Sustainability is a Pipe Dream

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Sustainability is a Pipe Dream
Jeff Washburn, Member
There is no such thing as sustainable. Maintenance of something always requires energy input whether it's actual energy like electricity, management effort, money or other resources. It's a pipe dream (Editor: ~an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme) not unlike the perpetual motion machine.
It's not even a useful organizing metaphor.

Corporate Sustainability is Needed to Prepare for the Future
Molokanova, Member
Nobody will deny that it is necessary to prepare for future changes? Sustainable development is, first of all, the ability to quickly adapt to changes in external conditions.

Sustainability Pipe Dream
Jeff Washburn, Member
@Molokanova: "Nobody will deny that it is necessary to prepare for future changes." Individuals are pretty good at this. That organizations are terrible at it is evident from human history. Where is the Medo-Persian Empire? The Greek or Roman? Where is Polaroid and many others? Cities are littered with empty buildings, warehouses, and factories. The one ingredient that people and organizations need to sustain themselves is liberty. The one thing governments are prepared to provide is the antithesis of liberty, and that is law and regulations (the removal of liberty).
One thing that people have difficulty dealing with is ambiguity. Technical leaders will not acknowledge it. People attempt to cooperate and some collaborate in order to cope with ambiguity. Less than 2% see ambiguity as an advantage. That implies that more than 98% of people have difficulty recognizing conditions that will end the organization.

Sustainability and Coue's Law of Reversed Effort
Jeff Washburn, Member
Let me come at this from a different direction - specifically Coue's Law. French psychologist Émile Coué said: “When the imagination and will power are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception”. In other words: our unconscious mind wins over our conscious mind.
Sustainability exists in will power space. I can see nothing in the movement which excites imagination. Growing things excites imagination. Doing things never done before appeals to the imagination. Imposing will power results in using negative imagination to escape it. Only liberty sustains the positive application of imagination.

CSR is Completely New and Very Exciting!
Liz Christou, Member
@Jeff Washburn: In reply to your first point - Sustainability isn't about not using any energy ever, it's about using energy/resources in a way that can be maintained without causing catastrophic climate change. e.g. renewable energy. That's very real and is even set to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020.

In terms of sustainability existing in the 'will power space' as apposed to imagination, I couldn't disagree more. Finding sustainable ways of doing things is littered with examples of people using their ingenuity and inspiration and is being achieved by coming together across the globe in social communities to combat the cataclysmic events predicted by climate scientists. Sounds pretty dam new and exciting to me!
My blog focuses on another way of using ingenuity for sustainability by applying Lean methodology.


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