Chris Laszlo - Author of Embedded Sustainability and Flourishing Enterprise
Chris Laszlo, PhD is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where he leads the Quantum Leadership initiative, which conducts research and practice into elevating consciousness as the highest point of leverage in transforming leaders into agents of world benefit. He is the author of Flourishing Enterprise (2014), Embedded Sustainability (2011), and Sustainable Value (2008)
Chris Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:
Embedding sustainability into a company's core strategy
Moving from sustainable to flourishing
Transforming consciousness for sustainable change
Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders
Final Five Question Responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?
Get a solid grounding in business operations as well as whatever knowledge you might have about environmental sciences or sustainability communications. All of those are important. If you can get a couple of years of experience in a more of a line management position early on in your career, you will never regret it because you will always be able to speak to people who are running a business or a division or our heads of a functional heads such as head of marketing or head of sales and business with a kind of equal footing that you won't have if you are only in a sustainability background.
What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?
Direct intuitive learning is a catch phrase that speaks to moving beyond the typical kind of cognitive analytic, cognitive learning that we have, whether it's in business school or in training programs in the workplace.
I think business leaders need to engage in practices. Practices of connectedness or narrow sense or mindfulness practices. Whether it's mindfulness meditation or nature immersion. Yoga is popular, but art and aesthetics, appreciative inquiry. There are range of different kinds of practices of this kind. It's even beyond these sort of more esoteric eastern type practices. It's a high quality relationships with friends. It's having a glass of wine with a friend. It's for some people it might be a fishing or going horseback riding. I was speaking to a colleague of mine who said that that's really where they feel, able to feel whole and connected to themselves and to nature and others. The point is that we live in a multitasking world where we're jumping from one electronic screen to another and heavily dependent on analytic cognitive, way of being all the time. To change this consciousness that we spoke about earlier. We need to introduce in the workplace practices that heal people, make people feel whole, that's the next frontier for sustainability professionals will be to emphasize and encourage a lifestyle for all organizational leaders at every level so that before they can focus on flourishing organizations in service of a flourishing world, they themselves as individuals are also able to flourish.
How about a book recommendation? What's the one or two books that you would recommend every sustainability professional read?
I really liked Frederic Laloux Reinventing Organizations. It's quite popular. I'll point out that the subtitle of that book is a guide to creating organizations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness. It has had a very big impact on certainly on to their PHD students and executives that I've worked with in the last couple of years since it came out.
What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you out in your work? It could be anything, websites, software, technologies, guidebooks, any type of resources.
I would like to recommend a website called AIM2Flourish.com. There you will find thousands stories were more businesses that are doing well by doing good. These are sort of the untold stories from around the world of businesses that are agents of world benefit.
With all the negative news that we have in the world, for those of us that are looking at the role of business, it's encouraging to see just how many businesses, the variety of businesses that have found ways to succeed, financially and economically, by doing good in terms of environmental restoration or social community well-being and personal well-being.
I also have a number of tools in embedded sustainability. I have a new book. I have a co-author, Fred Tsao in China. He's the chairman of a multi-billion dollar shipping and real estate company in Asia based in Shanghai and Singapore. And he and I have coauthored based on his experience as a leader at this company. A new book called Quantum Leadership: New Consciousness in Business. It will be coming out probably later to see from Stanford University press and we will have many of the points we've covered in this podcast in-depth book. Look for it will be Tsao and Lazlo, Quantum Leadership, a new consciousness in business.
Where can our listeners go to learn more about your work? Follow you, a website or any type of information where they can follow what you do.
I would welcome being connected to this community of like-minded professionals. You can read, I met the Weatherhead school of business at Case Western Reserve University. The link there is a https://weatherhead.case.edu You can find me on LinkedIn. My twitter handle is @embedsustain.