Over many years I’ve had the opportunity to observe cultural differences in how managers approach sustainability. In Exec Ed classes across the U.S. and Europe as well in Brazil, China and India, the differences in receptivity and learning attitudes are stark. At the top of my ‘favourites’ list are business executives from emerging markets. They demonstrate a level of openness and willingness to adopt new concepts unmatched by their developed market brethren.
The difference in cultural attitudes reminds me of Clayton Christensen’s distinction between industry leaders and new entrants. According to Christensen, the former are less likely to adopt disruptive innovations than the latter. His point is that established industry leaders appear to develop a kind of deafness to new market realities. Are Europeans and Americans in danger of losing competitive advantage when it comes to embedding sustainability for business advantage?
This article was originally posted on the Embedded Sustainability Blog.
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