It’s a big hello from Boston where I’ve just been inducted as an Affiliated Professional of the Shared Value Initiative, part of Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s mission to help businesses align with, and contribute to, the needs of society. It’s not touchy-feely stuff, it’s about the pursuit of profit and social impact going hand-in-hand.
Anyway, bringing a network of global practitioners together from scratch is not an easy task and invariably someone noted that success is “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”, which is cliched and also very true.
Today, we heard from one of GE’s communications advisors, who talked about the plan hatched by CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, and executed from 2004 to take his company into clean energy and healthy living. At the time, GE was under severe pressure for its pollution of the Hudson River (New York).
The strategy has transformed GE in a short space of time, with the advent of its ecomagination and healthymagination divisions. What’s more, it required a massive change in its culture, previously described as inward focused and secretive.
It’s relatively easy to come up with an idea, but it isn’t worth anything unless we can implement it. That’s where the 99% perspiration comes in. And if we are doing something new or going into unchartered waters, it’s going to feel more like 99.9%.
Perhaps implementation is an untapped asset or strength of yours?