Bob’s keynote presentations are usually 45-60 minutes, with these titles and descriptions:
Communicating the Business Ca$e for Sustainability
Business leaders are paid to focus on the bottom-line, and they should. They acknowledge that environmental and social concerns deserve attention, but not at the expense of company profit. Surprisingly, many companies are discovering that they can enhance their competitive positioning by behaving more responsibly. Based on Bob’s latest book, The New Sustainability Advantage, this presentation repositions smart, innovative sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing company goals, rather than a separate imperative to worry about. Bob applies business and leadership development experience from his 34-year career at IBM Canada to show how sustainability strategies can increase revenue, save expenses, avoid impending risks, and enhance brand value, resulting in profit improvements of 51% to 81% within three to five years for a typical company. That is, smart sustainability strategies help companies survive economic downturns, while positioning them to thrive in the new economy. The essence of the message in this talk is brilliantly summarized by Alexandre Magnin at Sustainability Illustrated in a 4.5 minute animated video, Business Case for Sustainability.
Leading the Change to a Sustainability Culture, from the Middle
An expert on leadership, culture change, and organizational development, Bob distils lessons learned about cultural transformation that are described in his book, The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook. He provides practical guidance on how to embed sustainability into corporate culture, even if you are not the CEO. He outlines a seven-step sustainability change process, including how to frame the business case for the culture change; seven leadership practices to use throughout the change process; seven paradoxes that enable successful change strategies; and seven derailers to avoid. By connecting the dots between timeless leadership practices and sustainability strategies, Bob shows how sustainability champions at any level in a company can lead a transformation to a smarter and more sustainable enterprise that will thrive in the new economy.
Objection Handling Clinic for Sustainability Champions
Suppose you find yourself on an elevator with a senior executive and courageously decide this is your opportunity to convince him to integrate sustainability into his core business strategies. How would you open the conversation? When he throws objections at you, how will you respond? Using proven techniques described in his book, The Next Sustainability Wave, Bob will prepare you for an “elevator speech” sales call on a skeptical senior executive so that when the elevator doors open you have converted his skepticism to excited curiosity and he invites you to continue the conversation in his office. By the end of this 2-hour workshop, sustainability champions will be able to describe at least three likely objections to sustainability initiatives from senior managers who do not yet “get it” on sustainability, and describe several effective ways to confidently and graciously handle each objection.
Future-Fit Business Benchmark
How would we recognize a sustainable future-fit company if we saw one? When companies work on improving their environmental and social performance, how much is enough? These question is more relevant to stakeholders today than it was five years ago. Accountability for supply chain conditions, resource scarcities, ecosystem destruction, climate destabilization, and new levels of transparency forced by social media are introducing new risks and opportunities into the game of business. Would a truly sustainable enterprise be better positioned to thrive on a more climate-disrupted, resource-constrained, water-constrained, and socially-unstable planet? Yes. Bob highlights how a new, free, open-source benchmark for a company’s required environmental and social performance can be a breakthrough resource for companies, investors, consultants, and standards organizations. He will outline the science-based environmental and social goals in the Future-Fit Business Benchmark; why it is needed now; how it relates to other sustainability reporting and ranking frameworks like GRI and the UN SDGs; the target audiences for its use; the business benefits of achieving its goals; and the Future-Fit Foundation’s strategy for deploying the benchmark in the business community so that companies can clearly see the goal line for their journey toward greater bottom-line profitability and resilience―that is, when they will be fit for the future.
Conference organizers are encouraged to tune the above generic titles and descriptions to their audiences, or create composites of them that better suit their event’s theme and objectives.