Leadership for Thriving: A Framework to Lead the Business Community to Sustainable Behaviors

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2023-04-25

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Abstract

Climate change is a complex problem whose solution is still far from being on track. Although we have advanced a lot in terms of knowledge and awareness of the problem, we are struggling to transition to sustainable actions. Corporations have the key to unleash a substantial potential contribution to facing this challenge moving forward. Developing new business models that move their operations away from current environmental damage is needed. Their potential to leverage their connections with consumers and other stakeholders, educating and influencing them to be part of the solution, and joining efforts to adjust lifestyles and preferences for sustainable consumption also presents a huge opportunity. For these challenges, corporations need to face the transition from a technical to an adaptative approach. But corporations are not prepared to run this challenge on their own; integrating the environmental impact in the business model requires the support of environmental experts. This research is based on the hypothesis that there is an opportunity to enhance sustainable behavior transformation by improving communication and collaboration between business and environmental professionals. With this purpose, the research was done through a qualitative comparative analysis that looks to contrast the perspective and resources those professionals have with respect to climate change, looking for the interconnection of joint possibilities that can be approached in a more collaborative manner. The ecological self maturity, nature experience, and knowledge of environmental professionals make them the best candidates to support corporate change. But there is a learning challenge for environmental professionals as well, since technical acumen is not enough to lead such large and complex adaptative changes in human systems in the corporate world. This framework aims at providing a tool for environmental professionals to effectively hone their skills to lead and communicate with corporate audiences and guide them towards effective actions to tackle environmental change. Leadership for Thriving combines this perspective of leadership and inspiring storytelling with the optimistic approach of the breakthrough movement of thriving, which inspires the examples and reflections of this proposal.

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Olivares, Magdalena (2023). Leadership for Thriving: A Framework to Lead the Business Community to Sustainable Behaviors. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27139.


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