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Does Sustainable Excellence Equal Excellence

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Does Sustainable Excellence equal Excellence?

When you ask most of the people living in Europe and United States today, what their greatest worries are – they will tell you that they don’t think that they can maintain or sustain the current levels of prosperity.

The same question to people living in the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, China and India) and their answers will be different – they will tell you that they believed that the future represents some of the greatest opportunities with a growing sense that the next century focus will shift from Europe and United States to theirs.

With the continued growth in globalization, there is the continued search for new economies that will showcase what the western world was in the twentieth century.

So if you ask most people living in the MINTS nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and South Africa) the same questions their answers will be quite different from the others – they will tell you that they believe that if the governments and business communities of these countries get their acts right, then their future represent great opportunities and they can also be the focus of attention like the BRIC nations in the next century.

All these perceptions shape people’s attitudes toward businesses. People have become highly skeptical of both business and government and have little or no confidence that either have the ability to provide the lasting solutions needed to maintain standards of living or tackle the challenges of the future.

Like we all know, companies have to   attain a profit level and return value to shareholders, and in this fast-changing world, this is not a small feat. This is only a part of the expectations for the twenty-first century as there are greater demands for companies to also run sustainable businesses.

A few companies around the world have embraced this approach of running business and many more are beginning to build their business strategies with the aim of helping to solve some of the global challenges. Many are focusing their innovation strategies on sustainability challenges like renewable energy, corruption, access to water etc., whilst others are beginning to push against the short-term pressures of profitability alone.

The efforts of these businesses will go a long way to reshaping the way and manner that we carry out our business globally. Companies who are making serious efforts to reposition themselves for the era of sustainable excellence especially in Africa though will make mistakes, but these would be mistakes that businesses can learn from and thereby increase the opportunity to move the business forward.

These mistakes should also bring about opportunities for learning and not reasons for dismissing the efforts of such companies.

Sustainable excellence is vital to a business’s success; however the impact goes well beyond that. Over the last quarter of a century, hundreds of millions of people have emerged from poverty and with businesses building sustainability, the trend can only continue in the decade to come.

The extension of sustainable excellence in business and government operations won’t happen automatically, as such business leaders across Africa and the rest of the world must continue to demonstrate that they are serious about building sustainable economies.

It is my belief that over the coming decades, business leaders will be faced with stark choices – both proceeding with business as usual and ignoring the correlation between sustainability and improved efficiencies

The principle of sustainable excellence really does matter: Our future depends on it. The corporate embrace of sustainable excellence, therefore, is the next wave in global business. More and more businesses around the world must reorient themselves around the principles and practices of sustainable excellence.

Once there is this embrace, then the pursuit of sustainable excellence will become ever-present and wide spread in such a way that the ideas of “sustainability” and “sustainable excellence” will fade entirely and simply become “excellence”

In conclusion, let our goal be that over the next decade sustainable excellence will become simply excellence. Though there are clear signs that this transformation is on its way, unless companies, managers, customers, non-profit organizations and governments maintain and keep the focus, the goal may never be realized.

If we fail to realize these goals, the consequences will be harsh especially to the emerging economies on which we have placed great promises and are looking forward to share the comforts and opportunities that have been brought about by globalization.

These consequences will even be harsher on the more developed world, which will find it even more difficult to maintain its current state much less improve on that status.

Sustainable excellence is vital not just to the health of companies and businesses, but also to the viability of the global economic system that relies on unsustainable levels of natural resource use. As such sustainable excellence is therefore vital not only for business, but also for the daily lives of the people of the world.

So let’s make sustainable excellence the norm, which will invariably become excellence.

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