Sean Lucey

What’s Blue and Bigger than Green?

This theme was clearly in focus at the Sustainable Brands Conference in Monterey CA earlier this month (June 7-11, 2010.) Many leaders gathered to discuss these issues and tell or hear stories of successfully deploying change throughout their organizations.  These changes will have positive impact on the environment, the employees and most importantly – their customers who really “Get it!”

One clear picture that kept resonating was the fact that consumers are changing the way they purchase goods and services. They are using all the information available to them to make better and more ecologically friendly choices. Correctly, the companies engaging with these consumers are winning, ahead of the curve, and stand to benefit enormously.  The game is changing.

“Radical Innovation,”  was also a big discussion topic at Sustainable Brands. “Radical” is the ability to re-think the status quo for how a business operates and its impact on the environment.  Current thinking, which focuses on lowering usage and reducing consumption, may be be too little, too late.  One of many examples of “blue” thinking, was Starbucks Ben Packard, VP Global Responsibility presented “Recycling the Cup: Systems Thinking and the Importance of Getting the Questions Right” along with Peter Senge from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

It showcased a major issue, questions and thought process to redesign the entire ecosystem to radically think of a solution outside of the norm.  This presentation was typical of the advanced and yet challenging thinking that is transpiring all around us.  It is clearly the beginning of an important paradigm shift.  A successful makeover or innovation strategy requires a long term vision…this is where green is being replaced with blue.