Sustainable organizations have minimal impact on the local and global environment and the sustainable practices depend on the nature and vision of leadership. Richard Branson of Virgin Group is a very good example of how visionary and transformational leadership increases the sustainable practices of a business. Branson has a large business empire comprising of more than 400 companies but his dedication towards environmental sustainability and climate change is commendable. His commitment to sustainability is evident from $ 3 billion he pledged to spend over a period of ten years for sustainability. Starting from 2006 his aim was to invest in development of environmental technologies, renewable energy and clean fuels. The United Nations presented Branson with the Citizen of the World Award for his support and efforts for humanitarian and environmental causes.
Branson is not only responsible for starting and supporting environmental causes, he actively engages all his companies in sustainable business practices. Apart from actively participating and supporting environmental causes, Branson also started giving special awards for environment to employees of the Virgin group companies. This award became part of the Virgin Stars of the Year awards in 2011 and encouraged sustainable practices in all Virgin group companies (Finkle, 2011). The personality traits, management style and leadership qualities play a major role in Branson’s efforts for sustainable business practices. His leadership philosophy revolves around searching for the right people and inspiring them. This strategy lifted the entire organization and enhanced the working scenario in the employees. He loves learning and believes inspiration can help people accomplish what they never thought they could accomplish. This enhancement and motivational perspective enhanced people to work more and more for the benefit of their respective organization. Branson has an inquisitive mind and believes that life is a learning process where everyone learns something valuable and important at every stage. He has excellent public relations and communication skills that enable him to connect with people and delegate authority efficiently. Branson applied a collaborative or country club management style where concern for people is high rather than concern for production. Several styles of management and leading were applicable but Branson opted for a difficult style. This style was adopted to ensure long-term success.
Richard Branson has a business philosophy of inspiring and empowering people. He believes that a business is not worth doing if it is unable to provide people with rewarding and enriching lives. This philosophy enables him to motivate and inspire people for sustainable business practices. He believes in the philosophy that all work, no play makes people dull, and that people should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Branson also believes that rather than firing people, they should have an opportunity to work in other Virgin group companies (Fertig, 2013). He is a good listener and encourages open communication and feedback among employees in all companies. He believes that if employees are not motivated properly they can tarnish the image of their respective organization. They cannot work well and can easily lower down their performance. In the similar manner, decision makers should work for enhancing the sustainability in the organization. Motivation and positive values can uplift the performance of employees in both the short and the long run.
General management strategies that I use to enhance sustainability in my respective field are wide and varied. All the stakeholders should communicate with each other in designing the strategies of the organization. Consensus should be made in the strategy formation so that an organization can experience effective results. In order to ensure sustainability in the organization the decision makers should make sure the implementation of health and safety programs. Training, motivational sessions should initiate in an organization to enhance the morale of the employees. Once they are motivated they can complete any difficult task. An organization should strive to achieve this state in order to experience maximum results. In our organization, we usually stress a lot in improving the life cycle of our products. In order to limit the negative impact of energy on our environment, sustainability is embraced. In our organization policies of sustainability makes sure that alignment of strategies with environmental perspective.
Conclusively, Richard Branson is one of the best managerial leaders of the world. He changed the general working scenario and enhanced its emphasis on motivational aspect. He stressed on the fact that through empowerment and strategy development an organization can easily achieve long-term success. Once motivation enhances the working notion of employees then employees develop a habit of working effectively when they are empowered and motivated. However, effective implementation of strategy is a necessary perspective. Brainstorming sessions and training can bring an effective impact but emphasis should always be laid on implementation. Leaders like Richard Branson and considered effective mainly because of their strategies and out of the box policies. These leaders changed the fate of the corporate world and earned a reputation of a legend.
Fertig, D. (2013). Richard Branson: Titans on business. London: Raintree.
Finkle, T. A. (2011). Richard Branson and Virgin, Inc. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 17(5), 109-121.