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This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Invest In Our Planet.” It sounds pretty straightforward, but where should that begin? It’s much like the African proverb: “If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today.” As leaders, we must approach the movement toward sustainability one stone at a time.
The first stone, helping to preserve the habitat we share, requires several key things. The first is unshakeable faith. Specifically, faith in humanity.
The logical extension of this faith is the willingness to move beyond the needs of those closest to us and to see that our communities, cultures and societies are all in this together. Selflessness and empathy are key components of this faith. Not only do we need it from ourselves, but our faith in humanity demands us to believe that others have it in equal measure. We must have the audacity to believe there’s a greater good we can all, hopefully, agree on — and tap into.
Acting with intentionality is the second stone to lift. I started with a very intentional choice: to work in this field. I started in my role at Genesys with the clear intention to be an agent of change. But I cannot drive change alone. I’ve built an amazing team of sustainability champions who are all committed to the incremental process of creating change. There are no overnight solutions, but faith and intentionality are propelling us forward together.
Faith and intentionality are crucial components, but the process of moving forward — and moving that mountain — in the name of sustainability also requires a large measure of courage. Being an agent of change requires it. We have to manage the task of influencing change within an organization, while knowing that we’re navigating a minefield of competing priorities, conflicts of interest and alternate ideologies. Driving impactful change is all about creating shared perspectives. And ultimately, sustainability is everyone’s priority — whether they realize it or not. Sustainability means engaging our workforce and optimizing its efficiency and productivity — both in the workplace and in the community.
This is why we’ve chosen a holistic approach for sustainable transformation at Genesys. It showcases our commitment to create a company culture that’s responsible, resilient, accessible, and socially and environmentally conscious.
Sustainability is a purpose-driven mission writ large. It should be intrinsic to everything we do. I’m not sure there’s a value that’s more central to being alive on this planet. But being aware of that alone won’t bring about the change that’s needed to move all 8 billion of us forward. We have to put in work and commit to the kind of change we want and need to see.
How do we convince people that moving a mountain, as large and dominating as it appears, is not an insurmountable task? The simple answer: We all carry a stone. How do we move beyond awareness and create a culture of action? We do so by empowering our people and our teams to lead boldly. We do so by disabusing people of the idea that sustainability and business objectives aren’t compatible goals. We do so by showing that the true values and priorities of sustainability can become an organic extension of everything they do.
Ideally, this holistic approach to sustainability is so thoroughly infectious that it becomes fully integrated with their day-to-day lives. That’s how we move mountains together — lifting one stone at a time today.
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