A Change-Management Guide for Business, Government and Civil Society
Bob Doppelt, Director of Resource Innovations, and The Climate Leadership Initiative, University of Oregon, USA. With a Foreword by William McDonough, McDonough + Partners20% discount on this title
January 2010 296 pp 234 x 156 mm
One of the best books ever written about change management, leadership and sustainability in a new revised edition with a focus on de-carbonisation.
Ranked as “one of the best ten publications on sustainable development” (GlobeScan Survey of Sustainability Experts, 2004).
Since Leading Change toward Sustainability was first published in late 2003, many leaders have made significant progress in transforming their organisations into better social and environmental citizens. But many have not. As the world struggles to cope with the growing threat of a global carbon crisis, Bob Doppelt has revised one of the best books ever written about change management, leadership and sustainability to focus on de-carbonisation. To significantly slash greenhouse gases and prepare for climate change, organisations of all sizes will need to undergo an enormous shift in their thinking, cultures, practices and policies. Making this shift will require the use of proven sustainability-based organisational change strategies.
So what are these strategies and why do they work? Bob Doppelt spent years researching how the leaders of both private and public organisations that have initiated and sustained significant sustainability programmes designed and approached them. His findings, presented in this hugely readable book, demystify the sustainability-change process by providing a theoretical framework and a methodology that managers can use to successfully transform their organisations to embrace sustainable development.
According to Doppelt, discussions about what to do — which new technologies and policy instruments to apply — have dominated the public dialogue on sustainability. Practitioners place comparatively little emphasis on how organisations can change their internal thought processes, assumptions and ingrained behaviours to embrace new tools and techniques. Organisational and cultural change is the key missing ingredient in the operationalisation of sustainable development. Without such change, sustainability efforts usually stall soon after they begin or fail outright.
Changing organisational culture requires interventions in two key areas:
First, the governance system of the organisation must be altered. A majority of organisations today hold a mechanistic, autocratic view of governance. In contrast, organisations that have made the most progress toward sustainability view all of their internal members, as well as external stakeholders, as vital parts of an interdependent system. In the leading sustainability organisations, these beliefs engender a skilful distribution of information, power and wealth among employees and stakeholders because managers realise that all of the parts of the organisational system must feel valued and be meaningfully involved for these higher purposes to be achieved. Transforming systems of governance to achieve these results requires seven core interventions. Each intervention builds on and reinforces the others. Part II of the book describes these interventions and how the leading organisations employ them to establish an enduring systems approach to change.
The second intervention is leadership. Organisations that develop effective governance systems typically have good leadership. Effective sustainability leaders have the ability to keep their organisation focused on achieving its higher mission while simultaneously managing numerous, sometimes contradictory, streams of activity. Savvy leaders can inspire and mobilise employees and stakeholders to embrace change as an exciting opportunity to learn. In the exemplary organisations, this style of leadership pervades not only top management, but also most levels of the enterprise.
Doppelt found that, when an organisation has an effective governance system and effective, forward-looking leadership, it is much more likely to be able to marshal the tremendous forces required to transform its culture and successfully adopt sustainability-based thinking, values and behaviours. When an organisation lacks an effective governance system or sufficient leadership, its culture will remain static and the adoption of a more sustainable path will be stymied, no matter what type of new technologies are adopted, quality-control tools used, or consultants hired.
Crammed with case examples, interviews and checklists on how to move corporate and governmental cultures toward sustainability, the book argues that the key factors that facilitate change consistently appear in the ongoing and successful (but incomplete) efforts Doppelt has examined at companies such as AstraZeneca, Nike, Starbucks, IKEA, Chiquita, Interface, Swisscom and Norm Thompson and in governmental efforts such as those in the Netherlands and Santa Monica in California. For these and other cutting-edge organisations, leading change is a philosophy for success.
Leading Change toward Sustainability has been used by change leaders around the world to guide their internal global warming and sustainability organisational change initiatives. In 2004, a GlobeScan survey of international sustainability experts ranked the book ‘one of the ten most important books in sustainability’. This new edition will be essential reading for leaders from all types of organisations.
After reading Leading Change toward Sustainability, those seeking
change can't help but have a more clear understanding of what it means to say:
'Our goal is to become a truly sustaining organisation.' With the help of this
useful book, they just might reach that laudable destination.
William McDonough, McDonough + Partners
Bob Doppelt has taken up [the] challenge to learn about experiences in
sustainable development; and now he makes us part of his learning process. The
result is fascinating and inspiring . . . I sincerely hope this book finds its
way into the hands of managers of all kinds of businesses, small and large, to
CEOs of the leading multinational enterprises of the world, to directors of
government departments in whatever field of public concern they work, to people
working for non-governmental organisations, to groups of farmers, to
municipalities, to politicians.
Paul de Jongh, Policy advisor for sustainable development to the Dutch government; former Deputy Director-General for the Environment, The Netherlands
Implementing sustainable business practices is about much more than policies
and plans. Bob Doppelt teaches us that leadership driven by vision, values and
even a fundamental shift in thinking characterises true success. By taking us
inside companies from around the world, he demystifies sustainability and
presents a hands-on practical approach allowing the potential for a company's
Carsten Henningsen, Co-Founder, Portfolio 21; Chairman, Progressive Investment Management
This book is packed full of sound experience gleaned from dozens of cases and
is a must-read for anyone at all interested in embarking on an organisational
change strategy to embrace sustainability in their organisation. One of the most
useful books I have read lately. Calling it a Bible for the practitioner is too
strong, but it conveys the right idea.
Larry Chalfan, Former CEO Oki Semiconductor; Current Director, Zero Waste Alliance
The journey toward sustainability is not easy but it is right and it is
rewarding. Bob Doppelt's book provides a very practical and concise summary of
significant commitments, efforts and processes for leading the
Jim Quinn, former CEO of The Collins Companies and current partner in Medallion Hawaiian Hardwoods LLC
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to move their business or
organisation to the higher ground of sustainability. Whether you are looking for
guidance or just need a reminder, Bob Doppelt provides a real-world approach for
implementing sustainable business practices.
Buddy Hay, VP Sustainable Operations, Interface Research Corporation
Bob Doppelt has compared a variety of organisations and identified those
characteristics of high performance-high performance in the primary work of the
organisation and performing that work in a more sustainable way. It is valuable
for anyone interested in how successful leaders function in organisations. More
to the point, the ideas offered in this book can help move your organisation
toward a more sustainable future.
Dr Craig W. Shinn, Associate Professor of Public Administration, Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University
Bob Doppelt expands the envelope of knowledge about the realities of reducing
the environmental impacts of private and public organisations, giving real-world
insights into the substantial economic benefits available to corporations and
agencies through the adoption of sustainable practices, as well as practical
steps to overcome the formidable institutional barriers involved with
implementing these practices successfully.
Ernie Niemi, VP, ECONorthwest Economics Research and Consulting, Eugene, Oregon
This book takes on a key challenge for sustainability — how to harness the
ideas and enthusiasm of people within an organisation. Instead of focusing on
the latest technological fixes, Doppelt explains how organisations need to
change in order to incorporate sustainability throughout their operations.
Businesses and government agencies working on sustainability will be able to use
this book to diagnose their situation and identify solutions.
Matt Emlen Program manager for the Portland-Multnomah Sustainable Development Commission
Based on a study of practices at firms like Interface, Herman Miller,
Patagonia, Collins Companies, Chiquita, Xerox and Starbucks, this book serves
both as a primer and study of the cutting edge.
Business Ethics, Fall 2003
Anyone involved in a business or agency that wants to transform itself into a
better environmental citizen would do well to read this
Earth Justice, Winter 2004
Starting from a seldom-discussed reality — that some sustainability
initiatives simply fail ... his findings are presented in the form of a
theoretical framework and methodology that can be used by managers to help their
organizations embrace sustainable development.
UNEP Industry and Environment, Oct–Dec 2003
This book is a really useful read for those leading or indeed aspiring to
lead change to sustainability in organizations worldwide ... Read it and you can
make a difference.
Consultnet, April 2004
... represents a comprehensive and passionate attempt to demonstrate that
embracing sustainability is the only way, though not necessarily the easiest,
for both humanity and the environment to escape a bleak
Natural Resources Forum, August 2004
Doppelt takes an honest and insightful look at the complexity involved in
striving for sustainability, using numerous real-life examples of organizations
that are both succeeding and failing in their efforts. ... Even though the book
describes complex and high-level concepts about change management, Doppelt
provides the reader with many tangible, practical tips and tools for
implementation, such as appendices of organizational assessment exercises to use
in your organization. His approaches involve a healthy dose of common sense but
are not overly obvious ... Many change-management recommendations made in this
book are not unique to sustainability. I found the chapter relating to vision to
be particularly effective in explaining an abstract and difficult concept. His
comments about the importance of persuasive and attention-grabbing communication
tactics were equally insightful. Because of Doppelt's holistic and comprehensive
approach toward sustainability-change management, I believe this book is
appropriate for all who are considering sustainability initiatives or currently
struggling with sustainability policies. In fact, Doppelt's insights are
universal enough to benefit anyone who is interested in learning more about
effective methods to manage and measure all types of organizational
Connette Gayle, onPhilanthropy, 12 May 2003
The Industrial Revolution has led to a host of modern advances; affordable energy, rapid transportation, fast, low-cost automated production and advanced information systems. However, with these we have also inherited a legacy of environmental and social problems. Most business leaders would not disagree that achieving a complete sustainable business is a colossal task. However, leaders with the vision to see the issues as opportunities rather than problems stand to gain the most in the pursuit of sustainability.
Providing the first in-depth explanation of how to involve people in sustainability, Bob Doppelt has brought order to a difficult and often messy area of business strategy. He reflects on the relationship between vision, leadership and change and demonstrates the secrets of successful corporations.
Using case studies from Nike to the Netherlands he highlights the reasons why many sustainability strategies are doomed to fail simply by their lack of vision. Vision statements which just aim to minimise environmental waste or act in compliance with the law are backward and negative, Doppelt claims. Real sustainability can only be achieved when processes themselves are socially and ecologically beneficial in the first place. Furthermore, Doppelt dares to peek beyond sustainability at a new, enhanced business landscape where we manage totally safe and positive places in which to work. The book firstly demystifies many issues by providing a theoretical discussion of which new technologies and policy instruments to apply. It then gives a practical methodology to transform business with topics on:
* Changing the dominant mind-set
* Rearranging the system by organising transition teams
* Creating an ideal vision and guiding principles of sustainability
* Restructuring the rules of engagement and adopting source-based strategies
* Communicating the need, vision and strategy for achieving sustainability
* Correcting feedback loops: encouraging and rewarding innovation
* Aligning systems and structures with sustainability
This book is appropriate for all who are considering sustainability
initiatives or currently struggling with their policies. For guidance or just
for a reminder, the book can be used both to diagnose a situation and to
identify workable solutions.
London Management Centre, http://www.lmcuk.com/book-review/leading-change-toward-sustainability
Why does everyone talk about sustainability, but real changes are hard to
find? According to ... Bob Doppelt, organisational change is the key to
achieving lasting success. Both public and private organisations are the target
of his research on how successful sustainability can be initiated and - even
more important - effectively sustained…practical examples ... on successful AND
failed initiatives provide useful examples.
European Circular Issue 21 (Autumn 2004)
REVIEWS FOR THE 2ND EDITION
This book helps organizations of all sizes to identify the shift in their thinking, cultures, practices and policies that will significantly progress their transformation into better social and environmental citizens. The way forward for change management, leadership and sustainability is clearly shown with a great number of case studies and experiences.
This book also highlights the substantial economic benefits of reducing the environmental impacts of private and public organizations through both experiences and practical steps taken by other companies, with their resulting benefits.
Guidance, inspiration to change and examples of how to approach a sustainable
path for your organization make this book a very valuable read in our current
fast evolving times where evolutionary change is more possible and necessary
Inspire Issue 31 http://ebbf.org/1036.html
Paul de Jongh
Introduction to the Second Edition: Leading Change towards De-carbonisation
Part I: Why some organisations succeed and others fail
1. A tale of two companies
2. What went wrong?
3. A primer on sustainability
4. Socioeconomic implications of sustainable development
5. Sustainability, governance and organisational change (116K)
6. Change the dominant mind-set that created the system through the imperative of achieving sustainability
7. Rearrange the parts of the system by organising deep, wide and powerful sustainability transition teams
8. Change the goals of the system by crafting an ideal vision and guiding principles of sustainability
9. Restructure the rules of engagement of the system by adopting source-based strategies
10. Shift the information flows of the system by tirelessly communicating the need, vision and strategies for achieving sustainability
11. Correct the feedback loops of the system by encouraging and rewarding learning and innovation
12. Adjust the parameters of the system by aligning systems and structures with sustainability
13. Aligning governance with sustainability
14. Closing thoughts on the change process
Appendix A: Assessing your organisation’s ‘sustainability blunders’
Appendix B: Assessing your governance system
Appendix C: Assessing your sustainability change initiative
Bob Doppelt is Director of the
Program for Resource Innovations, a sustainability research and technical
assistance organisation, affiliated with the Institute for a Sustainable
Environment, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. In addition, he is a
Courtesy Associate Professor in the Department of Planning, Public Policy
and Management at the University of Oregon (firstname.lastname@example.org). Doppelt is also a principal in Factor10 Inc., a
sustainability change-management consulting firm (email@example.com).