As a CR/sustainability manager, how do you move your team, and company to the next level?

This is an intriguing question.

Of course, the first response might be “what do we mean by the next level?”

Let’s say the next level is from tactics to some influence on strategy.

in CSR/CR terms that might be moving from a report that reflects how your company works and some solid sustainability targets, towards integrating sustainability into how and where the company aims to be in five or ten years time.

That surely is the “holy grail” for sustainability heads and managers. To shift from reflection and cajoling to an ambitious change management plan for the company that will survive the CEO leaving.

Not easy to do. Only perhaps half a dozen or a dozen*, large companies have begun to do this.

But we know it’s where any good corporate sustainability manager or head of CSR, or Chief Sustainability Officer wants to take their business, and their career.

Otherwise, best to do something else with one’s life, surely.

So how do we get there? I won’t pretend to have all the solutions or to try and list them all here.

One way is to learn from peers, to spend some time away from others developing new ways, and refining existing ones, to drive change in business.

So I’ve teamed up with Sharon Jackson, head of the European Sustainability Academy to work on developing a structured way of doing this.

The Academy is based in Crete and is one of the most sustainable buildings a retreat could be based in.

More on it is here. Also check out the Facebook page for photos. It is cool.

Here’s the draft plan for the 2013 retreats that Sharon and I are planning for May and September 2013. The two-pager is also embedded below.

The dates are fixed, the agenda is flexible. Much of it will be driven by the needs of the attendees.

If you’d like more information on the retreats and what participants will get from them, just let me know on Toby.Webb@stakeholderintel.com  or contact Sharon on Sharon.Jackson@eurosustainability.org

*I accept that this is very open to debate: What do we mean by “ambitious change management? What constitutes a sustainability plan? What do we mean by “large”? etc etc.

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