Partnership is leadership

Partnership is leadership

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
/ By:
Rick Fedrizzi

Letters from Rick
Partnership is leadership

On the shoulders of giants.  That’s how a friend of mine once described the work we’ve been doing the past 25 years, calling into sharp relief how our movement has been built through the curiosity, collegial nature and collaborative spirit of the many people who have been drawn to the idea of green, high performing buildings.

But we sometimes forget the power that comes when these individuals coalesce around key strategies, local geographies and unique perspectives, and form organizations whose scale adds strength and reach and resources, helping advance the shared ideas into a mainstream movement.

That’s been the legacy of both USGBC and BRE.  Throughout the past three decades, countless individuals have been attracted to their rating systems, business models, research agendas and frameworks as ways to advance this big idea that our buildings could not only do less harm to our planetary ecosystems, but actually do more good.  Saving energy and water, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions -- these were big enough goals in the beginning, but both organizations quickly grasped that there was much more our places and spaces could contribute.

Individually, each organization made huge progress.  But how much faster could we move if they worked more closely together?  How much further could we get if they joined forces? And how much higher could we reach in our aspirations to make our buildings part of our global toolkit of solutions to solve so many of the intractable problems of our time?

For such Olympian goals, we have to cue the giants again, and among them is Mahesh Ramanujam, a man who has become nearly legendary for his mantra:  Partnership is the new leadership.

In my view, there is no more powerful force on the planet than the collaboration of leaders who are working toward a shared goal, and when the stakes are as high as a planet in peril, we need leaders like Mahesh who can see beyond the short- term box checks to long-term gains.

And we need leaders like Niall Trafford, CEO, BRE Group, who view continuous improvement and collaboration as levers to success, not just for his organization but for all of us. The technology, technical expertise and prodigious talent of both groups can now be leveraged into something much more effective and efficient than the sum of the parts.  And we’ll all benefit.

At IWBI, we are proud to join in spirit both these leaders and their organizations whose collaborative vision will inspire so many to join the work that needs to get done. Together we can advance the many aspects of this single epic idea that our buildings and communities can actually help people and the planet thrive.

And we’ll do it by leveraging the giants who have paved the way.