Tweet for success
A challenge with corporate sustainability has been all about changing mindsets and systems. Leaders often try to sell change to the organization as a way to attain agreement and accelerate sustainable business implementation. Selling change to people is most often not a sustainable strategy for success; it creates resistance.
No one likes to be told what to do – even when they are up for it. While sustainable business strategies may further the corporate vision and simultaneously create meaningful work for employees, the employees actually have to be engaged and involved for it to be meaningful.
The article Consider Consequences Of Language In Organizational Change illustrates the power of language in managing organizational change:
In his paper 'Discursive Positioning and Planned Change in Organizations,' Kevin Barge, professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M, states that our experiences regarding change are influenced largely by the words that we say and the impact of those words on our co workers. According to Barge, if people are conscious of the effects their words can have on others, they will be more likely [to] initiate successful change efforts and build productive organizational relationships.
How can this be applied to sustainability? Social media, internal to the organization, enables employee engagement by pairing the corporate sustainability plan with employee values. What do Employees Need to Know about Sustainability at Your Company? What are your employees saying about your organization? Are they equipped with information and engaged in your company’s sustainability programs to passionately communicate the message you would like the world to hear?
Social media, executed successfully, can be a powerful vehicle to build communications by engaging with stakeholders. With new tools and strategies changing the way the business world communicates and exchanges information, social media is becoming the transparent, engaging, competitive advantage that business sustainability delivers. There is an emerging role for social media in stakeholder engagement and for businesses to communicate their broader corporate responsibility agenda. However, to focus the corporate ear, sustainability minded organizations must effectively and mindfully engage with stakeholders who have a vested interest in the success of the business.
Language is power... Language can be used as a means of changing reality. ~ Adrienne Rich
Julie Urlaub is the founder and managing partner of Taiga Company, a sustainability social media consulting firm, where she aids clients to powerfully engage in sustainability-related issues and stakeholder communications in the social space. She can be contacted at www.taigacompany.com | @taigacompany | Facebook/TaigaCompany