Many of us often start a New Year with a sense of optimism, but this year, it feels like there are even more reasons to be optimistic. Granted, we are still in the throes of a pandemic, but there is an energy within the business world that we have not seen before, a real impetus that the time for change and new opportunities is upon us.
The era of ‘Why’ has ended, businesses no longer need convincing that the world has changed and that they need to change too; it’s now all about the ‘How’.
The impact of COP26 was significant in helping to focus attention on what action needs to be taken. Business leaders are now focused on identifying exactly how they can transition their businesses onto a more sustainable footing, where the interests of people and the planet are at the core.
As we enter a new year, we are likely to see more well-known brands take bold steps towards aligning their actions and decisions with new ideas and human values that deliver a better outcome for all. Cosmetic brand Lush recently decided to stop communicating via Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat due to their concerns about the teen mental-health harm caused by social media. In an interview for The Guardian, CEO of Lush, Mark Constantine, was quoted as saying ‘"I'm happy to lose £10 million by quitting Facebook…We're talking about suicide here, not spots or whether someone should dye their hair blonde…How could we possibly suggest we're a caring business if we look at that and don't care?"
We are also likely to see emerging brands gain significant market share, as consumers migrate towards more ethical and sustainable offerings. Founded in 2015, Youth to the People is an LA-based vegan skincare brand, that aims to ‘amplify diverse voices, build a fairer world and enhance consciousness of the planet’. Youth to the People’s sales predictions for 2021 are in the region of $50m. In fact, they were recently acquired by superbrand L’Oreal, who are actively transitioning to meet the preferences and shift in demand for ethically produced cosmetic products.
In 2022 the growing band of impact investors will continue to push businesses to adopt sustainable practices, but we will also see a focus on shifting the mindset of traditional businesses which are perceived as unsustainable. As James Alexander, CEO of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), explained to Business Insider, ‘you can’t divest your way to sustainability. That would simply mean that you’ve sold those shares to someone who cares less than you. That’s why stewardship, also known as engagement, is crucial for our members. They will vote at AGMs and work with companies to push towards sustainability.’
The year will see workers continuing to vote with their feet and seek out meaningful positions where they can truly contribute and feel like they are making a difference to the world around them. Younger generations, in particular, are not afraid to stand up to corporate giants and face them head on. A recent example was cited in The FT, when details of a career talk for Royal Dutch Shell were sent to students of the University of Oxford Geography department. Within 10 hours, the University had received a letter of complaint signed by 71 students, all demanding that fossil fuel companies be banned from advertising to them in the future. The same article also quoted an industry veteran from a European oil major who said, ‘“The biggest challenge of the energy transition is not financial capital, it’s human capital.”
There is no doubt that 2022 will be all about change and transition. For some, this journey will be tougher than for others, but there is no denying that transition is the inevitable path for each and every business that wants to thrive in this new world of work.
At Single Organizing Idea, we’ve created a complete system of tried and tested tools and technology over many years to specifically help businesses adapt and transition:
Our free Confidence Scorecard allows companies to instantly see where they are in the sustainability journey today.
The CORE Playbook includes the complete SOI® Toolkit, with over 40 detailed diagrams and step-by-step explanations you can follow immediately to start your transition journey. As Karen Hamilton, VP Sustainable Business, Unilever said, “CORE has got some really practical advice about how to get started.”
CORE: A Change of Fortune is our free, interactive learning game. The fictional story from the award shortlisted book CORE: How a Single Organizing can Change Business for Good has inspired an interactive business simulation game that helps managers, employees, and students to explore and develop important business and leadership insights.
Our Base Assessment is absolutely ideal for companies that are ready to do a deep dive into their current position. Involving input from all key stakeholders, it sets out an independent, transparent, and undisputable snapshot of where the business is right now. This benchmark provides the insights and starting point for any business wishing to align all its activities with a sustainable core purpose.
We also provide coaching and support for today’s business Advisors, helping them to help their clients transition:
Our SOI Accreditation Course is a market-leading online course providing Advisors with a complete ‘business in a box’ solution that will make a real difference. Designed and developed by digital learning experts and a collaboration of partners, it is one of the best courses on the market.
Our state-of-the-art Advisor Resource Centre (ARC) contains six learning pods that take Advisors through each stage of the SOI ® working methodology and also provides an array of practical resources to help them facilitate change.
Single Organizing Idea was created with the sole objective of putting sustainability at the core of business. In 2022, we will see many more businesses and their advisors use our tools to ensure that they do just that.
If you’d like to learn more about how a Single Organizing Idea can help secure your future get in touch with the team today.