Nike: When Difficulty Knocks, Look for Opportunity

Mar 15, 2011   //   by Bradley Short   //   Blog, Company Culture, Leadership, Operations Management  //  No Comments

Have you ever tried to fix one problem only to discover another?  Lucky for us, business problems usually hold opportunities, too.  Start working to make your business more environmentally responsible and you might discover all sorts of other ways to improve your bottom line.

Sustainability: “Just Do It”

Hannah Jones, NIKE’s VP of Sustainable Business & Innovation, told a group of us at SXSW how NIKE started working on sustainability solutions as part of a risk-mitigating strategy.  Their resource-heavy business is affected by commodity price swings in a very significant way (cotton prices have more than doubled in the last 6 months!).  So naturally, they would want to find a way to lower costs by using natural resources more efficiently.

But when they started looking through their business model with a corporate responsibility eye, they came to realize that it was fundamentally clumsy.  Poor design had been built right in.  By going through and redesigning business processes to be more responsible, they were able to fix design flaws that were built in long before.

Just one more reason to be more responsible

Companies keep seeing how social responsibility is a good business move.  Taking a holistic approach to corporate responsibility can help you find many other opportunities inside of your organization.  So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to dive right in; you never know what else you might find.