Daniel Maranto Vargas Source: Courtesy
Organizations exist to generate value for different interest groups, be they investors, clients, collaborators, suppliers, or the community in which they coexist.
However, design a strategy means creating a space for this value to be sustainable over time. I want to refer to the opportunity that organizations have to create value in response to the great challenges that humanity faces.
The Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, are a guide for it. Obviously, it would be very difficult for an organization to positively impact each of the 17 objectives, but if it focuses on a few, it will be able to make socially relevant contributions at the same time. generates value for its various audiences. Let’s take a few concrete examples by way of illustration and start with a systems approach.
Goal 17 indicates partnerships for achieve the objectives; The Triple Helix model, business (and business organizations), government and academia is a good platform to foster collaboration between different actors in the economy.
In relation to objectives 5 gender equality, 8 decent work and economic growth, a good space is opened for the company to contribute to their respective achievement. Refering to gender equality, From hiring processes that prioritize knowledge and the ability to generate value over the applicant’s gender, it is a good start.
In the organization, growth and reward based on merit will create a much more favorable organizational climate while contributing to this objective. The design of activities based on results and with some flexibility of time, The so-called home office will help to balance the responsibilities of work and personal and family life of the collaborator or collaborator.
Regarding objective 8, relative to the quality of working conditions, to the extent that the organization attracts, retains, motivates, evaluates based on results, it will be making its contribution to this objective. It should be remembered that organizations achieve their results primarily through human talent, while technology and physical assets are the result and support for human work.
Other goals, such as 6, clean water and sanitation, 7 affordable and clean energy or 13, climate action, will require more coordinated actions among the aforementioned actors. This implies an acknowledgment of the need to make decisions as a society, as well as knowing that, if these challenges are not addressed, it will be increasingly difficult to create sustainable value and therefore we will not be strategic as humanity.
This leads to remembering the notion of the search for a greater good, with each actor contributing from their area of responsibility. The context that we are living today, surely in an abrupt and unwanted way, is making us aware of thinking and acting in the generation of profits in tune with nature and the care of the human being.
A characteristic of human beings is their capacity for learning, which is why, as organizations and as a society, we have quickly had to learn to adapt to a new environment.
At an organizational level, we have incorporated, among others, the concepts of service logic to meet customer requirements and we have designed technology-based business models to better serve them. At the society level, we have realized that we are vulnerable and that we require specific actions to cope with the situation we are experiencing.
In this sense, the best we can do is capitalize on this learning — the human being and nature at the center of decision-making coupled with the generation of financial benefits; organizations with a purpose beyond the generation of financial profits; technology as a support for serve customers objective and collaboration as a way to complement efforts.
I started this article with the concept of strategy, so I consider that one learning that must remain is to think strategically to be sustainable as humanity.
The author is Director of EGADE Business School, Monterrey Headquarters.
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