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Science & Technology Serving Patagonia’s Reason for Being

Essay by   •  February 13, 2018  •  Essay  •  4,077 Words (17 Pages)  •  520 Views

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Executive Summary

This document describes the entirety of the business reason for being in order to illustrate the following and critical management and leadership issues given the intensity of the application of science and technology in the company and in the current and future world’s scenarios.  The document elaborates on each issue stating why it is crucial to the success of Patagonia and offers detailed recommendations on how the issues should be addressed.

This document is designed to guide you on the implementation of   the recommendations contained here, and provide examples of appropriate course of action for each issue/area.

Focus of the recommendations

  1. Sourcing new science and/or technology

In order to prosper in tomorrow’s world, it is essential to have a rich strategic pool of new science and technology. According to what I have learned during my academic preparation, I can cite the three reasons why:

  • Technology licensing, from a university or research laboratory.
  • Venture Funds
  1. Managing scientists, engineers, and technologists:
  • being mindful of the differences
  • bringing in talent

Scientists, engineers, and technologists are the talent that the company must turn to for supply-side inputs of science, engineering, and technology.

By being mindful of the differences, we acknowledge the gaps that might exist between what the talent would like to do and what it might be willing to do. What motivates and demotivates each one of them and what is stronger in them.

In terms of attracting talent, Patagonia’s culture encourages people to bring their full selves to work. In order to be more attractive to a new genre of talent that can boost the science/technology company areas, the company must foresee what is coming in the nest generations and adapt with flexibility to the new demands and landscapes.

  1. Science, technology, and disruptive change:
  • “sense-making”
  • “visioning”

The company knows that change is a non-negotiable in the world of science and technology intensive and progressive companies. The revolutionary sound business practices where disruptive inflection points that profoundly shook up things in the form of “plate tech-tonics” that many companies want to follow as role model in order to survive and thrive in this new world. By making sense and visioning leaders must be proficient at evaluating and foreseeing of the shifting ecology of the science and technology landscape and future plausible scenarios to be prepared and confident to face any challenge.

To: Rose Macario, CEO of Patagonia

From: Paola Soto

Date: December 5, 2017

Subject: Science & Technology serving Patagonia’s reason for being

At one of the interviews you gave a couple of years ago, you made the point that business can be the most powerful agent for change, and is up to all the industry to acknowledge this and change otherwise we are all ruined. A Business that does not pursue the triple bottom line is not going to be sustainable, nor healthy for us to live and for the planet to survive. In this memo, I would like to explain how we could take a joint step toward making this happen.

No one doubts that the company success depends on its solid essential business manifesto. The company holds its own core values, principles and traditions since 1960.

Yvon Chouinard’s revolutionary spirit is deeply embedded in everything that the company does and in everyone involved across the value chain.

A couple of years ago, I worked in a project regarding remarkable disruptive examples of corporate culture, missions and visions. One of the most important traits in this research was understanding of the need for revolution. A revolutionary spirit, the quality of a person or entity who works for and engages in Revolution, in other words, an agent who aims for an overflow of social order or habits of thought in favor of a new system. A business should be revolutionary because is willing to help others to restructure their mindsets, actions, and way of living. Moreover, a business has to be an activist whose efforts are addressed to bring forward exceptional solutions. As for the company, Yvon Chouinard promoted radical change from its origins. He, as a self-proclaimed reluctant business man, broke the rules of business in his unconventional culture code, rejecting the mainstream corporate culture that makes business hidebound and inhibits creativity. The most compelling evidence of this is the fact that he has ran the company within the framework of sound business practices, and under the concept of Slow Company –as the opposite of rapid growth and expiation-

Part of his mission, and the brand mission, is to contribute to a better society in which people, environment and society are placed above the pursuit of profit, causing no unnecessary harm and using the business to inspire and implement solutions to the social/environmental crisis.

Environmental ethics are woven into the very fabric of the organization. There is no need for Patagonia’s products if there is no nature, mountains, land, rocks, oceans and lakes for people to explore. This acknowledgment is what drives the founding of the environmental and sustainability initiatives taken on by the company. By being aware that running this business has externalities, creating pollution as by-product, and fostering continuous efforts to reduce those harms, by introducing new science and technologies across the whole chain is the force that inspire others to change, this revolutionary spirit that emerges powerfully to break the status quo and takes vigorous action to bring disruptive change, demanding collaboration and participation from all kids of agents to fight against unfair or harmful practices, to reverse harm, and to aspire toward something better for all.

The basic problem is the lack of knowledge and understanding of a big number of the stakeholders in this business. Some business leaders have a vague sense of the value that science and technology can deliver for the greater good. They sometimes can only see a fragmented reality driven by profit, and quarterly results and do not seem to have a grasp of the bigger picture and the real impact not only for this quarter, year or generation. It is understandable that all businesses want to do well, and invest all their energy to innovate, develop and commercialize their products and services, but is not less important to also to do it right, complying with all sources of rules, principles and ethics. While doing good has become a must among progressive companies looking for ways to make and impact, to catalyze change and to connect with and retain talent and consumers.  

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