Work in Progress

The barriers to reaching _______ are predominantly systemic in nature, reflecting the complexity and interconnectedness of our economic and social systems. While the challenges often include financial, technological and organisational barriers, these seldom appear in isolation, and are fundamentally shaped by our expectations of the future.

Shaping expectations in your business context

Reflect on when a form of organisational change was last introduced in your professional work environment. How did your organisation’s various internal and external stakeholders respond to this initiative? Can you identify any levers for change that worked, or any you think could work in the future?

Do some research into how change tends to be received in your organisation and consider what role a business-as-usual approach plays in this. Then, note down your thoughts, using the following questions as prompts:

  • Are there any particular existing behaviours or attitudes that may hinder or delay your organisation’s transition to becoming a net zero business?
  • Can you identify any examples of when organisational change has positively transformed internal or external stakeholders’ expectations of the future?
  • How can you and your business help to shape expectations of the future? Which levers for change would be effective in your sphere of influence?

These expectations influence how society and businesses respond to the impacts of climate change and the net zero transition. While inertia and ‘business as usual’ approaches may limit climate action and prevent a smooth well-managed transition, forward-looking leaders are already embracing opportunities for collaboration across traditional boundaries between sectors, organisations and functions. Leading businesses are building the foundations for strong ambition loops by setting science-based net zero targets and improving both material and energy efficiencies. At the same time, more and more national governments are enacting climate-related legislation and making net zero policy commitments in different sectors.

These positive developments demonstrate that effective leadership and collaboration between sectors are key elements for overcoming existing barriers and driving the change needed to shift global expectations and behaviour. In the next unit, we will further explore the partnerships that business and government can form to accelerate the transition to net zero.


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