Sustainable Development Drivers

Sustainable Development Drivers

The Role of Leadership in Government, Business and NGO Performance

Edited by Kees Zoeteman

Sustainable development cannot be prescribed – rather, it results from conscious personal choices in government, business and NGOs. This thought-provoking book explores both the origins and future of the global sustainable development movement, and provides an original overview of the driving forces of sustainable development, including market forces and past and future trends.

Chapter 6: Individual and Organizational Development Phases Towards Sustainability

Margarete van den Brink

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, development studies, development studies, economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Margarete van den Brink SUMMARY Organizations will not develop towards acting more sustainably under pressure of market forces alone. Individual people and visionary leadership play a crucial initiating role. This chapter discusses the evolutionary path of development to more sustainable practices on the individual level as well as on the level of organizations. Both can, based on observations in practice by the author and others, be structured in seven phases towards more self-awareness and consciousness. Particular attention is given to the crucial phases 4 (transformation) and 5 (moral values driven), which represent the evolutionary challenges for leaders and organizations in the first decades of the twenty-first century. A number of examples illustrate how the development of the organization towards more sustainability is connected with and dependent on the growth of the leaders on their personal path. In order to become more sustainable, companies do not need technological breakthroughs but skilled and inspiring sustainability leadership. INTRODUCTION While globalization of economic and information processes has many beneficial impacts on social welfare, it also confronts nations, communities and individuals with deep-rooted cultural differences. Sustainable development, accepted in the EU1 as a common goal, is not always recognized with similar enthusiasm in other regions of the world such as North America, Asia or Africa. Fundamental differences in what is perceived as pressing goals can be seen in not only regions or nations, but also in individuals. These differences sometimes become particularly glaring 114 ZOETEMAN 9780857934895 PRINT.indd 114 05/07/2012 11:35 Individual and organizational development...

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