9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
great ideas, organizaion needs some work,
This review is from: Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto (Hardcover)
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Overall I really liked this book. While Werbach clearly has an environmental streak, he really does a good job of showing the reader that sustainability is more then just environmentalism, and how his long term strategies can help anyone build an enterprise which is successful in the long term. He encourages people to develop what he calls "north star goals" - goals that can be accomplished in 5-15 years and have a beneficial effect on the enterprise and society. His main strategies that he tries to drive home are (summarizing from page 19):
* Diversify across generations
* Adapt to the changing environment
* Celebrate transparency
* Plan and execute systematically, not compartmentally.
* Integrate metrics
* Improve with each cycle
* Right-size regularly, rather than downsize occasionally
* Foster longevity, not immediate gratification
* waste nothing
Unfortunately his organization could use some work. His best definition of sustainability actually comes in the conclusion of the book! (Sustainability means meeting your needs now, while not compromising your ability to meet your needs in the future). There are also a few acronyms he invents that he doesn't define until after they've been used.
The most glaring omission in the book is that while he has loads of examples and ideas, he focuses almost exclusive on the manufacturing sector of the economy, and ignores the service sector. He does mention that his ideas can be applied to the service sector too, but it would be nice to see him give more than just lip service to that notion.
Overall I don't want to dwell on the negatives too much, because there really are some great ideas in this book, and I'm convinced that enterprises which follow his roadmap will certainly be better off in the long term, as will our society as a whole. He celebrates transparency and encourages enterprises to listen to their outside critics as well as work with their partners to mutual benefit. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who is thinking about the future of their enterprise and is ready to think long term instead of just to the next quarterly earnings report.