September 20, 2011
Staff Picks: The Future of Value
According to Eric Lowitt, author of the new book, The Future of Value, sustainability and outperforming your competition at the same time, is a choice, not an impossibility. The first part of the book describes how sustainability creates value. And in this case, sustainability refers to "a continuous, unwavering commitment that companies make to balance their financial returns with environmental impact and social equity investments." By making decisions in this regard, a company gains advantages that it's competition hasn't prepared for, whether short, mid, or long-term. The second part of the book addresses ways to create value within an organization, discussing ways to implement sustainability into management, performance analysis, and the value chain. In both cases, Lowitt's theories are mapped out, stated clearly, and otherwise detailed in step-by-step fashion. This is straight writing that's highly actionable. Here's an example:
This book is based on a clear premise. Companies that embrace sustainability sharpen their strategies and strengthen their ability to execute, leading to value creation for stakeholders. That is, integrating sustainability into strategic-planning exercises helps companies identify new growth opportunities while reducing their exposure to legal, resource, and sociopolitical risk. In turn, sustainability leads companies to cast an even more critical eye toward both the efficacy and long-term viability of their value chain activities. This is how Sustainable Market Leaders create increased top-line (revenue and brand value) and bottom-line (reduced expenses and reduced risks) value for their stakeholders.