This week Evolving Choice had the pleasure of interviewing the Head Specialist in a leading Czech Bank’s Sustainable Development Team. Sustainability is still a very new concept in the country and J makes it sound really exciting but challenging to start a Sustainability agenda and offers advice for other professionals who might be facing the same issues.
1) Tell us what you do in your role as Head Quality Specialist in Sustainable Development?
My main role is to participate in the implementation and realization of the sustainable development concept in (bank). It means to define the strategy and to take steps to support the concept in line with the strategy (e.g. to propose changes, to look for process improvements, to propose new procedures to be more environmentally friendly). And especially to change the perception, thinking, and behaviour of the people inside the bank and to convince them that it is important that they themselves begin to behave in line with this philosophy.
2) How does one become a Head Specialist in Sustainable Development? What is the path you took?
I can say for me it happened by chance. Because I studied quality management system at university, I dealt with implementation and audit of ISO standards for almost three years. The need to do something else – more active job led me to (bank) to a position of an internal auditor. Due to possibility to work in Quality Department, that it discovered more than one year ago, I got the opportunity to be at the launching of sustainable development concept implementation in (bank).
3) What skills do you need to have in order to succeed in this kind of role?
At first, you must be keen on this issue and be certain of this issue importance. An initiative, proactive and creative approach is the touchstone. You have to still try to find more and more new information on this topic and then use them for solution proposals. Good communication, presentation and debate skills are necessary for efficient promotion of this issue and its successful implementation. The knowledge of company environment is relevant too.
4) What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter this field?
Do not give up, when the reaction to realised measures is not optimistic. Many people consider it only like a shortime “fashion” issue. Before starting you have to persuade company management about sustainable development importance and they have to support you. Then gradually implement sustainable development concepts into company politics, focus on clear communication leading to increase of employees awareness. Try to involve employees in working out actions.
Thank you so much J for giving our readers an insight into the challenges facing Sustainable Development Specialists in the Czech Republic on a Daily basis.
If anyone out there has any more specific questions for J, please comment here and Evolving Choice will publish her responses in a follow-up post.