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An Open Letter to the Board of the National P2 Roundtable



Janet brings up a key point - the P2 community really IS a leader in
PRACTICAL sustainability.  Like all new fads, sustainability is attracting
tons of people announcing that they are "sustainability experts".  90% of
them cannot even describe the P2 hierarchy much less find process
improvement technical answers (ie. Figure out that P2TECH etc exist).  A
fair number of people now flogging "sustainability" are just goofy.  This is
not helping the concept of sustainability at all from a practical
perspective.  

I do think the P2 technical community needs to make a major effort to show
up at sustainability events and help keep people's eye on the ball because
the less real, beneficial P2 is discussed, the more busy business people are
going to stay away.  Also there is the basic need to educate all the newbies
about what is already in place.  We are part of the sustainability movement,
and at this point there are a lot of "veterans" in P2, so to speak.  Just
when you were getting to relax and have a loooong beer, now you gotta teach
the kids who need to catch up.

In Seattle in the last 3 months I have been to about 8 events on
sustainability and boy, people are coming out of the woodwork and getting
all excited and announcing initiatives, and most have no idea what has been
happening.  The phrase "P2" is not heard at all.  No one knows about the
info networks and sector best practices.  Out of 50 people on average there
are maybe three or four who can even identify the most experienced
institutions in town working on sustainable business.  There is no
coherence, just lots of people going on about dynamic change management core
values gaia ethics stakeholder bonding heart leading
eco-socio-bio-obfuscationism.  No wonder there are no serious business
managers there.  At one event even the waiters were rolling their eyes. !-(

I think part of the job of the P2 professional is to be a missionary to the
rapidly expanding Sustainability fan club, at least to help them learn what
is already going on and use it.  If "sustainable business" is to remain a
"business friendly" concept, it needs to be protected from the myriad
"sustainability goofs".  How?  Show up at sustainability AND business
events!  It needs to be part of the job description now for P2 pros.  And it
can be fun, see Greendrinks.org.  Really!  How many P2 program managers
specifically assign their staff to go to events as program ambassadors?  Now
is the time, before sustainability becomes identified with leftist
pseudo-business.

Burt Hamner

(don't blame me if you follow my advice and get a DWI after a Greendrinks
event.  Just be sure you got people into your local P2 network)

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