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Corporate sustainability and inspiring confidence: lessons from sport

Perhaps inspiring confidence is the way to look at propagating corporate sustainability in your company.

Not pride, that’s dangerous, coming as it does before a fall.

Confidence is what counts. Too much means arrogance, which again, as many a brand knows, also teaches hard lessons.

I was reminded of the value of confidence these last few days watching England take on India, the world’s best cricket side, on television. 

For non-cricket fans, don’t worry, I don’t plan to bore you much with the match details, which, like all fine test cricket, will last five days and is still taking place.

The reminder came in the form of a particular player, Stuart Broad.

Undoubtedly very talented, he’s had an alarming dip in form since 2009.

This weekend he suddenly took four wickets in quick succession, and as I write has made more than 70 runs not out, under very tough circumstances.

Taking one wicket led to the second, then four. That then clearly pushed up his confidence to begin batting well. For the first time in quite a while.

The example brought home to me the value of confidence. 

Perhaps that’s how to look to look at driving responsible practices deeper into business. 

Increasingly CR/SD is recognized as a sign of good business management.

But that’s less exciting as a paradigm than confidence.

If CR can be used to create business confidence, from management down and from the supply chain upwards, that seems compelling to me.

Think about it. Less carbon = better management = improved confidence.

Less health and safety incidents, better labour standards = improved confidence

Perhaps confidence in the business, management and future prospects is something managers could try and measure.

I might be re-naming something else already used here, I realise, but confidence has a great ring to it. It’s something we all understand.

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