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Shell, The Hague, beautiful Amsterdam countryside

The week of April 9th I travelled to Amsterdam, and eventually The Hague, at the invite of Shell. They wanted me to share the Hard Knock Nuggets of McDonald’s journey. They felt they could learn from McDonald’s experience. Shell is wrestling with many societal, mostly centered on climate change.

I was impressed with the Government Relations team, and their External Relations team, too.  They are smart, sophisticated and dedicated, so I expect them to be successful in addressing their energy transition.

 

Notice the crooked windows. All building are anchored to the canal bottom and this shifts over time.

I biked with my Amelia Island biking jersey, representing my biking buddies back home in Amelia. What a day, 70 and sunny.

I learned about “bike fishing.” Some 15,000 bikes are thrown into the canals, that are fished out each year. I gather most of the bikes are thrown in by drunks.

This is The Hague area, 45 minutes southwest of Amsterdam, where I met with Shell executives.

Do I speak too slowly? I narrate my promotional animated video.

My publisher created a short two minute video to help promote my book. I like it.  They asked me to narrate.  I was nervous about it, because they had a Brit narrate as an example, and he completed the script in 1 min and 45 seconds.  My best in practicing it was 2 min. 15 seconds.  I always knew I spoke more slowly than most, but this was startling to me nonetheless.  I think I got it down to just over 2 minutes.  Give it a look.    The Battle To Do Good animated video.

 

 

 

Corporate Citizenship: TBTDG is a “page-turner”

It’s is gratifying to see that my book is resonating with readers.  I just read another book review from  Corporate Citizenship.  Thank you Mike Tuffrey for your review.  I particularly liked this section:

“Top learnings for me from this compelling account are the crucial role that NGOs and campaigners play in spurring action, the vital importance of allies in the business to unlock internal barriers and – often understated – the personal character and tenacity of the chief sustainability officer (note the three Ps).”

 

Sustainability Nirvana, or Not?

I just had an in-depth interview with Joshua Spodek on his “Leadership and Environment” Podcast. It’s an hour long!  I particularly enjoyed his serious question toward the end about what is transformative change.  We may disagree.  I couldn’t quite tell.  For example, I said McDonald’s advocating and moving toward sustainable beef is awesome, a big undertaking, and transformative.  I am sure there are those who argue McDonald’s shouldn’t serve beef, and that would be the better transformation.  What do you think?  The same with McDonald’s making the the Happy Meal healthier by adding fruit/yogurt, smaller fries, and soda no longer a default. Others would say that is incremental: why not go organic, or veggie only?

In the interview, I talk about sustainability nirvana as a negative force. Most companies are not going to change overnight to a state of perfection (which varies in the eyes of each stakeholder anyway). I say, why not embrace small and big changes along the way?

Joshua, thanks for drawing out from me my best thinking and challenging me on many topics!

 

The thrill of a daughter’s book review

I am so thrilled that my daughter wrote a very uplifting note about my book on Facebook.  I copied it below. Having Laura know more about what I did makes my book even more special to me.  And she liked it!  She also did a review on GoodReads. Thanks so much, Laura.

Many already know, but my dad Bob Langert wrote a book, and I am SO, incredibly proud of him! It’s a book about the work he did at McDonald’s heading up their Corporate Social Responsibility group. I knew a lot of the work he did from what he would tell us at our family dinners and such, but reading his book made me have such a deeper appreciation for what he was doing back then, and the impact he made “battling” everyday to do good for the world!! If anyone is interested in the topic at all, I HIGHLY recommend reading it. (I will happily buy/send anyone a book – just DM me). It’s worth the read, I promise! If not, I will let you know when his TED talk is for you to listen in the coming months (for real!!)