What organizations should know as they bridge the digital gap for sustainability

By: Ebenezer Onimisi-Momoh



The Nigerian economic landscape arguably can be tagged “a theater of dreams”. But in recent years organizations and top corporate firms have struggled in bridging the digital gaps as newer innovative methodologies face out old dogmas. And as predicted by the World Economic Forum’s 2018 “Future of Jobs” report, many current organizational roles are likely to disappear as early as 2022.


Such an idea may be a futuristic but recent rise in need of data analyst and social media experts among other roles should suggest a twist in the story. Consequently, hiring people to fill those roles suggest the best answer provided, but the sad tales lies in the fact that these newer roles don’t come with a scripted blueprint as organizations either have to tighten or tone down their structural grip. And as explained by Australian based teachers Sukhbir Sandhu and Carol T. Kulik, organizations are either too loose, too tight or just right.


Too Tight

Firms and organizations in this class, have well spelled out the ideological or centralized program, possibly a top-down system. Sustainability managers under this corporate organization have to be convincing in their innovative ideas especially to peers who believe deviation from there played out norms is imposition tendencies which must be resisted.

Managers in this class are either conditioned to quash their interest in environmental and social issues and so they end up losing a sense of direction except such ideas fit into the organization’s initial structures.

It must always be a round peg in a round hole and nothing more. On the other side of this class are the “too loose” just as the name suggests. Organizations and sustainability drivers in this genre have no clear cut discretion even with the less or non- existent grip on formalized structure.  Scouting for experts in the environmental or social initiative seems the best bet, but its always another end as organizational roles are hard to explain to peers who are lost in track.


Just right

Organizations in this class have a flexible sustainability initiative. Willingness to champion and initiate social and environmental ideas is the hallmark. Synergy and cohesion exist with stakeholders and colleagues in other areas. Managers and drivers feel empowered and enjoy the ride as a flexible norm within the organizational chain rather than a top-down structure of the “too tight”.


Organizations evolve and maturity to the just right stage takes times and decades. But evolution involves a shift in structural norms either by creating structural overlays or creating structures that initiate environmental and social projects. Striking a balance is needed and bureaucracy slows down innovation, but overlays and flexible bits of help understand the distinction between control and freedom.

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