News

A Post-pandemic Period is Truly a Test for Sustainability

 


The Economic Observer | September 6, 2020




The Economic Observer article, “A Post-pandemic Period is Truly a Test for Sustainability,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Grace Cheng and featured our report ”Leadership for the Decade of Action,” created in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact. The article is excerpted below.

When the business world is shifting from the industrial age to the innovation era, sustainability is becoming the key to business success. Business leaders are facing a truly novel test especially in the uncertain times the global pandemic brought about.

On September 1, Russell Reynolds Associates co-hosted a virtual media roundtable with UNGC to launch the Chinese version of the sustainability report. Analyzing close to 4,000 role specifications across industries and the globe, we found that 15 percent of executives and non-executive role specifications made reference to sustainability.

Grace Cheng said, “This period is a truly novel test of their leadership ability, highlighting the significance of sustainability. It could mark a turning point for business leaders towards building a better, truly sustainable world guided by circular economy.”

The sustainable mindset is the purpose-driven belief that to be successful in the long term, leaders must innovate and manage across commercial, societal and environmental outcomes. Leaders with a sustainable mindset align all aspects of running their organization with these core values and beliefs.

A truly competitive company will not only consider the interests of shareholders, but also create value and share benefits for stakeholders. In order to effectively implement the sustainable development goals, it is necessary to drive innovation so as to do away with a trade-off between profitability and sustainability.

These sustainable leaders demonstrate four critical leadership attributes that are driven by their sustainable mindset: Multilevel Systems Thinking, Stakeholder Inclusion, Disruptive Innovation, and Long-Term Activation.

To read the full article in Chinese, click here​.​