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Strategy anchoring as the first step towards sustainability culture at Blue City

About Blue City

Blue City is a Danish company established in 2014 selling refurbished electronics. The company’s mission and vision are built around a sustainable future, where recycling is a natural choice. The business model is based on both B2B and B2C sales. The company’s ambition is to make buying second-hand electronics attractive for the customer and make it an easy, safe, cheap and sustainable alternative.

Blue City has 120+ employees who are all passionate about promoting electronics recycling. Currently, there are 7 physical Blue City stores in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. The goal of the company is to become the leader in the sales of second-hand electronics, with the ambition going beyond the Scandinavian region.

The challenge

According to Blue City’s management, the strategy was not well communicated throughout the organisation, and therefore not being implemented in reality. As one of the participants said, “We had a strategy document done, and then it just went straight to the drawer”. Blue City management decided that this issue needs to be addressed.

Since the company’s Mission and Vision is built around recycling and environmental sustainability, the basic concepts of sustainability needed to be introduced to the staff in the context of the sustainability strategy of the company.

The solution

8 management level participants went through 2030 Builders Strategy Anchoring experience. The beforehand expressed objective was to be able to better communicate the strategy to the employees and therefore advance strategy roll-out on different levels within the organisation.

The session with the management level participants was the first one in the series followed by customized sessions tailored for particular departments and employees on different organisational levels. As a result, all the company’s staff would be well aligned with the strategic goals of Blue City.

2030 Builders’ solution is in a big part customizable to meet the company’s needs. Therefore, the content for the experience was prepared in cooperation with BlueCity, based on 2030 Builders expertise and own methodology.

The experience took 1 hour and included an overview of Blue City’s strategy, sustainability concepts in relation to the strategy and several interactive and collaborative activities. The activities included 1 on 1 discussion panels and a group discussion. The participants had to write down the conclusions from discussions, which were included in a report delivered after the session to the company’s stakeholders.

The session is designed in a way to keep engagement level high throughout the whole experience, and at the same time to deliver on valuable content.

Outcomes & Impact

Throughout the session 2030 Builders solution has proven to deliver value for Blue City within the following areas:

Sustainability understanding

Participants have got a holistic introduction to the main sustainability concepts in the context of the company’s Mission and Vision, which led to a better understanding of the Blue City’ strategic goals within sustainability.

Employee buy-in

Participants found the discussions and interactive collaborative exercises very engaging and stimulating. The written inputs from discussions displayed on the screen gave insights into everybody’s perspective on the same subject.

Empowerment to action

Participants got the knowledge, understanding and the context that enable them to transform the strategy into a tangible action.

“I got a better understanding of Blue City’s Mission and Vision”

Employee

“I liked the discussion part when people wrote different things, and we could sit around seeing what everybody had written down and discuss that. It would be very valuable for different teams to discuss their issues and concerns in that way”

Store manager

“We need to make the strategy alive, so it is not just created and put back to the drawer. By doing a session like this, with different groups of employees a couple of times a year, we can enable the right strategy-oriented mindset within the company”

Blue City’s CEO

“I can see this solution working because it creates an environment for the employees to discuss things they usually don’t.”

Blue City’s CEO

The participants pointed out that this kind of experience would bring even more benefits in terms of anchoring the strategy on different organisational levels when repeated a couple of times per year. That insight gave 2030 Builders a validation for continuing on developing customized, interactive and collaborative solutions suited for enterprises as well as for SMEs.

Behaviour change steps towards sustainability culture include Knowledge, Approval, Integration, Practice and Advocacy. By taking part in the Sustainability strategy anchoring experience Blue City took the first step to build a sustainability culture at the organisation.

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