A Dynamic Organization: Principle #3

Compete for Industry Sustainability

The longevity of any company is dependent on the sustainability of the industry. Measures to increase the sustainability of suppliers, distributors, subcontractors, and even direct and indirect competitors promote the long-term viability of the industry. While there is still competition between businesses on certain levels, the overall win-at-all-costs model is giving way to a more win-win philosophy. For example, companies have been known to request legislation that limits all players from certain practices that put the industry at risk.

A win-win approach to business will ultimately enhance industry sustainability. The pursuitleadership_development_systems_ of profit that ignores the health of the community or the environment ultimately destroys the entire system

Companies can take several steps to improve industry sustainability. Forming partnerships to enhance collaboration among competitors can be very effective for tasks such as technology development, financing, and setting standards. In addition to adding benefit, partnerships can increase flexibility, free resources, inspire innovation, and disperse risk.

As industry sustainability degrades, companies may be subjected to increased regulation and possible negative publicity. By projecting these costs and incorporating them into their planning, companies are in a position to set the standards for their industry. This can lead to a positive company and industry image while improving long-term industry sustainability.
Companies can create their own standards that look to the future needs of their industry. In an age of instant communication and corporate scrutiny, companies that establish policies for the long-term benefit of the industry get the immediate benefit of positive press. With the recent awareness of corporate malfeasance, consumers often reward companies that “do the right thing.” As other companies adopt the behavior, the market increases and everyone wins.

Come back for the next 7 Principles on Leading a Dynamic Organization! Please comment with questions, additions and ways where you have been successful competing for sustainability within your Industry. To receive alerts when the next blog is published, click on the RSS feed at the top left of the page to subscribe.

Christopher Laszlo and Jean-François Laugel, Large-Scale Organizational Change (Boston: Butterworth Heinemann, 2000)

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