John

Posts by This Writer

8 years 9 months ago

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<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><em><span style="font-size: 10pt; color: black; font-style: normal; font-family: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Remember back in school when you liked someone and wanted them to like you in return? It wasn&rsquo;t enough to tell them what a great person you were to get them to go out with you (in fact, that often backfired). Instead, you were better off if you found someone whom they trusted, and had that person say good things about you.</span></em><em><span style="font-size:...


8 years 9 months ago

<p>Recently I traded some emails on whether the Internet is a device that gives more power to the rational mind, or is its democratic nature destined to "stampede us further into the world of delusion"?</p>
<p>Moving beyond the suggestion that there are those who will deliberately seek to use any communication vehicle for their own nefarious ends, I think it is fair to say that overall the digital revolution is a recipe for unparalleled chaos, creativity and dialogue.</p>
<p>Not only does this help us rise to our fullest potential, it also creates a mechanism for least-common-denominator discourse as well. The same Internet that gives the world access to highly credible information such as Wikipedia (which effectively uses community-policing...


8 years 10 months ago

<p>In the movie 'As Good As It Gets' Jack Nicholson plays Melvin, a writer who, when asked how he writes women so well answers with the put-down: <em>"I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability." </em></p>
<p>I've been thinking about that line since last night when I heard a representative of the securities and exchange commission (the oversight body that failed to heed the warnings about the alleged Bernard L. Madoff 'ponzi' scheme) stating that the SEC had done 'nothing wrong.'</p>
<p>Frankly, I think we can - and should - expect more from our government agencies (and businesses) that they do not engage in malfeasance. It is not good enough to know that they did not commit improper acts. Their responsibility is...


8 years 10 months ago

<p>While not as bad as this summer's exchange rate, the dollar continues to struggle against the Euro. The combination of European economies has proven to be a powerful economic force.</p>
<p>Here's a suggestion on how the United States might compete in this new global market.</p>
<p>What would happen if we were to follow the European model to create our own&nbsp;financial powerhouse here in North America? Imagine the power of&nbsp;a currency based on the 'best of all worlds' from our neighbors to the north and south?</p>
<p>It would combine the Candian social consciousness and commitments to the environment and universal health care. From&nbsp;Mexico the currency would be supported by&nbsp;a sunrise to sunset...


8 years 10 months ago

<p><em>First a little background. I live in Virginia on a third of an acre in a single family home. The southern half of the property&nbsp;is wooded with a stand of 70 - 80 foot tall trees. The house itself is T-shaped, with roofs facing each of the cardinal points on the compass. </em></p>
<p>I decided to get solar panels for my home to (a) reduce my energy footprint in state that is primarily supplied by coal-fired power plants (b) reduce my energy costs. I went to a number of suppliers and here is what I was told:</p>
<p>There are no tax incentives in Virginia for putting solar panels on residences, therefore it is not financially advantageous to do so. Second, Virginia does not allow consumers to &lsquo;sell back' power...


8 years 11 months ago

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<p>While some may feel that economic arguments in favor of increasing energy efficiency and reducing production and transportation costs are somehow less &lsquo;worthy' reasons for America's sustainability efforts, the fact remains that the current economic downturn is reinforcing the triple bottom line model (people, planet, profit) as business leaders acknowledge the inter-dependence of all three elements.</p>
<p>Research from <a href="http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/11/10/corporate-responsibility-b...)">BSR/Cone </a>confirms research by Shelton Group and <a href="(...


8 years 11 months ago

<p>Chip and Dan Heath wrote of the &lsquo;curse of knowledge' in their book <em>Made to Stick</em>. The fundamental idea is that once you know something well enough, it becomes very difficult to imagine what it was like not to know. I often say that if you know and understand every acronym in your company you probably risk this syndrome.</p>
<p>It's no difference for those of us in the sustainability space. Many of us, myself included, have been doing this long enough that we find it hard to imagine that millions of people do not take for granted some of the principles that we believe - such as whether or not global warming is caused by human activity.</p>
<p>Believe it or not, people are still not sure. And there are some good...


8 years 11 months ago

<p>I am still amazed at the number of people who cling to the notion that sustainability is optional. Despite the strong evidence that companies are maintaining their long-term focus during the current economic crisis, critics still question whether or not sustainability is a 'fad' that will be abandoned at the first sign of tight budgets.</p>
<p>I understand that for anyone to accept the premise that social responsibility is a business strategy we must be able to define and quantify the business benefits that can be derived from adopting this model. This is so that success can be measured, just as with any other business strategy.&nbsp;</p>
<p><strong>License to Operate (speed to market)</strong><br />In business, the...


8 years 12 months ago

<p>The famous phrase 'Greed is good' from the movie Wall Street has been quoted time and time again as a sign of what's wrong with America. But let's look at the entire speech and see if, in fact, the character famously played by Michael Douglas was onto something. In fact, in some ways the speech was downright prescient.</p>
<p>One of the fundamental rules of management it to align incentives with desired behaviors and base rewards on measurable and accountable results. One of the main criticisms of Wall Street today is that senior managers were making huge salaries and bonuses that were divorced from company performance. In fact, there is a popular uprising against using funds from the 'rescue package' to pay for these golden parachutes for people who did...


9 years 5 days ago

<p>I would like to add my thoughts to Christian's posting about how the current emphasis on corporate responsibility is changing the way companies and organizations communicate. I have included a link to something I wrote called <a href="http://www.cauxroundtable.org/PDF/the%20new%20pr.pdf ">'The New PR'</a> - it's free to download so there's no commerical interest being promoted.</p>
<p>Here's a couple excerpts:</p>
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: x-small;">... It became apparent that we were changing the way that the company communicated. Rather than speaking &lsquo;to&rsquo; the various...


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