Sabrina Watkins

beautiful bridge in a water treatment facility

We Are Translators And Bridge Builders

We are Translators and Bridge Builders by Sabrina Watkins This photo is a beautiful bridge in a water treatment facility.  Sustainability leadership work is often about “bridging” two different landscapes, too.  Leaders often describe their work as “translators” – we are constantly translating between operations and environmental goals, short- and long-term thinking, internal and external stakeholders and much more.  We are often helping NGO’s and “socially responsible investors” (SRI’s) understand the company, and helping corporate leaders understand “them”.  What are your corporate leaders thinking? How could they act this way? Don’t they care? Don’t these investors understand the “realities” and […]

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Why Aren’t We All On the Same Page?

Why Aren’t We All On the Same Page? Alignment within the organization is important but not easy to achieve with genuinely diverse perspectives and divergent goals. Misalignment creates tension and frustration. Strengthening alignment, business focus and knowledge of risks and opportunities can accelerate sustainability progress. Leaders diagnose, then drive resolution. There are many possible causes and reasons for lack of alignment. Goals can pull in different directions- here are just a few examples: Near-term cost cutting goals can jeopardize costs longer term. Technology success goals can make it difficult to find an “early adopter.” Over-emphasis on compliance can lead to

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Fighting an Uphill Battle?

Fighting an Uphill Battle? Leaders come into sustainability from different internal roles or as external hires. Solutions to resulting challenges differ – learning sustainability, building influence or both. Leaders may see enthusiasm or a push from their stakeholders to do business more sustainably. This mix of context can be daunting. External hires are usually selected for their sustainability expertise. They may have obtained a degree, certification and/or are self-educated in sustainability. They often have experience with a consulting, rating, non-profit or other corporate organization. External leaders coming into the company lack the internal relationships required for success. Some companies choose

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Why engage with SRI’s?

Socially Responsible Investors(SRI) Why engage with SRI’s? “Socially Responsible Investors” (SRI’s) have smaller shareholdings, but broad influence. Strengthening relationships with them improves the company’s reputation and reduces risk but requires coordination between groups. Listening is key – both internally and externally. If investor concerns escalate, resolution is more complex and expensive for the company. SRI’s typically have smaller shareholdings than large financial institutions do. If investor relations teams don’t prioritize these smaller investors, SRIs have difficulty getting the time or attention they desire. They resort to filing shareholder resolutions if their concerns aren’t resolved through engagement. SRIs care passionately about

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Build The Conversational Bridge

Build the Conversational Bridge by Katherine Rosback and Sabrina Watkins When you are trying to get someone to buy your idea or support your initiative, how do you begin? If you follow prevailing theory you start with a pitch about how your product, idea, or initiative is just perfect. You detail the merits and describe the wizardry, all the while believing such phrasing will sway your subject to embrace the wisdom of your initiative. But they don’t get it!! You feel surprised by their lack of instant enthusiasm, knocking the wind out of your pitch and leaving you wondering what

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