Sustainability – Sister of Common Sense...
Sustainability at the core is simple common sense. An individual or institution can get lost in the forest of metrics, number crunching, analytical modeling and still come up short in achieving “sustainable” goals or outcomes. I remember as a young United States Air Force officer and national security professional being told by more than one mentor—“Remember, common sense isn’t so common”. On more than one occasion this has come back to haunt me in the increasing chaos we allow ourselves to live in or be subjected to.
Get Stakeholder and Employee Buy-In
The first point I’d like to make regarding common sense and sustainability has to do with real-estate—your real-estate and any institutions, be it public or private. It is easy to take for granted and in the process discard common sense with regard to the wise use of real-estate. Living in Colorado, I often see initial attempts to use real-estate in a wise manner and shortly thereafter see the initial attempt fail or not fully measure up to the original vision. The biggest mistake at the institutional level is that organizations don’t account for “common buy in” from stakeholders and/or employees thereby committing a tragic “common sense” failure. At the residential level it seems to be a problem as well, slightly behind taking weather patterns into consideration—another tragic “common sense” failure leading to added expense and in some cases- major eye sores.
It's All About Plans and People
The second point I’d like to make regarding common sense and sustainability has to do with money—you or your employer’s money. Being sustainable allows healthy individuals and institutions to thrive. Plans and procedures are put in place to grow both plans and people. You can’t launch a new product or service without employing common sense. Not using common sense in marketing or recruiting the right talent to grow the concepts, be it a product or service will lead to unsustainable business operations or worse. Again, common sense is at the root of growing any product or service into reality and the baseline in which personal goals and ambitions can be brought into full bloom.
As a professional who has worked directly for and assisted many organizations, both public and private, I have a real appreciation for the complexity of day to day challenges as well as an appreciation for long-term strategic obstacles that can stand in the way of true individual and institutional success. My evidence to date shows that complexity can easily overshadow common sense and in the process, we forget the fact that “common sense” and “sustainability” are in the same family.