Talented people and collaborative partnerships are essential resources for today’s organizations. Critical, then, is leading organizations from a vantage point of stewardship and justice.
From a systems perspective, sustainability is woven into the fabric of the entire organization, touching many aspects of the organization and its critical human systems—its people and its social networks. It influences the nature of an organization’s spirit, its structure, its culture, its management practices, its human resources, it communication systems, and its political environment. A sustainable organization should consider how people are valued, treated, and developed. It is concerned with being conscious of how business partnerships and inter-organizational work relationships are conducted.
To me, there are six key elements of a “holistic” understanding of sustainability when applied to organizations.