Why did you decide to do the Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility programme?
I had worked in the field of sustainability for a long time and was looking for new ideas and inspiration from outside corporate sustainability practitioner circles. I heard a colleague speak about his experience working in the field of sustainability and he talked of the Masters programme at Ashridge. It had a huge influence in shaping his vision of a sustainable future.
What did you learn from the programme?
I discovered how inextricably connected everything is in our world. I questioned my own values and ways of seeing the world and experimented with different ways of knowing. I was enriched, challenged, perplexed and at times overwhelmed with the content and methodology.
How have you applied this to your work and organisation?
The programme has connected me with my purpose which flows through all areas of my life. Professionally, my leadership style has shifted to be focussed on relationships, process and to be open to broader contexts.
This shift has empowered my team and allowed me to influence more effectively. Systems thinking and action research have given me a rigorous practice and confidence to explore, experiment and reflect. I am using new collaborative processes within my organisation, such as future scenario planning as an approach for strategy development.
What would you say to someone considering joining this programme?
I have heard many corporate leaders on sustainability speak of ‘crossing the chasm’ to more sustainable business. On this programme you will face the lows of realising just how deep that chasm really is but you will also explore the highs of envisioning a whole new paradigm.
I would call it transformational.
Director of Sustainability at Selfridges