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Test yourself

Brain circuits

Test yourself: are you ready for real collaboration on sustainability?

IbyIMD+ Published 16 November 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

For today’s exercise, assess whether your company is ready to make the necessary transitions for sustainable business.

Sustainability isn’t a cause where any one individual or organization can go it alone. While most leaders seem to acknowledge the importance of engaging all stakeholders and working in systems, not everyone is ready to make the transition.

To evaluate where your organization is with respect to multi-stakeholder co-ownership, rank each of the following points on a 1-4 scale with four being advanced, and 1 representing the beginning stages of transition:

  1. Use of data to understand the current situation of multi-stakeholder involvement.
  2. Dialogue on a new approach or method for engaging in multi-stakeholder sustainability challenges.
  3. Recommendation and financial support for systemic multi-stakeholder sustainability practices.
  4. Real-world implementation of systemic multi-stakeholder sustainability practices.

Next, evaluate where your company is in terms of the level of action-orientation, using the same 1-4 scale: 

  1. Mapping of innovation opportunities, understanding the legislation landscape, and evaluating communication practices on sustainability.
  2. Dialogue on new approaches or methods for engaging in sustainability innovations, lobbying work, and communication on sustainability practices.
  3. Recommendation for financial support for niche innovations, lobbying work, and actively communicating around catalytic events.
  4. Real-world implementation of investing in, lobbying for, and catalyzing sustainability practices.

Your evaluation of your current practices should provide you with an answer as to whether you are truly invested in multi-stakeholder systemic transition management by engaging in multiple actor sustainability practices that implement niche innovations, lobbying and catalyzing (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Assessing your Sustainability Practices

While your company may have made progress in reducing its own impact on the environment, if you scored low on the above scale is a sign that you may need to revamp your sustainability strategy to work with the many other stakeholders around you.


Bettina BĂĽchel

Professor of Strategy and Organization at IMD

Bettina Büchel has been Professor of Strategy and Organization at IMD since 2000. Her research topics include strategy implementation, new business development, strategic alliances, and change management. She is Program Director of the Strategy Execution and Change Management open programs, as well as teaching on the flagship Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP) program.


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