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Monday, May 17, 2010

Sustainability the Next Big Corporate Megatrend

“The Sustainability Imperative,” (by David Lubin and Daniel Esty) in the Harvard Business Review (May 2010). I think this big-idea article has immediate and direct strategic relevance to any business looking for success in the future. The authors argue persuasively that like the rise of the quality movement in the 1970s and 80s and the IT movement/boom in the 1990s, sustainability is the next business megatrend—a transformative change in the corporate competitive landscape whose course can be predicted—based on the previous megatrends like Quality and IT. By studying how firms won in prior megatrend booms, executives can craft strategies to gain distinct advantage in this one. Here’s a snapshot of the flavor of what the authors say: “Business history is marked by periods of relative stability punctuated by fundamental shifts in the competitive landscape that create inescapable threats and game-changing opportunities. Sustainability is an emerging business megatrend, like electrification and mass production, that will profoundly affect companies’ competitiveness and survival.”

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