If you want to make your organisation better from a sustainability perspective, you need to understand what your organisation wants from you, in relation to sustainability and in relation to change. What is your mandate?
Mapping your mandate
Left hand side: Are you only being asked to look at a narrow slice of sustainability – like energy, or modern slavery? Or being asked to look across the board but superficially – just reporting, or only looking at what customers think for example.
Right hand side: Are you expected to look across the entire sweep of sustainability issues, in depth and with challenge?
Bottom half: The organisation only wants you to keep things going as they are, it is not interested in improvement or change.
Top half: You’re expected to look strategically at the issues, leading change and catalysing transformation.
If you’re not where you want to be on this map, what can you do to make the journey to where you would like to be?
Stretching your mandate
You can, of course, choose to creatively stretch your mandate, as a result of spotting risks and opportunities that your organisation hasn’t. The stakes will be higher: you could improve or diminish your reputation with the organisation, with work which is beyond your mandate.
This diagram is in Change Management for Sustainable Development, written by me and published by the IEMA in 2006 and again in 2017. There's a downloadable version of worksheet 5 here.
Making the Path by Walking
This post was first published in my Making the Path by Walking newsletter, May 2019. For practical tips on facilitation, organisational change and sustainability to your inbox each month, scroll down to the footer to subscribe.