What are the trade-offs in your sustainability decision-making: What two teams learned

Mar 24, 2024

Mastering TrueROI – what’s the real impact of your decisions?

Evolveable Consulting supports businesses in future-proofing themselves by developing their ability to embed environmental and social considerations into strategic decision-making. Our immersive, sustainability-focused business simulator is designed to facilitate this process, providing hands-on training to enable the execution of sustainability from a “TrueROI” perspective (see our previous blog for a discussion on TrueROI). 

Recently, we worked with two teams seeking to enhance their sustainability decision-making skills. The teams initially possessed traditional financial ROI mindsets, primarily focused on short-term profits and cost reductions. However, our simulation threw them in the deep end, allowing them to learn through experience. 

With our simulation’s environmental and socioeconomic modelling capabilities, the teams calculated the negative externalities stemming from their actions, such as emissions, resource usage, employee health issues, and customer satisfaction problems. 

As the simulated years progressed, it became evident that the direct financial ROI provided vastly different outcomes than the bigger picture TrueROI, which factored in all costs and benefits.

Head-to-Head Sustainability Strategy Comparison

Head-to-head comparisons between the two parallel strategies yielded powerful lessons. The simulations exposed blind spots concerning where true costs and values accrue. The resulting discussions broke down internal silos as the teams collaboratively analysed data and connected different parts of the sustainability picture. 

Both teams emerged from the simulation with profoundly evolved mindsets. Their strategic decision-making transitioned from narrow financial ROI to comprehensive TrueROI as the new primary lens.

Can you spot the difference in sustainability strategy?

Have a look at their journeys below. Can you spot the difference in their sustainability strategies? 

What were the trade-offs in their decision-making? What was the Sustainability Return on Investment? 

The Starting Point

To start with, both teams were presented with a challenge.

They were the new managers of a company barely breaking even while creating significant negative externalities through its operations. Could they work as a team to turn this around?

The End Point – what were their trade-offs?

It wasn’t straightforward, but by the end of the simulation, both teams had started to understand how they could leverage improving their social and environmental impact also to drive up their financial returns. 

Both teams took slightly different strategies. 

Team 1 Strategy

Team 1 focused on the social indicators, working down their supply chain to reduce human rights violations and looking internally at their operations to reduce safety incidences. They learned a harsh lesson in the final round about trying to push their TrueROI performance without paying enough attention to their financial performance — however, this is the benefit of the simulator, allowing you to make mistakes and learn from them without real world consequences.  

Team 2 Strategy

Team 2 took a more balanced approach and didn’t achieve the same levels of success for any single indicator but sought moderate levels of success in both the environmental and social spheres. 

Both are valid approaches and lead to similar end-points. Comparing strategies led the teams to a useful insight: ‘You can’t seek to excel on every front. You need to either choose a focus area to excel in or opt for a balanced but moderate approach.’ 

Experience Risk-Free Strategic Experimentation

To help build capabilities in this critical area, Evolveable has launched the Sustainable Business Impact Accelerator program, a core component of which is a business simulation focused on True ROI and systems thinking. 

The dynamic, risk-free environment lets you:

  • Implement sustainability investments and model their environmental and social effects
  • See how financial returns change when social and environmental costs and benefits get priced in
  • Try out various strategies without real-world consequences and risking company money. Who wouldn’t want to be able to test their skills in a simulated setting before applying them in the real business?

This safe simulation space allows you to experiment and learn vital True ROI and systems thinking capabilities. You can then take those hard-earned skills back to your organisation and confidently implement sustainable strategies.

Just like pilots would never jump straight into flying a plane without using simulators. First, business leaders, from Executives to Managers, can immensely benefit from practising complex decision-making in a risk-free virtual environment before execution.

From Simulation to Sustainable Strategy Implementation

The Accelerator then helps participants take what they learned in the simulator and translate it into a timebound sustainability strategy for their organisation.  

Unlocking Competitive Advantage Through Holistic Value Creation

Are you ready to develop expertise in holistically evaluating investments through a True ROI lens? The ability to align business success with societal progress will separate the corporate leaders from the laggards. 

Future-Proof Your Organisation – Enrol Now

Are you ready to develop True ROI expertise? Explore our courses and enrol now to stay ahead of the sustainability imperative.

#Perth #Western Australia #sustainability #circulareconomy

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