enough, and because she won’t produce enough underprivileged communities would be affected. But eventually so will you. So we start to connect the dots in a way that’s tangible to help people visualize what that impact would be. Why we need to change now in a change narrative.

00:33:40:17 – 00:34:08:06

That is what we really need to focus on doing. Take a step back and clarify the direction and what it looks like for you as an organization and for your people. And then the second tip here, we want to talk about prioritization and building an ambitious staggered roadmap. What we realized when we’re facilitating change journeys across organizations is that the lack of prioritization at the very beginning simply overwhelms people.

00:34:08:11 – 00:34:33:03

You have to do everything at once. So that’s how you feel anyway. So how do we start to signal change with so many people involved? For this particular one here, I like to focus on the holistic roadmap and the waypoints for celebration. So when we think about priorities it’s not enough to prioritize activities, you need to take a step back and think about the bigger outcomes that you’re prioritizing.

00:34:33:03 – 00:35:10:11

So we don’t need to go into that too much. I think a lot of you are always prioritizing what’s urgent and what’s important and what’s impactful. But what we want to say is that when we think about a holistic roadmap to provide the rationale behind activities and non activities, it’s saying knowing what you need to do and being very clear about what you need to not do so often enough, it’s very tempting for us to try and cover everything in the name of Eat as org, but then you realize sometimes some things are good for your organization and your people, and some things are maybe not that important.

00:35:10:14 – 00:35:33:04

So how do you actually create the decision to go, go, go. No, go criteria and the rationale and the principles that helps you decide that. So going back to clarity on what your priorities are, what your desired outcomes are, think about the rationale behind each one and explain to people very clearly why they’re part of your roadmap or not part of your roadmap.

00:35:33:06 – 00:36:03:01

Another thing about roadmaps is that it should be well-paced, and if it isn’t well-paced, it’s just going to cause anxiety. So make sure you stagger the roadmap by identifying the different stages of change, and you need to make it tangible and feasible for everyone and also fun. Which is why for us, we always try to get our clients to think about the waypoints that allow people to celebrate, how far they come before they continue to next journey to get to where they want to go.

00:36:03:03 – 00:36:31:16

So make sure you put these checkpoints in place to reflect at any given point in a very long term journey. All right. Tip three Building the engine that accelerates impact ESG is a huge remit, which then requires a high level of education, expertise and empowerment. So that’s exactly what the change engine is about. It’s about the engine that has all of these.

00:36:31:18 – 00:37:01:04

So for this one here, what I like to do is I like to talk about the first point and the last point. So single owner being supported by a sustainability board, it’s the simple thing. Back to what I said, it’s a complex issue. You should have subject matter experts on your sustainability board that knows everything. There is to know about environment, everything to know about social impact, everything to know about governance.

00:37:01:06 – 00:37:24:22

And you have them as the advisors that help you navigate what is new and help you bring in the new solutions and learnings. But here’s the cold, hard truth If your CEO doesn’t own this in the first place, it’s never going to happen. So that single leader must be endorsed and empowered by business leaders. Otherwise, it’s really hard to activate this.

00:37:24:27 – 00:37:53:01

That is the truth. The other thing is that there will always be strong, passionate individuals in your organization who want to get involved, who want to help innovate, who want to help make change. And they are determined to facilitate these conversations if given the opportunity. So use them, find out who they are, and start putting them in strong positions of facilitation between different groups, different commitments, different functions.

00:37:53:03 – 00:38:23:15

Give them a chance to be the guardian of your ESG agenda. Give them a chance to show other people just what great looks like. So we can get these different pieces into the change engine to keep it going and is really going to help them tag along quite strongly. Now, point for why we have this idea about the tension between long term value creation and short term accountability, making sure that leaders don’t get punished in the results for showing fast enough.

00:38:23:18 – 00:38:46:08

So it goes back to some leaders saying we can talk about it, but I don’t want to be too accountable. So let’s kind of muddle our way through in terms of what it looks like or we can say, you know what it is, we really need to meet our profit, our profit bottom line this year. So why don’t we just kind of start with a little bit and then focus on ESG a lot more?

00:38:46:15 – 00:39:17:11

So these are conversations that we are hearing again and again when we’re having like leadership forums. So what does this mean for us? Right. We talk about the for the four points here about balancing incentives to reward a mix of traditional and ESG performance. But my interest is really about getting leaders to to so to consider and present to others why their business model and practices are sustainable and granting leaders some relief.

00:39:17:13 – 00:39:40:25

So when we think about getting leaders to consider and present to others wider business model practices are sustainable. What we mean as leaders need to take a step back and start really thinking about what is their personal why behind priorities. Instead of taking business criteria boxes, they actually need to have a personal, passionate meaning behind why they’re driving, what they’re doing.

00:39:40:27 – 00:40:07:10

And if we think about leaders who really want to drive it, how do we afford them some relief? Like I said earlier on, how do we afford them? The permission to make critical tradeoffs when they need to? So this has a lot to do with executive leadership alignment, leadership charters with principles around what their measures of success need to look like and principles for leading change in terms of achieving ESG impact.

00:40:07:13 – 00:40:38:15

So your CEOs should not be doing this alone, he or she, or they should be surrounded by a group of strong leaders willing to advocate those willing to stand by decisions that are doing right by your people in the long run. And that’s how you can help them succeed. Let them let them have permission to fail fast and learn fast themselves instead of expecting them to have the right answers all the time.

00:40:38:18 – 00:40:59:25

And then that brings us to the next trip next year, which is about the tiered learning and engagement model. Now, I’m not going to touch on this one too much, but it’s really going back to how one size fits all. Solutions do not exist because the starting points for all companies are not the same, same for everyone. Everyone’s starting point and priorities are not the same two so far.

00:40:59:25 – 00:41:34:20

This one here I would like to call out everyone’s focus on deepening understanding and creating management learning experiences. What I by that is for everyone, they have a different way of relating to the outcomes of ESG or the lack of outcomes. If you don’t it and it’s being able to start where they are to see how they understand it and start to deepen their understanding and give them a sense of ownership and pride when they realize there’s something that they can do, there’s a difference that they can make.

00:41:34:23 – 00:41:56:15

And as for the manager learning experiences, it has been so tough on people managers. A lot of the managers are once again expected to lead from the front when they themselves are still trying to figure out what it all means. So how do we help them have this immersive learning experience so they themselves can start to enable and educate their teams as well?

00:41:56:17 – 00:42:28:01

So we can start going through and recognizing the different profiles. And I know many organizations, many of you probably are doing it already, which is recognizing different profiles, different appetite, aptitude, starting points for your different employee groups. So there are certain aspects that you want to tie to these profiles to talk about appetite and knowledge for ESG and triggers and signals that they need to see in order to move them along the education curve and the excitement curve.

00:42:28:04 – 00:42:54:04

All right. Almost there, everyone, for this one here, articulating and embedding clear mindset and behavior changes. I almost feel like we don’t really need to talk about this too much because if you attend enough of these seminaries, which I’m sure a lot of you do, you will have heard it again and again. How do you pivot mindset and mindset shifts and make sure that you have these nudges in your every day to effect change so as not to spend too much on this one here?

00:42:54:07 – 00:43:21:03

I just want to call out the learn as you go mindset because this is fundamental to ESG, and here’s why We have to acknowledge all of us here, as I mentioned before, we’re on a learning journey ourselves. That’s why everyone who’s already at the integration and Purpose Driven front share your working knowledge because we’re all learning no one has tried or tested answers yet.

00:43:21:05 – 00:43:44:17

So how do we get people to realize I have an opportunity to provide some answers here? And a lot of that comes from giving people the chance to experiment. And what we mean by that is if we give people a chance to experiment with things that they’re doing at the moment to see how they can do things differently to improve it, then they may come and say, This is our learning.

00:43:44:20 – 00:44:21:04

But here’s the second part of the key call out. It’s not enough to implement that. It’s also making sure that you’re protecting your employees by letting them start on something small, some some experiences, some experiments which are of lower risk. I’ll give a good example. You have another manager taking care of ten products and you want to say to this manager going, Hey, we’d like you to think about how you want to tweak the value chain of one of the products to see how it can be better aligned with our need for social accountability.

00:44:21:07 – 00:44:44:01

Once again, you know, addressing environmental crisis issues and obviously governments and truth in terms of governance, in terms of full or transparency, but will say to them, of the ten, which are the ones which are not as risky to try, and you let them choose the one they feel, okay, this is not a high earning product. Let’s experiment with this one first.

00:44:44:01 – 00:45:08:22

In terms of the value chains, most of the sourcing in terms of the planning go to market strategy and let them try that. So if the profit margin dips a little bit because of that, they don’t get punished for trying it out in the first place. So how do you inject the learn as you go experimental mindset? By letting people experiment with things where they don’t feel punished?

00:45:08:27 – 00:45:35:29

If they don’t, they don’t succeed the first time around. And of course, like I said before, they will always be passionate individuals. So how do you give them opportunities to step up and start to define certain roles that they want to play in the organization structure for ESG at the heart of it going forward? Okay. And that brings us almost to the last bit, which is about breaking down measures into smaller outcomes.

00:45:36:01 – 00:46:05:03

Now, we’re not going to lie. This is an area we’re still discovering because it’s something new and people haven’t started looking at what are the successful measures that effectively track progress across E. S and G? But we do know it is about going beyond reporting cadence to break big goals into meaningful little ones every single day. How do you break the big action into the little actions so that everyone can own a bit of it?

00:46:05:05 – 00:46:24:12

So helping our clients crystallize what looks like, what success looks like for their business, it’s just the start of the journey and we know long term goals and the North Star is what keep us focused in the general direction. But as long as and finally in ESG, though, as long as we stay focused on the long term, no one is obligated to be accountable for the short term.

00:46:24:14 – 00:46:59:07

So if we think about people looking at, it’s 2030, it’s only, you know, it’s a few years away, we don’t need to worry about it. That’s not going to get any actions going. So we have to make it presently accountable for from here on. So the question here is, if you have back to the greenhouse gas one, because that’s the biggest one that people find really ambiguous and hard to how to kind of address usually is that if we want to to reduce it by 2030 by, let’s say, 45%, what does that look like year by year, quarter by quarter, month by month?

00:46:59:10 – 00:47:25:28

Team by team, function by function? How do you begin to make sure it’s not just by business verticals, but it’s by segments and, functions, so that each one has a clear KPI of what they need to do to contribute to the bigger goal. Now, I know that this happens to a lot of people when it comes to, you know, initiative, strategic imperatives, initiatives.

00:47:26:01 – 00:47:54:01

It is done by people, it’s done by business leaders, it’s done by task managers, it’s done by everyone, this target and the KPIs target. And so how do we start to shift that accountability into ESG? How do break it into tiny pieces so that little everybody has a part to play in it? So in the time that we’ve been given, this is all the time we have for the learnings we’ve gleaned from our experiences.

00:47:54:03 – 00:48:20:19

Like I said, we ourselves are always unveiling new challenges, complexities and all. So it is it is through working closely with clients and hopefully partners such as yourself that we really begin to unpack this as a whole. So for now, one thing to really remember is this, which is that these tips, no matter where you are on that journey we talked about, if you start to look at the little pieces here, it will help you no matter where you are.

00:48:20:21 – 00:48:46:24

And so that brings us to our the end of our learning session today, giving them that was certainly very insightful or it must be to take a few questions here. We have about 10 minutes to go. I know you’re going to talk about this over the past also, but we have a question here from C2. So City would like to know to get more information on the compliance and implementation aspects of USG.

00:48:46:26 – 00:49:17:20

You would like to know whether you would recommend any prescriptive benchmarks to us implementing this. So as mentioned earlier on the floor, there actually C2 is its C2, C2, there are definitely they are already very highly available compliance and implementation checklists and criteria is out there. We’re not going to pretend to be the experts on that because our focus is really on the whole holistic organizational change.

00:49:17:22 – 00:49:39:04

The which of these are prescribed benchmarks. For example, when we think about it from I’m not sure if you’re asking from my H.R. perspective, but we mentioned before a good one would be the global diversity equity. So if you’re from a perspective starting from a social perspective, there is already a global diversity equity and inclusion report that’s out there.

00:49:39:04 – 00:50:15:00

It’s literally called GDP. So it’s the benchmarks and they give fantastic global standards on what that would look like for your people when it comes to implementing practices and taking the evaluation checkmarks for compliance. And that’s from a HHR perspective. Maybe I have a question. Why? So it’s a global perspective. So how can organization and taking into account the connected global workforce to got into their organizations and their employees situated around the world?

00:50:15:07 – 00:50:41:00

So how do you actually implement a global U.S. strategy taking into account different cultures, different experiences of people living in different countries, all of these disparate conditions to consider? How do you actually come to get to to put together a successful global ESG strategy? Well, that’s that’s a fantastic question. So we believe in both top down and bottom up.

00:50:41:03 – 00:51:11:25

So many of you all who have gone through the typical globalization strategy that’s been happening the last decade alone, you’ll realize that when you’ve got one strategy that’s being driven from a particular region, a lot of there’s a lot of resistance, like you said, because of the culture nuances, the different types of resistance. And what we realize is when we’re building a let’s just say let’s just say an employer value proposition that puts people at the heart of it takes into account what they need to think about in terms of ESG.

00:51:11:28 – 00:51:33:29

And we we recommend really giving each and every region, each and every market a chance to voice their opinion as to what those aspirations look like for them. And then we collate that and we bring it to the key decision makers that should also be across geographic representation of the ones who are going to be driving it from top down.

00:51:34:01 – 00:52:03:10

So we don’t usually say, let’s start from this region and then this drive it out. Global is really about going in and collecting it from bottom up and then looking at what are the best aspirations across and then building that, creating the general principles, the overarching principles to drive it globally and then identify what are the different pieces that you can start to look at localizing with the market when it comes to implementation.

00:52:03:12 – 00:52:21:27

Another thing that we do do when we’re looking at global strategy is we don’t just ask what the aspirations are. We obviously ask like, what are the well, what’s going to stop you from getting there and what are the special nuances We need to note when we’re looking at your region, at the at the make up that you have in your location, in your office.

00:52:21:29 – 00:52:47:17

So when we do that and we bring that to the strategy partner, we already a strong sense of potential pain points that will come across along the way. We encourage attendees to pose any questions you have. Please take the opportunity right about 8 minutes left and maybe I can just jump in again. And perhaps you would dispel this notion that I’m proposing.

00:52:47:20 – 00:53:19:14

ESG compromises a company’s financial performance competitiveness, which you want to dispel this notion that I’m putting forward to you. Wow. That is a that’s a really that one is such a low loaded, low point. Not because what I said earlier on is that in the short run and in the short term, for sure, that’s why I talked about long term value creation versus short term accountability, which is the Unilever story I shared earlier on.

00:53:19:18 – 00:53:59:15

What’s happened is that the CEO, Alan, is now being asked to say, show the proof and where’s the proof in the pudding? You know, you talk about ESG imperatives, but but, you know, I know you’ve you’ve actually had some profit this last quarter, but how do you keep it going? What’s your fundamentals for success? So there there is definitely this this area of tension between at what point if you really throw your heart and soul into ESG and bringing it to life in all the aspects of the organizational process, at what point do you think, All right, I need to start showing the profits to come out from my investments in there.

00:53:59:22 – 00:54:27:21

I mean, that’s that’s still now such a critical conversation that even at investor level, people are still trying to figure out what is your permission time, timeline for people to start turning it around. So I’m not going to contradict or challenge what you were saying. I think it’s a simple case of give leaders permission to try it. Give them the understanding that if they have a lot like they have a road map to get there, give them a chance to prove themselves.

00:54:27:23 – 00:54:54:01

But if you increase investments, it’s more often than not that your profits would not be that strong because of the increased costs that you’re incurring. So you think that’s economic logic? Yeah. That giving, I think perhaps the lack of questions from the audience is also the fact that many of us are just starting to begin to embark on this ESG journey.

00:54:54:01 – 00:55:20:07

So bearing in mind what you have, any last advice, comments for our attendees with the session to take away from? Well, really, it’s at the end of it it’s it’s top a conversation with us. Take a step back and think about really what does it mean for your organization? What does it mean to you in your role and really what like would like to be able to.

00:55:20:10 – 00:55:41:13

We really like the opportunity to work closely with people, to learn together. As I mentioned before, ultimately it’s the learn as you go experimental growth mindset. ESG is so, so big. Their remit. So how do you begin to explore it? Well, really, it’s exploring it together. So I would say that’s my last set of slots for the day, including thank you very much.

00:55:41:13 – 00:56:01:16

Once again. And for attendees, we have another session that’s going to take place in about 5 minutes time. That’s about driving DNA in this room with a localized data driven strategy. So we invite you to join us. And once again, thank you very much for your sharing and we hope to see you again very soon. And let’s continue this ESG topic again.

00:56:01:16 – 00:56:11:28

So Absolutely. And our pleasure. Thank you very much. Thank everybody. Take a zero.

Michelle is the Managing Partner & President of Daggerwing Group, as well as a member of Daggerwing’s Executive Leadership Team. In her role, Michelle leads all global client relationships and delivery of Daggerwing’s consulting services to ensure change is done right the first time, and sticks. She also ensures that Daggerwing’s consulting leaders are effectively driving career growth for our consultants, continuously building capability and experience. Michelle’s breadth of expertise in the people side of change includes facilitating Executive Alignment on every type of organizational transformation, orchestrating enterprise-level culture shifts to deliver on a CEO’s strategy, and helping clients custom-create and bring to life their Future of Work strategies. Michelle is passionate about creating leaders and employees who are energized, rather than exhausted, by the opportunities change creates – ultimately helping clients succeed by fostering a culture that delivers the desired experience for customers and enables employees to thrive. In her private time, Michelle enjoys singing 70s pop songs badly while playing her ukulele, buying musty old records, and spending tons of time in the woods and on snowy mountains.