Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen
on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
August 17, 2008
“Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurs:
How to NOT Check Your Values at the Door”
Guest:Dr. Dave Sherman
Career Advice from my journey of Engineering to International Business Consulting to Sustainability Consulting:
Find a job or career where you can bring your whole self to it.
Something was missing – I had “checked some of my values at the door” when working in the oil industry and also in conventional consulting.
I have had a strong passion for the environment and yet at some level my career seemed to be at odds with this.
Realize this is a journey with additional training, skills and new education in the mix – Reflect and Retool.For me this was an MBA for business consulting, a doctorate with research in social entrepreneurship to get to contributing in the sustainability area.
My mission now at Blue Sky Consulting:
Sustainability is a buzz word, and we define it as “a powerful way to uncover hidden value for the business while creating value for the world – less bad, more good.
Cost – do more with less (energy, waste, materials, pollution)
Revenue – new products, new markets
People – enable others to bring all of themselves to their jobs
Expect the unexpected – innovation and system level change
Be an advocate for innovation – reframe rather than trade-off jobs or the environment by looking for ways to serve both.
Social Entrepreneurship as I define it:
Entrepreneurship is an activity that involves the discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities to introduce new goods and services, ways of organizing, markets, processes, and raw materials through organizing efforts that previously had not existed.
Social Entrepreneurship’s additional distinguishing feature is the pursuit of opportunities to catalyze social change and/or address social needs.
Implications – boarders between for-profit and non-profit are blurring, and innovative solutions require cross-sector insights and actions.
Leverage your experience and skills, plus you may find meaning and contribute from your current position or company.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008