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In this guide:
- Why lack of support is the biggest barrier to success
- Why you need different kinds of support at different phases of your initiative
- Why people might not support sustainability initiatives
- Two kinds of supporters every sustainability initiative needs
- Action: Identify your collaborators and allies
Frustration affects you and your initiative
It’s easy to be frustrated by the resistance and disinterest that you come up against. To you and I, to people working on sustainability, the need for action seems so obvious and so important.
And when you come up against that kind of disinterest or lack of support, it’s really easy to slip into believing that other people don’t care. Or they aren’t aware of the issues.
That frustration can lead you to respond badly to the resistance, impacting working relationships, and leading to poor decision making.
It can also cause you lose empathy with other people, which isn’t healthy for you and or for them.
Who are your allies and collaborators?
So, where are you at with your sustainability initiative at the moment? Is it just the germ of an idea? Or is it something actively in development? Or is it up and running?
Take a moment to think about who your collaborators are or who they could be. Who’s actively involved? And who would you like to get involved if they aren’t already?
And who are your allies? And who would you like to have as an ally? What resources and influence do they bring or could they bring? Not just budgets or formal approval, but who will speak up for the initiative at a board meeting? Or who will vouch for you when it matters?
Who are these people really? Not just their job titles, but what skills and expertise and insights do they have that they could bring to the initiative?
Do you have these people in mind?
So you might be thinking, “As well as my direct reports, my ideal collaborators will be Jules in HR. Jim in marketing and it’d be great if Joanna in operations as part of the team.”
And then your allies: “I really need to get support from Kevin, the director of finance and Kate, the head of procurement. And it would make a huge difference if Kirsty from the union was on board.”
And you may be thinking, “OK, those are my potential allies and collaborators, and yes, it would be cool if they were up for it“.