The Importance of Knowing Where to Start

Book Recommendation

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek (2011)

swwAn astute and inspiring book that lays it all out for you in terms of identifying the purpose of your enterprise. Sinek, a gifted communicator, examines the importance of understanding “the why” behind successful individuals and organizations, and the dangers that befall those who don’t. For those that seek to attain leadership, or simply understand it better, this is a great user-friendly read filled with examples and applications. The author’s case is clearly made, well supported, and connects with the reader at a very primal level. If you happen to have seen him speak (he has a great TED Talk, and an even better 99U Talk – although this one is significantly longer, it’s totally worth it), this book serves to explore in greater detail his investigation of the impetus that can keep you and your organization sustainably motivated.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Restoring the Equilibrium

Book Recommendation

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature

by David Suzuki (2007)

The Sacred Balance

David Suzuki is the man!! Yes, I am aware that I’m to write a little something about the book rather than the author, but I just wanted to get that out of the way. David Suzuki is quite definitively one of the most prominent faces in Canadian environmentalism, and has authored a number of books on science, nature, and the environment. This one in particular is a pretty cohesive examination of the various elements that make up our environment (such as the soil, water, and air), what human impact has has influenced, and how we can potentially diminish (or resolve) the detrimental effects of human (this includes corporate) activity. Suzuki provides us with a clear reminder that man, and consequently his organisations, are very much a part of nature. Unfortunately, there has been what appears to be a collective amnesia when it comes to this very fundamental fact. As a result, Suzuki takes us on a literary journey to remind us of our connections to the natural world, and delivers to the reader a constructive framework for rediscovering the balance.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Thinking for the Future

Book Recommendation

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

by Paul Hawken (1993)

The Ecology of Commerce

This book makes a powerful declaration for the role of business in sustainable development and environmental management and protection. Contrary to common belief, industry and ecology need not be at odds with one another. In fact, industry has the scale and potential expertise for effectively addressing environmental concerns, and as corporations represent the earth’s most prevalent establishments, they have a direct responsibility to do so. The author sets forth a clear series of fundamental problems present within the current system, as well as their corresponding solutions. Hawken admits that the issues are more profound and complex than his breakdown can attest, but he provides a clear and cohesive framework from which to work from and adapt. The book is very well written and easily digestible, and has been a staple to many who have sought to incorporate sustainable change within their organizations. Indeed, I first heard of this book after having watched a TED Talk from Ray Anderson (click to view), founder and chair of Interface, the world’s largest modular carpet manufacturer. Sadly, Mr. Anderson has since passed away from cancer, but during his life he would continually share with audiences how Hawken’s book had shaped both his life and his company. Continuing his excellent work, Hawken has since published other books and given numerous talks around the world as he inspires new generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Navigating Big Changes

Book Recommendation

The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World

by Andrew S. Winston (2014)

The Big Pivot

Once again Winston is back in print to explain the importance of understanding the present conditions in which we live and businesses operate. As he describes it, the dangers and realities associated with climate change and resource scarcity are already here, and corporations need to respond accordingly if they wish to remain relevant and profitable. The book breaks down some of the prominent challenges that have arisen as a result of climate change and business as usual (literally a hotter, scarcer, and more transparent world as stated throughout the book), as well as offering potential strategic solutions for “pivoting” our organizations. Rather than resist and deny, it makes a lot more sense (and dollars), to embrace the reality, plan for it, and act. For those of you already keenly aware of the need to change then the first part might seem relatively obvious, but he delivers it in such a manner as to speak the language of industry, and his solutions are highly poignant and applicable. This is a man who has taught at and attended some of the United States’ best business schools. Consequently, he knows how corporate management thinks and operates, and thereby provides in this book a practical framework by which diligent corporations can adopt the pivot and implement and environmental strategy.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Implementing Sustainability as an Effective Business Strategy

Book Recommendation

Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

by Daniel C. Etsy and Andrew S. Winston (2009)

Green to Gold

Written by an environmental lawyer (Etsy) and a business strategist and consultant (Winston), this book describes the need and process by which companies are incorporating sustainability and environmental considerations towards achieving growth, profitability, and competitive advantage. The authors offer a number of supporting business cases, anecdotes, and insights as to how the application of an environmentally conscious business strategy can benefit a corporation (as well as the environment). Like other strategic thinkers, they advocate finding opportunity in the existing challenges, and environmental concerns are certainly prevalent enough to warrant better management and awareness. Those that genuinely respond to interests of environmental sustainability can, and do, generate value for their organizations and take the lead within their respective industries.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Making Things with the End in Mind

Book Recommendation

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things 

by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002)

Cradle-To-Cradle-Book-Cover

Written by an architect and a chemist, this book looks at a new way of approaching how things are made. As explained by the authors, the current (conventional) way of making things has simply perpetuated from the days of the Industrial Revolution, and has not yet adapted to the natural environment. In nature there is no waste, rather a redistribution of energy and elements from one form to another. Accordingly that which we manufacture and use can also fit this model if we simply adjust the way we perceive waste and utility. Products should not be simply designed for a temporary service before they end up in a landfill, rather they can be reconcieved so as to break away from the prevalent system of cradle to grave (end of life) and achieve a methodology of cradle to cradle.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process.