Kingfisher and Desso CEOs on leadership, collaboration and sustainability strategy

Here’s an audio recording of an hour long session I chaired with Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher CEO, and Steff Kranendijk, CEO of Desso, back in May this year in London.

It was a breakout session at the Responsible Business Summit in London.

I was impressed that neither CEO made a fuss about the fact that it was a breakout session of only 150 people (many would).

They were both really honest in their remarks about how they got started, the mistakes they have made, and where their companies are headed on sustainable business/CSR.

Here are some of their tips / lessons learned in embedding sustainability they offered in the session:

1) Authentic leadership from the top is vitally important.
2) Sustainability incentives much be in all department reward systems (R&D, buying, design, sales etc)
3) Persistence is key: Long term goals are vital
4) Keep going when you hit bumps in the road: Do not expect a’ straight line’ in progress.
5) Continuous communication: Everyone must hear the message at least five times, or more.
6) Systems are vital or it will not last: Processes stop corners being cut.

You can hear the rest of what they had to say here.There’s a lot more than the above, much of which may seem a little obvious.

Here’s a new report Ethical Corporation is just about to publish on the topic.