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  • North American car manufacturing leaders never truly understood W. Edwards Deming until it was too late.

    Dr. Deming was the quality guru that North American turned away. Japan believed. Japan prospered. Japanese car manufacturers are becoming the world leaders in one of the world’s dominant industries.

    Is your company at the same tipping point when it relates to sustainability?

    Is the sky the limit for your company when it comes to focusing on sustainability? You bet it is!

    Here are some examples of how companies have grown with new products or in new markets by addressing social and/or environmental needs.

    General Electric: Growth through Innovation and Business Development

    GE’s ecomagination product line includes a broad range of environmental solutions including flicker free compact fluorescent light bulbs, solar panels, water purification technologies and other products that will help solve some of the world’s most urgent problems and substantially contribute to GE’s bottom line at the same time.

    Since its launch in 2005 GE’s sustainable product line has experienced impressive growth with over $14 billion in revenues and an order backlog of $70 billion in 2007. Explaining the business case for sustainability to GE’s shareholders should be an easy task.

    Interface Flooring: Growth through Brand Reputation

    Interface Flooring has gone through a radical sustainability transformation that began in 1994 when it started taking back and recycling its products.

    As of today, Interface has not only managed to increase its recycling rate to 84% for carpet materials and substantially lightened its general environmental footprint it has also radically changed its revenue model: Carpets are no longer sold to customers; they are leased so Interface remains the owner of its product throughout the entire life-cycle. In 2006 interface boldly announced Mission Zero, a program that thrives to completely eliminate any impact on the environment by 2020. The financial markets reflect Interface’s impressive environmental and economic performance with mathematic simplicity: While the price for oil, the industry’s most important feedstock has more than tripled in the last four years, Interface was able to triple its share price during the same time period proving that its impressive sustainable business model pays off.

    Growth through Human Capital & the War for Talent

    No organization can grow without human capital especially with the current talent shortage in North America. Recent studies show that employers with strong environmental performance take the lead in employee recruitment and retention. When prospective employees see the possibilities of the future for a company, the company sells itself.

    Sustainability Must Be Tied To Strategy

    There has been a great deal of interest these days in so called “sustainable” industries. From the recent press coverage we can see that attention is being paid to these emerging businesses and refocusing of existing businesses.

    Yet clearly, participating in this new “green-rush” is not merely a matter of setting up shop and waiting for the money to roll in. There are challenges to be met and strategic choices to be made. Developing and implementing strategies for sustainable enterprises presents some new challenges for your business.

    It is important that your company takes some time (preferably at a retreat) to perform a visioning and strategic operational review to develop a cohesive strategy encompassing breakthrough growth tied to sustainability.

    Key questions to answer before embarking on this journey are:

    Our primary product/service is …..?

    Our vision and mission is ………….?

    Our target market is ………………?

    Our target geography is …………..?

    Our growth will come as a result …?

    We will measure our success by ….?

    The non-negotiated traits of our employees are?

    Mastermind Solutions Inc. has committed itself to a sustainable future. We will be designated a “Sustainable Futures Organization” at an event on May 1st. Not only does this affect what we do in our lives and our business but will also impact the values that we bring to bear with likeminded clients. We wish you all the best in your growth journey.

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