I’ve worked with numerous environmental and sustainability specialists, helping them reflect on the progress they’ve made in different change projects, and finding the next steps.
For one client from the transport sector, a series of team coaching meetings led to them experimenting with new ways of preparing for, and running, important regular stakeholder events.
For another client - this one a multi-sector engineering consultancy - the head office internal environment team were frustrated, and slightly baffled, by their lack of progress in embedding higher environmental standards in operational and client-facing teams. Team coaching meetings with them were focused around the question “what’s happening here?”. This enabled them to see their current blockages in a new way, and come up with different ways of addressing and overcoming them.
Sustainability champions learning about change
A one-day workshop I ran with Forum for the Future for its business network resulted in a large group of internal sustainability champions from a number of different organisations learning about key theories of organisational change. By coaching each other, everyone left at the end of the day with a set of personal actions to try something new - and a number of new people to contact to help them on their journey in the future. There's much more on the practical theories that help you understand change in my IEMA workbook Change Management for Sustainable Development.
Testing the temperature with staff
A UK house-builder with a leading position on sustainability recognised that the external political and economic climate had changed, and wondered which aspects of its sustainability strategy were still viable and supported by staff. Two one-day workshops for a diagonal slice of staff - not the usual sustainability suspects - tested out how well the strategy was helping with key business challenges and identified the strongest aspects.
Supporting the change agents
This work can be amazingly rewarding, and it can be hard. Sometimes the most valuable work I've done for clients has been the bit that isn't in the spec: providing a safe space to sound off, and asking questions to help them see their situation in a new light. Sometimes this turns into a formal coaching assignment, but it doesn't have to. I'm fascinated by the role of the change agent and what we can do to support each other. See, for example, this post on being part of a wider movement.