We’re in the midst of reading the newest book by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, authors of Cradle to Cradle. The book is called Upcycle. In it, the authors reiterate the Hannover Principles, created by the authors.
Here they are, in short form:
- Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
- Recognize interdependence.
- Respect relationships between spirit and matter.
- Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to co-exist.
- Create safe objects of long-term value.
- Eliminate the concept of waste.
- Rely on natural energy flows.
- Understand the limitations of design.
- Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge.
Now, we realize that some of these may seem flowery and vague, but their books provide the necessary substance to make them very worthwhile.
And we won’t review them all here, of course, but just look at the list – you’ll see things that should tickle your fancy as a project manager.
For example: Recognize Interdependence… as PMs, this is our strength! We break silo walls and encourage, cajole, or sometimes even force the parts of the puzzle in our projects to work together, recognizing more than anyone how they need to work together.
For example: Eliminating Waste… as PMs we do this all the time. We need to get the most efficient use of team members’ contributions.
For example: Sharing Knowledge… can you say ‘Lessons Learned”?
The thing is – ALL of these apply in one way or another to our discipline, not just the three obvious ones we point out above in blue.
As we said, we’re in the midst of reading the book – expect a review here later. If you don’t – nudge us, we will do it, but we may have to be prodded. When we do, one of the interesting project management angles will be our assessment that the authors repeatedly use the word project in the book but do not seem to identify (as we have) project managers as key contributors to the important efforts they identify.
That’s one of the reasons we’re here. We think a lot of the “sustainability-focused” people don’t get the PM ‘thing’. And vice-verse. PMs don’t always get the “sustainability” thing.
Thus – the intersection of PM and sustainability… and why you should stay tuned to EarthPM.