Webster’s dictionary definition of sustainability:

  1. capable of being sustained
  2. able to last or continue for a long time

Everything you needed to know about sustainability of retail processes, programs or initiatives you learned as a freshman retailer in “Retail 101”. Then a few years working in the industry taught us the raw truth about sustainability:

Sustainability, easy to understand, hard to accomplish.

What should be understood about sustainability can be learned from famous quotes, or someone else’s words, which are too familiar.  Applying the learnings from these quotes as simply and directly as possible unlocks the mystery and difficulty of sustainability.

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

If you tried a sustainability plan in the past and have not achieved results, or it has fallen apart, take heed to this quote we are all familiar with.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Peter Drucker

Getting the insight into the program with structured measurement methods that are continual, and perpetual gives the ability to measure and manage it.

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” Zig Ziglar

This quote is often abbreviated as “repetition get results”. Any retail process, program or initiative you desire to sustain must have a structured method of repeating.

So, let’s learn from history, and the smart people who have eloquently provided all the information and inspirational direction necessary to meet Noah Webster head-on in understanding and achieving what he so artfully defines as “sustainability”.

As a consulting firm dedicated to improving store profitability, we completely recognize the key drivers of successful programs or initiatives and the absolute tie to sustainability. An interesting discussion about the audits (inspections/calibrations/measurements/etc.) tied to the scale (number of locations) the frequency (when completed) and the reporting (corrective action plans and compliance) will help your organization move in the right direction.