Sustainable Leadership: putting it into practice

CEC European Managers will launch the new Sustainable Leaders website in the framework of its Sustainable Leadership Project, early July. At this occasion,  the Research Report on Sustainable Leadership in European Management, conducted among 1000 managers in six European countries will be published. The representative findings will help to design a new evidence-based leadership model and a customized training programme to help European managers transition to new standards of management practice, aligned with the EU Green Deal, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

In many ways, the Coronavirus crisis has showcased the vulnerability of our healthcare system, as well as the fragility of our economy. The globalised world economy seems to be currently in reanimation mode, although it is unclear which business models will survive in the long-term. What is clear, in times of crisis, is that value creation and survival have a lot to do with planetary and societal needs, a long-term outlook and adopting a stakeholder approach. As a recognised social partner of the European Commission, CEC  European Managers also highlights the role social dialogue plays in shaping the transition.

CEC’s #SustainableLeadership campaign from 2018: “Procedural Sustainability” is one of the 5 dimensions covered by the Sustainable Leadership Guidelines

The ecological emergency and unprecedented global inequalities leave great opportunities for new kinds of innovation, for collaborative economic ecosystems and for a positive socio-environmental impact, while still realising economic gains. As CEC’s report on the Coronavirus showed, managers are to increasingly consider the role of (digital) people management, professional purpose and mental well-being. Against that background, it will prove important to give managers the right tools to change their modus operandi.

Currently, many tools are being developed to help companies move towards more circular, cooperative and resilient business models. Also globally, the answers on « what » we need to do seem more and more clear : stop incentivising damaging behaviours (like fossil fuel subsidies, tax evasion or labour right abuses) and start incentivising sustainable ones (reforestation, fiscal and social contributions, and decent employment).  However, « how » we will get to a future in line with planetary boundaries and societal needs will require a change in the mind-set and behaviours of the people shaping it.

Today’s economic theory, management schools and business practices often seem stuck in a paradigm that could be described as being short-term, exclusive, linear and not sufficiently human-centred. Against that background, CEC’s Sustainable Leadership project will propose a model for Sustainable Leadership (follow #SustainableLeadership), as well as open source training materials to provide high-quality trainings to European managers, helping them to fit into their new role as change-agents, facilitators and networkers for people, planet and profits.

About the Sustainable Leadership Project

The project is co-funded by the European Union, under a DG Employment grant. From now until mid-2021 CEC and its project partners (Lederne, ULA, MAS and Eurocadres), supported by external advisors New Angles, will develop a model for Sustainable Leadership, gather empirical evidence on Sustainable Leadership practices in European management, organise pilot training workshops for European managers and bring forward the topic through social dialogue and various policy and communication channels.

More information about the Sustainable Leadership Project here.