Monday, October 08, 2007

We get letters...

Blair writes:

So how do you see this different richness operating in the consulting culture? Think about all that is consumed by Accenture on a given day. What do you think they could do to operate under a new paradigm? And how would we as individuals change our ways?

The first thing that jumps to mind is a conversation I had with a graduate student I was living with over a summer in Baltimore. She had a TON of hard copies of articles printed out that she was reading for the research we were doing, which was ironic because the research was on how deforestation in suburban watersheds led to more intense flood events. The response that I still remember was "Sometimes you have to cut down a few trees to save the forest." I see a parallel here. My argument to justify the fact that Accenture consumes many resources every day is that the resources are being consumed for a good purpose, namely, to support the people who design business systems and processes that are more efficient and consume fewer resources once they are put into place. Accenture in particular can make this argument because of its focus on high-tech companies and technical implementations. Many of these projects provide the backbone for, say, a company to be able to host meetings with clients remotely instead of flying people halfway around the world to Japan.

The title of this post is a reference to the Letterman song, which is apparently a reference to Perry Como. In any case it makes me miss Rupert and the Hello Deli.

1 comment:

  1. I encounter this dilemma on a daily basis now that I work at Environmental Defense, which despite its mission, plays up a very corporate attitude. I think there is no doubt that some sacrifices have to be made along the way for the greater good. The relevant question then is: can the greater good be achieved while still making those sacrifices? Could Accenture, or Environmental Defense accomplish its goals as effectively while still taking steps to reduce their consumption patterns? A lot of evidence these days suggests that it is possible, most prominently the rise of green buildings that not only promote the environment but cut costs as well. In fact, a company like Accenture has the opportunity to serve as a leader by adopting these practices. I think the real benefit in saving paper when doing research may not necessarily be from the direct impact of the paper itself, but from educating others in the company/industry and thus perpetuating a culture of reduced consumption.