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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Strategic Planning for Green and Sustainable Management

If Sport's Your Thang...

Competitive sports is the metaphor of yesteryear - what comes next?

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green business footprint for California sustainable environment If sports is part of your marketing and management strategy, here are some interesting statistics: Harris polled 2,302 adults, (Jan 2008) of whom 1,562 follow one or more sport, and found that 30% of the latter say professional football is their favorite. Second place goes to baseball, with 15% saying it is their favorite sport. College football is third, with 12%, and 10% of sports enthusiasts say auto racing is their favorite.

Why are sports so connected to business? Both are organized by teams (companies). Both play for points (percentage of the market). Both have leagues (industries). Both play for the fans (customers) ... and owners (coaches)!

And both are hierarchical skirmishes filled with testosterone (adrenalin) to push for success.

And that strategy has worked well for business and politics ... and religion, come to think of it... in the past. But we're entering a new era of scarce resources, playing for keeps vs. playing for a trophy, and people's lives are at stake.

That's more like war (military competition) than sports.

The crossover of metaphors is astounding and is accepted by most foot soldiers in business, the nonprofit sector and yes, even government. And sports metaphors are handy tools for message makers and leaders.

The question we need to form is a practical one: what comes next?

What "model" will help people understand sustainability in families, companies, communities and our institutions such as the military. What model will give them their strategy, their training, confidence and public recognition?

Is it from the plant community: a balance of competition for scarce resources and cooperation of diverse members of the colony.

Is it from the animal world: vegetarians vs. carnivores? Ant colonies spreading and migrating to more hospitable territory?

Is it uniquely human? Will this new vision be based on evaluation by science and decisionmaking based on visionary leadership and Internet-connected grassroots intelligence?

Green and sustainable marketing is part of the transition from traditional supply-side/demand driven world and facing a changing mandate. This time the mandate isn't coming from the corporate or political president, but from our mother -- our living, breathing, life-supporting womb.

The earth provides a different kind of natural "model" -- one of dynamic shifts and constant change to maintain equilibrium. A system held together by the gentle force of gravity and rotation around a cohesive center.

Interesting set of models to consider as we plan a new strategy that is deeper than next year's goal-strategies-tactics.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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