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A Warning about Models

Due to the complexity of sustainability and social responsibility, we use a lot of models. One of the key lessons learned though is that “colouring by numbers does not guarantee success”. It is important to realize the limitations and constraints of models, and the fact that they should always be re-evaluated, particularly when new information […]

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How our Perception & Politics impacts our Understanding of Sustainability

Perception is reality. We have heard that many times. One definition of perception “is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.” The key with perception though is that people generally believe perception is fact, and not just an opinion or option. This […]

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Evaluating Human Systems and Earth Systems – A Sustainability Model

I was reminded of a fascinating paper I read entitled ‘Modeling sustainability: Population, inequality, consumption, and bidirectional coupling of the earth and human systems.’ The graphic below from the paper shows the relationship of the human system within the earth system, not separate from it. The earth system provides the sources of the inputs to, […]

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Focus on Strengths Not Just Weaknesses – the Value of Appreciative Inquiry

I always enjoyed the message from the featured image above. As a management consultant, validator, and assessor I am often engaged by organizations to analyze their operations and systems to identify opportunities for improvement. I have also spent a couple decades on advising on how to implement better practice methods and processes around various disciplines […]

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Characteristics of a Sustainable Project Manager (3 of 9) “Change Agent”

This third installment of Characteristics of a Sustainable Project Manager focuses on the “Change Agent.” Peter Drucker is famous for many quotes, none more so than “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Characteristic #3: Change Agent — challenges business-as-usual mindset, embraces change, seizes opportunities, develops […]

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Does Big Business Care about Sustainability?

Does big business care about sustainability and social responsibility? I often ask attendees to my courses and presentations this question. In general, the response is a strong negative: “NO big business couldn’t care less about sustainability or social responsibility!” GPM’s experience though is the exact opposite: YES big business aggressively cares about sustainability and social responsibility! […]

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Characteristics of a Sustainable Project Manager (2 of 9) “Inclusive Leader”

This second installment of Characteristics of a Sustainable Project Manager focuses on the “Inclusive Leader.” Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying “No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.”  As political and ideological differences foster growing tension around the world, nationalism, violent extremism, climate change denial, and economic uncertainty, seek to stifle progressive […]

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So… What is a Project?

“All is flux, nothing stays still.” – Heraclitus “The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.” – Alfred North Whitehead When I ask “what is a project?” I enjoy the different perspectives and interpretations. Concepts like work packages, ongoing operational tasks and even programmes are often perceived as […]

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