Building Capabilities

Transforming and Building Organisational Capabilities for Sustainability

Sustainability requires the largest change management programme of our time.  Collective transformation is needed for us to deliver on global commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, restoring nature, and creating a more equal society.

For business, this transformation requires that building blocks be put in place to address what has been referred to as the “structural deficit” in terms of organisational capabilities for sustainability. This deficit requires awareness, functional skills, attitudinal and behavioural change, and can only be comprehensively addressed by a shift in mindset and a “reimagining” of how business creates financial and non-financial value.

In response to this challenge, the BITCI Leader Group established the ‘Building Capabilities’ sub-group. The group is focusing on the following to upskill and inspire their staff, customers, business partners etc. as they are the key actors in this transformation:

  • Sustainability Handbook: providing a common view of sustainability is important to align our national efforts in prioritising sustainability with a focus on the role of business as a positive actor for change.  This Sustainability Handbook published in May 2023 outlines the BITCI network’s approach to sustainability and provides advice on taking action along with examples of best practice. Download the handbook now.
  • Sustainability Capabilities Diagnostic: the co-creation of tools and models are vital to support leaders in taking an individual and organisational view of capabilities for sustainability to support action planning.  This Sustainability Capability Leadership Diagnostic tool is under development with Maynooth University, our members, and Skillnet. It is currently being piloted by several business leadership teams and a report will be issued in November and made available here.
  • State of the Nation Research: launched in 2022, the research provides context on the urgency of transformation and identifies key accelerators of change that offer a powerful ‘call to action’.

The sub-group evolved from the Worker of the Future sub-group, which focused on keeping workers at the heart of transformation as digitalisation and sustainability become key competitive drivers for the economy.  A report on changing work practices, produced by the sub-group during the Covid pandemic, contains insights on the changing nature of work that are still relevant:  Download Shaping the Future of Work.

The sub-group is chaired by Melíosa O’Caoimh, Country Head, Northern Trust Ireland and Shay Walsh, MD, BT Ireland.

For more information on Building Capabilities, or to contribute to our work in this area, contact Marian Curry